World ? Asia ? India

Yuru Kabgyat

8 - 9 Jul 2009 (annual)
Once a year, the ancient Lamayaru Monastery (known locally as Yuru Gonpa) in Ladakh hosts a two-day festival of celebration and devotion - Yuru Kabgyat. It's a chance to see a wonderful and ancient place of worship in action.
Yuru Gonpa belongs to the Drikungpa branch of the Kagyudpa order of Tibetan Buddhism. The Drikungpa School is named after the monastery of Drikung in Tibet, which was founded by Skyoba Jigten Gonpo (1143-1212). This order traces its origin backs to two Indian Tantric masters, Tilopa and his disciple Naropa.

It is said that once the whole valley was under water when Nimagon, a holy man, prayed "May a monastery be founded in this place". He made water offerings to the Naga Serpent Spirits, and the lake's water drained out. The grains of corn offered to the water spirits mysteriously grew into the shape of a Yung-dung (Swastika). When a monastery was later founded here, it was called Yung-dung Gonpa.

Nowadays the monastery is suffering from lack of funds. Visitors provide welcome donations to go toward repairs and the living expenses of the 200 lamas.
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