Sunday, February 10, 2019

Why do we prostrate three times to Lama and than to the altar?

During auspicious & religious days we generally visit monastery to offer butter lamp and prayer. When entering the shrine room, we first do three prostrations facing the Lama if he is on the throne or to the image of a Lama (usually His Holiness the Je-Khenpo) if he is not present.

Then followed by three prostrations facing the shrine that is normally placed with statues of Buddha, Guru Rinpoche and Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel.

Even during ritual ceremony at our house, prostration is done in same way.

The reason for prostrating first to lama was due to the fact that he is the present live holder of the Buddhist practices and also one who passes down his knowledge to his students automatically creating chain in preserving the teaching of Buddha.

It must be noted that to find a Buddha, all you have to do is see your nature. Your nature is the Buddha. And the Buddha is the person who's free: free of plans, free of cares. If you don't see your nature and run around all day looking somewhere else, you'll never find a Buddha. The truth is, there's nothing to find. But to reach such an understanding you need a Lama and you need to struggle to make yourself understand. Therefore, Lama was given due recognition first.

The objects of refuge in most Buddhist traditions are the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha, where as in Tibetan Buddhism (which we Bhutanese also do practices exactly) there are three additional refuges, the Lama, the Buddha and the Dharma.

Even to begin any prayer or any ritual it starts first with Lama La Chapsu Cheaou, Sangay la Chapsu Cheaou, Chola Chapsu Cheaou.

That is the reason why we first prostrate to Lam.

Photo courtesy: Facebook   

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