Thursday, December 25, 2008

travel to Tibet: Tibetan Buddhism

Beside the majestic scenery, the exotic religion in Tibet also attracts more and more tourists every year. Tibet, the lost paradise under the sky, is undoubtedly a place where the spirit lives! It’s said that a man will get to be faithful and humble while here even if he is not a Buddhist, due to the sacred and religious atmosphere.

Almost all Tibetans follow Tibetan Buddhism, known as Lamaism. Although Tibet is a part of China, Tibet Buddhism is a unique culture and religion belief of all there own, alien to Chinese Buddhism. It was greatly influenced by Indian Buddhism in its early time, but after years of evolution, Tibetan Buddhism has developed its own distinctive qualities and practices.

There are two important figures in Tibetan Buddhism: Dalai and Panchen, each of which is believed as a Living Buddha (who is the reincarnation of the first). It’s very mysterious! In Tibet, most monasteries as well as ordinary Tibetan families enshrine and worship the statues or portraits of Dalai and Panchen Lamas. Tibetans say that Dalai and Panchen are just like the sun and moon in the sky.

Tibetan Buddhism inhabits most Tibetans' hearts. An impressive scene is that the devotional pilgrims progress toward their places of worship by prostrating themselves under the sky and along the roads, making people humble and modest. In addition, Tibet has various festivals which commonly are performed to worship the Buddha throughout the year. Join anyone of them, you will get a special and memorable feeling in a lifetime. Also, Tourists can visit local families and experience the real life of Tibetans. Enjoying the local food and dancing with beautiful Tibetan girls may add extra happiness to your visit.

During a long history of development, a great deal of splendid monasteries, vivid murals and sculptures, and solemn stupas were built to worship the unparalleled Buddha. Lhasa and Shigatse, the most important cities of Tibet, feature most of the religious monuments including the Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, Drepung Monastery, Sera Monastery, Ramoche Monastery, Tashilunpo Monastery and Sakya Monastery. Besides the monasteries, sacred mountains and holy lakes are also great places to show the Tibetan peoples' devotion to Buddha.

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