A monk sends out the assembly message by blowing the trumpet shell on the golden roof of the Coqen Hall in Jokhang Temple, Lhasa. [Photo/Tibet.cn]
From Mar.13 or the 8th day of January on Tibetan lunar calendar, monasteries across southwest China's Tibet begin the eight-day period of Losar Dharma rituals. The Lamaism rituals will last till the 15th day of this month (Mar.20) in its climax of the Losar celebrations.
Early in 1409, Master Tsongkhapa hosted the first Dharma assembly in Lhasa to memorize Buddha Sakyamuni, and this ritual has been carried on for over 600 years so far. Even today, the Losar Dharma assembly is still respected as an important Buddhist ritual which bears the followers’ keen wishes and anticipation at the beginning of the Tibetan New Year.
On Mar.17, lamas in west Lhasa's Drepung Monastery assemble in the grand Coqen Hall where the incense savor wreathed and the air was solemn.
Buddhist almsgivers dedicate their offerings to the monastery, and tender their favorite scripts which the leading chanter will then lead the assembly to chant.
At 3 PM, the third dharma ritual of that day was started. All the lamas began to chant Buddhist scripts together to clear obstacles for the believers and to pray for prosperity and peace. Pilgrims also sat around the hall, and piously listened to the sutra chanting ceremony.
After the ritual, some followers walked into the hall, and gave alms to lamas on the site, while eminent lamas from the monastery presented them pure white Khadas with gratitude.
Rituals of similar senses were conducted orderly in Sera Monastery, Ganden Monastery, Jokhang Temple and other lamaseries in Tibet.
At 4:30 PM, a Buddhist ritual was also reported in Jokhang Temple. Lamas gathered in the grand hall and chant Buddhist scripts aloud and sacredly for the welfare of all sentient beings.
According to tbe traditions, the Dharma rituals will last till mid January on Tibetan lunar calendor and end in a climax. During this period, all kinds of elaborate butter lamps are consecrated and exhibited in monasteries, praying for "Tashi Delek (auspice and good luck)"!