Tuesday, November 16, 2010


Tibetan Buddhism is divided into the red and yellow sects. The red sect comprises of Nyingma, Kargyu and Sakya lineages and the yellow sect consists of the Gelugpa lineage. The rituals performed, monastic discipline and the founder differentiate the sects and the lineages from each other. However the differences tend to blur with rituals of one lineage overlapping the other.

Sikkim’s near about 200 monasteries or gompas belonging to the Nyingma and Kargyu order have not only been influencing the cultural heritage and lifestyle of the people, but also demonstrating the ancient rituals in practice.

Lamas robed in red chant ancient mantras to the rhythm of drums and trumpets while soft lights flicker from decorative lamps placed before statues of the great Guru Padmasambhava. Feel the peace and quiet of being one with nature and close to the almighty as scared words mingle with the whirring prayer wheels. The gompas are adorned with lifelike frescoes of hoary Buddhist legends, rare silk and brocade thangkas. Also preserved are ancient Tibetan manuscript, exquisitely carved woodwok and icons of silver and gold…


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