Karmapa visits the Nyingma Monastery
2 March, 2012
At just turned
11.00am His Holiness arrived at the Nyingma Monastery
building complex, on the main road to Bodhgaya, a short
distance from the turn-off to Tergar Monastery.
Monlam most of the monks and nuns are accommodated in
dormitories here. The monastery is the site for a massive
schedule of food preparation to feed the monks, nuns and
laypeople attending the Monlam. Food from here is also
taken to Tergar Monastery to feed the monks and volunteers
there. The man in charge, Karma Sherab, estimates that the
kitchen is catering for 9000 people at lunchtime. It also
prepares an evening meal, though the numbers then are
reduced because many of the sangha are keeping Mahayana
during Monlam, at the request of His Holiness.
A staff of 181
Indians, Nepalis and Tibetans work at peeling, washing, and
chopping vegetables, each day. The food is then cooked in
across and two feet high, placed over pits of log fires. The
serving area is divided by bamboo poles into four lines–two
for monks, one for nuns and one for laypeople.
consisted of rice, dhal, glass noodle, spinach and
vegetables, and the first thing Gyalwang Karmapa did was to
sample it. Sitting upstairs on a first-floor balcony, he
surveyed the monks, nuns and laypeople milling around in the
vast courtyard below as he tasted first the rice, then the
spinach, some soup and the vegetable. Karma Sherab knelt
beside him, explaining and answering his questions.
Karmapa then strode down the stairs and across the courtyard
to the food preparation area, his entourage racing to keep
up with him. He met briefly with the workers and inspected
the fire pits. Then, for a few minutes, he lent a hand at
the serving tables, ladling out glass noodles to astonished
monks, before marching through the throng of queuing monks –
a modern-day Moses parting a sea of amazed people–to visit
one of the accommodation blocks.
Within a short twenty minutes, the visit was over, and His
Holiness and entourage sped away back to Tergar, in a cloud
Report by Jo Gibson, photos taken by
Filip Wolak, Liao