The Ani Cang Gu Nunnery in Lhasa
The A’ni Cang Gu Nunnery is the only nunnery in the old district (the Eight-Corner Street district) of Lhasa. There are unique traditions and customs there. This temple is not only a paradise for the Buddhist nuns, but also an important place for women to learn Buddhism, culture and other kinds of knowledge. Some famous female dominant figures in the history were brought up here, such as the most famous female Living Buddha Sangding•Duojiephamu. Now, there are about 100 Buddhist nuns in this nunnery.
As a place for female disciples, the A’ni Cang Gu Nunnery has been putting focus on the religious ceremonies about the Avalokitesvara (the Guanyin Bodhisatta). During the ceremonies, the nuns read the Buddhist sutras every morning in the Buddhist scriptures hall which is a professional gathering ritual. It came to an end at around 4pm in the day. Besides, there are seven large-scale Dhyana concentrations every year for Buddhist scriptures reciting and chanting.
The nunnery is not in great acreage but in great order and neatness. The main building is made up of two parts: the Buddhist scripture hall on the upper floor and the daily using field on the under floor. Beautiful stone steps are at the front gate. Nankin walls, black window lattices and lots of nameless flowers are arranged methodically. All of the nuns are polite and genial.
The most famous scenic spot is the Buddhism Practicing Cave of Srongtsen Gampo (the king of Regime Tubo in ancient China), whose statue has been enshrined there for lots of years and protected and worshipped by three nuns. The nuns put oblations, recite the Buddhist sutras and change oil for the oil lamp every day. From centuries ago, this ancient holy cave has been pilgrimaged by countless Tibetans and disciples from different places.
Besides the amazing oblations and bizarre lives of the nuns, there are other attractions make the A’ni Cang Gu Nunnery popular such as the operational entities they establish and services they deliver. For government’s reducing burden, they do these actively, adjusting measures to their local conditions. The operational entities and service business have been bringing subsidy to the nuns on the one hand and bringing some bankroll to the nunnery’s remedying and rebuilding on another.
There is also a clinique in which senior doctors and nurses settle there to serve the natives with help of the nuns who also know some medical knowledge. Their patience and genial care gain trust and believe from the local people. Besides, among all of the stores around, the ones which nuns operate are also trustful by the people because of the reasonable price and good quality.
A teahouse which delivers sweet tea and made up of a teahouse facing the street and a hypaethral tea garden is in the courtyard of the nunnery. There are tourists and Buddhists tasting “Qia’a Mao” (a kind of sweet tea made with milk, sugar and black tea) and “Xia Momo”(steamed suffed bun with yak meat in it) after their praying and pilgrimage.
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