September 4, 2008

Mantras inscribed on mani stones and yak skulls, Tibet, China

Location: Near Reting Monastery north of Lhasa, Tibet, China, (30° 6′ 23″ N, 91° 12′ 18″ E)
Date: 22 April 2003; 5.06pm

Camera: Canon G1
Tibetans inscribed Buddhist mantras such as 'Om Mani Padme Hum' and imagery on mani stones and deposit them in thousands of sites such as temples, road junctions, mountain passes, riversides, bridges and other sites that are imbued with spiritual essence. They are also symbols of worship and thanksgiving. Sometimes skulls of yaks are also inscribed with such mantras and added to a pile of mani stones to reinforce its power to protect people from natural disasters and evil forces. It is also very common for Tibetans who chance upon such religious piles to circumambulate them as a display of their religious piety and devotion. Such practices can be seen in many of the countries in the Himalayan region that practiced or had practiced Tibetan Buddhism such as Tibet proper, Nepal, the Ladakh and Sikkim regions of India and Bhutan.

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