"Tsurpu Monastery has almost 900 years of history. All of the Karma Kagyu Buddhist ceremonial activities have been preserved very well." Said DradulDradul, an eminent monk.
It was April 9th in the Tibetan calendar. Around two pm, while chanting mantras, around 100 monks walked to the center of the plaza to begin the Vajra Dance, and also to rehearse for the next day.
According to tradition, April 10th in the Tibetan calendar is when Padmasambhava came from India to teach Buddhism in Tibet. Tsurpu Monastery holds ceremony to commemorate Padmasambhava, to repel demons, and to pray for the afterlife.
On the previous day, April 8th in the Tibetan calendar, Tsurpu Monastery held their annual “raising the mantra flag column” ceremony, attracting tens of thousands of worshippers.
"Supposedly, there are three major mantra flag columns in the world, and two of them are in China, including Dajing column in Nagri Prefecture and one at Tsurpu Monastery." Said Dradul Lama. Every April in the Tibetan calendar, during the Sakadawa Festival, anniversary of Buddha's birth, enlightment and death, the monastery holds a ceremony to raise the mantra flag columnand displays the Buddhist statue according to tradition.
"The mantra flag column is the flag of Buddhism. Every year, the old column is replaced by a new one, representing our hope for longevity and harmony, and to promote the dharma.” Said Karma Yeshe Wangchuk, the monastery’s sutra master, and the officiating monk of the previous ceremony. “This year’s column-raising was a great success."
There was heavy rain on the night before the column-raising, but many believers still came to attend the ceremony. They stayed in tents around Tsurpu Monastery to wait for the ceremony the next day.
Drakpa, a believer from Shigatse, was one of the attendees. He and seven of his friends from the village rented a car to travel here. He was very happy to be able to attend the occasion at the monastery. "I’ve always wanted to come here to worship. I will come again next year."