Photojournalism From Tibet in Exile

Everyday Exile Photojournalism showcases images from Tibetan exile communities, mainly in India. The goal is to educate viewers in other countries re: everyday life, culture and issues facing Tibetans who have fled Chinese-occupied Tibet.

All images copyright 2010-2015 by Tammy Winand and may not be used in any way without the express written permission of the photographer. Please contact via email for permissions.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Saga Dawa in Dharamsala

The Tibetan community marked Saga Dawa, the holiest day of the Tibetan calendar, on June 15, 2011 with a variety of religious ceremonies.

Saga Dawa is the entire 4th month of the Tibetan lunar calendar. The full moon of the month, which fell on June 15 this year, is the date singled out to commemorate the birth, enlightenment, and Parinirvana (physical death) of  Shakyamuni Buddha (the historical Buddha)

Saga Dawa is a time for doing increased religious practices and daily acts which convey the Buddha's teachings. Amongst these are not killing (many Tibetans, who traditionally consume meat, go vegetarian for the entire month) and the practice of generosity (giving alms to everyone who asks). Buddhists believe that the merit accumulated by doing such practices helps all beings reach enllightenment. The karmic weight of merit is multiplied many times on Saga Dawa.

Most of the region's beggars, lepers, saddhus and Indian monks came to McleodGanj to line the kora (walking meditation path) around His Holiness Dalai Lama's main temple to receive money and food alms. Many Tibetans performed repeated koras both outside and inside the temple.

Inside the temple, pujas (prayer ceremonies) began in the early morning hours and continued through midday.

Tibetan Woman Giving Alms to Indian Buddhist Monks, Making Change from His Alms Bowl

Tibetan Woman Placing Change in Hand of Indian Buddhist Monk
Tibetan Monastic Doing Prostrations at His Holiness Dalai Lama's Main Temple

Bhaley (pronounced Pal-LAY), a Tibetan Bread, to be Distributed to Attendees of Puja

All images copyright 2015 Tammy Winand, all rights reserved. Please contact via email for usage permissions, or see my stock galleries on shutterstock, dreamstime, 123rf, and mostphotos (largest selection of India, Tibetan, Kathmandu related images) to download.

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