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edenstrauss

Vesak Day At Sakya Tenphel Ling

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I have decided to start a topic on the recent Vesak Day dated Tuesday, 17th May 2011 at Sakya Tenphel Ling (The Singapore Buddha Sasana Society).

The photographs that I have taken at the temple on this eventful day are so rich in colour and beautiful. It'll be a great waste if they were not uploaded or shared with others.

I hope that you will enjoy the vibrancy of colours as many of us had during this festive ocassion at Sakya Tenphel Ling.

DISCLAIMER:

Permission has been sought from Sakya Tehphel Ling for photographs to be taken.

Kindly note that this thread is not catered for the purpose of promoting the temple or anything suggestive of religious inclinations. As such, any insinuating or insulting comments will not be entertained.

Additionally, I do apologise for any inadequacy in explanations pertaining to rituals & practices as shown in the photographs.

Thank you for your kind understanding.

Edited by edenstrauss
 

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Although I had been visiting Sakya Tenphel Ling for several years on a regular basis, but this is the very first time I have visited the temple during Vesak Day.

It was already quite crowded by the time we reached the temple at about 11.45 AM.

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And as we hung around after eating vegetarian beehoon, large groups of people came in for prayers and pujas. The counters for donations, sponsorship, devotion to deities simply got congested with huge crowds that formed long beelines.

The festive mood was indeed infectious and everybody on the temple grounds were smiling, including myself. Both my hubby & myself couldn't help but feel fascinated by how colourful everything was on the temple grounds. It made us feel like the 7 rainbow colours had been blended into the scene, which was imbued with such intensity that we could only say that everything was simply so so beautiful and exciting to us!

These beautiful & breathtaking array of colour palettes ranged from flower arrangements, fruits, candles, toma offerings (which will be featured in this thread) and other offerings which were made to the deities.

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The cabbage flower looks really gorgeous with 2 of such bouquests flanking both sides of one of the altars:

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Edited by edenstrauss
 

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And this is the very first time that I came across such huge versions of "huat-kueh". Perhaps the size of smaller honeydews or rock melons... No exaggeration!

They were really huge and caught my eye while I was praying at the makeshift altar.

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I just found out from a brochure that this is known as the:

Shakyamuni Buddha Sand Madala : The celestial abode or mansion of Shakyamuni Buddha

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Isn't it beautiful? Sand mandalas have also fascinated me because it's amazing how it could be produced with coloured sand with such precision... as if it's printed by a computer or a machine?? :paint:

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And I saw many devotees circumambulating the Shakyamuni Buddha Sand Mandala while I was busy clicking on my camera to take photographs of the sand mandala.

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Edited by edenstrauss
 

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Photograph of Venerable Khentrul Rinpoche and reincarnation of previous high lama Tashi Gyatso Rinpoche.

He is currently one of the resident teacher at Sakya Tenphel Ling and takes care of the Centre. He does daily rituals and provides blessings & consultations, conducts Teachings, and performs Changchog for the deceased and other religious activities.

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Photographs showing Venerable Khentrul Rinpoche, blessing the devotees :

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The jar with a spout & peacock feathers is known as a Bhumpa, or Ritual Vase or Tibetan Buddhist Healing Water Vase. I think it contains ceremonial water or nectar and is commonly used during blessing sessions:

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Another snippet of a blessing session of an elderly devotee:

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Edited by edenstrauss
 

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This another altar that has been temporarily set up for this special ocassion and I spotted many devotees queuing up to offer stalks of fresh flowers to the deity. The combination of colours make it look so rich & vibrant:

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The flowers offered to the deity is then distributed out to devotees for the purpose of a bath. A sort of cleansing ritual through bathing with flowers which were blessed by the deity.

Volunteers helping with the packing of small bags of flowers mixed with perfumed water:

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This is another altar that has been set up in the open for this special ocassion.

The Thangka (mural) and the statue in blue represents the Medicine Buddha and to statue on the Medicine Buddha's right is Tara; and to the left, The Jambala (Dzambhala).

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There are also very colourly stupa-like decorations which were being placed in front of the deities as offerings. They reminded me of colourful jewels because they are so intricately made by the lamas.

I think they are known as toma offerings and the 8 auspicious symbols (http://www.buddhanet.net/e-learning/history/b8symbol.htm) in Buddhism are featured in the form of colourful intricacies which I would be uploading here in the next few clips for visual appreciation. They must be so difficult to make! And so so beautifully done! :thumbs up:

Edited by edenstrauss
 

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These photos of toma offerings were taken before Vesak Day.

It so happened that I was at Sakya Tenphel Ling when one of the lama was putting the finishing touches to the toma offerings. Oops missed the major part of it when he was moulding out the intricacies. :~

I think this tall stupa-like dough is used as a "base" for mounting on the beautifully crafted decorations.

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These are parts of it which had just been prepared & pending "installation" onto the "base" & isn't it beautiful?

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A pair of golden fish (matsya):

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The Treasure Vase (bumpa):

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Edited by edenstrauss
 

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The mystic/ unity knot, also known as The Auspicious/ Endless Knot(shrivatsa):

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The mystic knot is one of my most favourite symbols. :) It is a classy symbol which has been highly adapted in the fashion industry. It is said to promote a strong & positive affinity with people - but I would like to add that it also depends on the person's attitude in life too!

Edited by edenstrauss
 

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I didn't stay on to see what the lama went on to make but here's what he was doing, probabbly shaping out another design :

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Hopefully I would have another chance to take photographs of the full suite of process in making the toma offerings in the near future. :)

Edited by edenstrauss
 

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