We first visit the most distant temple dissimulating caves used as retreats for lamas. We return crossing chortens of different sizes, shapes and periods. In the spur buiding we enter in a chapel where monks continuously recite sutras. Like Tibetans, in accordance with the tradition, I give alms to the monks so they can pray in order to help me to improve my karma.
The Rinpoche fears I am a Chinese spy and reads a text expressing allegiance to the new religious Chinese regulation laws.
Abstract= The morning, we visit of the Pabongka monastery in the North-East of Lhasa, then Sera G, and finally 4 small monasteries located in the N of the Beijing lam Avenue.
Lhasa. We begin the day by taxi toward the monastery of Pabongka located in a valley in the N-W of Lhasa. The driver does not know the road very well and we stop on several occasions to ask for directions. We follow a vehicle which breaks its front wheel axle in a rut then we take several tracks and after some hairpin bends the taxi cannot go further. We leave the driver and continue on foot to reach the different caves and temples.
In one of these caves the king Srongtsan Gampo and his two wifes came to pray to fight the demoness of the region. 108 chortens were erected here along with a nine floor building on the top of a spur is said to represent a holy tortoise.
While going down we find a taxi to take us to the monastery of Sera. This monastery is one of the three big monasteries built by Tsongkhapa (with Drepung end Ganden) at the beginning of the 17th century near Lhasa.
The taxi drops us in the alignment of a new avenue which is in construction and consequently prohibited to any circulation. Unfortunately we have a one kilometre walk on this dusty road.
It is Sunday and on arrival we see that the monastery is crowded. There are thousands of visitors and we take more than 2 hours reaching a room which contains a statue of Buddha with a horse's head. In front of the statue, a lama blesses us and deposits on the forehead of the young people a black coal mark.
There are crowds in all the chapels and many couples have come with children.
Dukhangs are richly decorated and we we make our way to have a look at Buddha carvings on the edge of the mountain on the east side of the monastery.
I remember that 4 years ago, I attended an incredible scene: I saw a lama walking off and stopping. I stop too, hidden by a tree. He beguns to recite sutras. Then a dozen dogs come and stand up in front of him, listening to the speech, fixated on the lama eyes. When the sutra ended, the dogs returned to sleep.
Heading up to the town we take a bus but various sections were only open to one way traffic. What has to happen is that two vehicles approach face to face. After an undermined time, the queue formed in front of us moves back and we can finally pass and reach the town.
I decide to search for the monasteries bordering the northern side of the Beijing Shar Lam avenue. We visit successively Meru Gompa, Gyourme Dratsang, Jebumgang lhakang and Shide Dratsang.
The 2nd and the 3rd are under restoration. On the terrace a group of young Tibetan girls are hammering the concrete to make it harder and waterproof and their melodious singging brings joy to our ears. Those who hear these songs cannot forget the freshness of the voices and their determination, to show the Chinese occupants their differences.
Shide dratsang, the last one is in the process of being demolished. At 19h00, Tensing and Lobsang are waiting for us. They have invited friends talks are animated and friendly. It seems we have so much to learn from each other. It is difficult to forget the remarks of Tensing who explained why, when one is Tibetan, the desire to offer overrides all others, even that to earn money: to offer to others is a drug which brings us feelings of happiness similar to none... If Paris is the place filled with spirit, Lhasa is certainly where the heart rules...