An out of the ordinary day tour at Pharphing & Dakshinkali villages about 20 Km south Kathmandu. The area is sacred to practitioners of Vajrayana Buddhism, a form of Tibetan Buddhism, as many Lama and meditation masters have achieved enlightenment there. A power place, which attracted a big community of monks.
Walking around without a precise plan, at the feet of Rigon Tashi Choeling Monastery we hear a far but powerful chanting. We enter through the doors, go around the building and up the stairs, the chanting becomes stronger. We ask for permission and enter a chamber at the top of the monastery, the chanting becomes whole, powerful, pervasive. About 50 monks, orderly sitting around the chamber in a clear hierarchical order, are practising a weekly ritual, a prayer through chants, and repetition of mantras. It’s mesmerizing, almost shamanic. The vibration of the huge, rhythmically beat drums, and the sound of traditional Tibetan long horn (dung chen) do penetrate the soul. At the climax of the chant, all instruments play together, and students whistle fiercely. It feels like a liberation.
We remain there, sitting on the side, for a couple of hours, enchanted by the practice. The monks offer us a bowl of butter tea, while the prayer continues. The chamber (no photos allowed) is beautiful, completely painted with colourful dragons, mandalas, Buddhas and Buddhist deities, also represented with big colourful statues.
An unexpected experience, perhaps so charming also because unplanned. Unfortunately, I couldn’t understand more of the practice. I tried to ask, but language problem aside, I would imagine it’s hard to explain something probably ancient, where every word, position, sound and movement has a meaning, in few words to a curious tourist. It’s a weekly prayer, that’s all I got 🙂 Still, it was really worth visiting this lush green hilly area, with monasteries all around and a vibe of power place!
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