Experiencing a Buddhist Puja

The shrine at SMD School

We arrived in Nepal just days after Nepali New Year’s Day (April 14th), marking the beginning of the year 2072 of the Nepali calendar. That also meant that the Shree Mangal Dvip School, which we were visiting, was actually on its annual break and school was not in session. Instead Luca and I were treated with a very special experience: the annual „Mani Drubchen“ puja, lead by the founder of SMD School Thrangu Rinpoche. A puja is a Buddhist ceremony/celebration and this particular annual puja spanned 10 entire days. Monks, nuns and lay people from all over Nepal, Tibet, India, Korea and China visited to take part in the ceremony. For 10 days straight, 12 hours per day the congregation prays, chants, sings and recites, recite the “Om Mane Padme Om” mantra 1.000.000 times per day! Thrangu Rinpoche, considered a reincarnate lama, is a representative of the Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism and is an amazing scholar and activist so for Luca and I it was a very special and privileged opportunity to witness this special annual event. For several days we were able to get a first hand taste of the spirit of Tibetan Buddhism and it made for a very unique start of our Nepali experience.

The shrine at SMD School Tibetan horns which literally blow you away at close range Even little monks partake

Spinning the prayer wheels Lunch time makes for big smiles Prayer beads, used to count the mantras