Thursday, May 22, 2014

The Mani of Serka Zong

The people of Serka Zong are a spiritual people, living in and with the mountains, like Everest. And here they face their mani stones at the mountains of legend. These stone tablets face the peaks in a show of respect. They are inscribed with prayers and are meant to show great respect for the spirits. 

In Nepal and Tibet, mani walls are created by putting stones together like you see here in Serka Zong. Each stone uses an inscribed mantra or, as depicted here, ashtamangala, which a devotional design to offer up a prayer. There is even a design devoted to the Yeti, the legendary creature of the Forbidden Mountain the wall faces. These walls are meant to be passed from the left side, which is the clockwise direction the earth and universe follow according to Buddhist teachings. They are often placed alongside roadsides or rivers, from which people often travel. 

In many areas, these stones can be found in remote places, or even near a temple. And here, in Serka Zong, there is a religious center nearby. The red building is a gompa, or monastery. Although a gompa may be a simple mediation hall, there are often groups of fortified building containing the main hall along with living quarters for monks and nuns. 

The color, red, is no accident as it is meant to provide protection. But protection from what exactly? The Yeti?

By Safari Mike

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