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The Mountain Ritual

The same ceremonies lha (bsang*), that are performed in the village house can also take place in front of the mountain - just immediately opposite of the deity in its form out of rock and ice.

 

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These deities have their own texts of worship dedicated to them, which are usually written by the village Lamas - less often by the monks of the monastery. Although the formulation of these texts varies from place to place they do, however, all follow the same basic structure. Here an example is given of a text of worship for the deity Apha Yül lha.

The Mountain as God

Is this deity of the land the mountain itself or does it merely have its seat there? In the world view of the Bhutanese, these kind of supposed paradoxes are meaningless. The Lama on the picture above answers the question why, for example, in the depiction of the Yül* lha he does not - as is usually the case in rituals - use a dough figurine (torma*) with the words: »I don't need to do this, the god is already standing here.« At this he points to the mountain.

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A village Lama while reading a text of worship in front of the 7000 meter high Chomolhari, in which the mighty Tsheringma embodies herself.