Sunday, January 1, 2012

Labrang Monastery and Xunhua Salar Autonomous Tibet

They haveVisit Labrang Monastery, one of the six most important Gelukpa (the Yellow Sect) monasteries in whole Tibet and a center of Tibetan learning in Eastern Tibet. Our Tibetan guide will show you the impressive interior of the Assembly hall and other temples. Cross over Ganjia Grassland dotted with temples, pass by the Former Residence of the 10th Panchen Lama, stretch to Xunhua Salar Autonomous County inhabiting Salas. their own national spoken language, but no written language.


Labrang Monastery

Their ancestors were a branch of the Saruks who lived in the 13th century, belonging to the west Turki Oguz tribe in Samarkand. A chieftain named Kharmang led the clan men believing in Islam eastwards to Xunhua, Qinghai, and settled down there and lived and intermarried with the local Tibetans and Hans and multiplied, and becoming an ethnic group. The Salas are mainly engaged in farming and take animal husbandry and gardening as sideline industries. They have preserved much beautiful folklore. Duiwina (camel game), a traditional game showing how their ancestors came to Xunhua from central Asia, is very popular among the Salas.

   Qingshuihedong Mosque
Xunhua Salar Autonomous Country
In the inner courtyard of the medical college at Labrang Monastery the visitor will find nineteen murals, none of which have been previously analysed and described. With the help of an 'unfolded tree' (sdong vgrems) metaphor they illustrate the content of the Rgyud bzhi, the major classical text of Tibetan Medicine, thus providing a vivid visual structure to the contents of the book. The murals were photo-documented by myself in 2004 and 2005, however, they now appear to have been repainted similarly, but less elaborately in the meantime.

Jiezi Mosque

Some of the Labrang murals depict the contents of the Rgyud bzhi in exact detail, whereas others are less circumstantial. In some cases the illustrations show divergences. A preliminary comparison of the Labrang murals with the illustrations attached to the famous commentary on the Rgyud bzhi by SANGS RGYAS RGYA MTSHO, the Vaidurya sngon po (Blue Beryl), reveals a whole string of significant and often complementary differences. These divergences raise questions about the doctrinal traditions that influenced the murals at Labrang. Are these differences evidence of certain regional characteristics or are they based on another text-tradition?


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