Buddhist Monks Erase the Sands Of Dalai Lama’s Time

April 27, 2009

Author: Sonia Fernandez

Source: The Buddhist Channel/Noozhawk


The day after the Dalai Lama’s visit to Santa Barbara on Friday, Tibetan Buddhist monks from the Drepung Loseling Monastery brought to an end the sand mandala they created in honor of their spiritual leader.

Called the Mandala of Compassion, the work of art, at UCSB’s University Art Museum, was a tribute to the monks’ patron saint, Avalokiteshvara, the Bodhisattva of Compassion. All the Dalai Lamas are seen as manifestations of this patron saint.

The dissolution of the sand mandala, created after five days of painstaking and exacting work by the monks, was meant to symbolize the Buddhist concept of nonattachment, as the monks ritually destroyed their work, mixing and mingling the colored sand they carefully distributed on their work space. After blessing the grains and anointing themselves with the sand, they offered samples to the crowd that had assembled to watch the dissolution ceremony.