Sunday, October 27, 2013

Taktsang

Author: Matthew Dennison

Photo by Richard Isheda
The Buddhist temple Taktsang in Bhutan is a very good example of a Buddhist temple. Just the location shows us one of their beliefs. It is located on the side of a mountain totally isolated from everyone and everything. The temple is located here because the Buddhists have a strong sense of isolationism. In the article, “Buddhist Beliefs"  there is an old Buddhist proverb that is rooted deep in their beliefs that says, “If you find a wise man you should travel with him, but if you find a fool you should travel alone.” This is one of the contributing factors to their pursuit of isolation.
In “Buddhist Beliefs" they  also suggests that Buddhist also believe that they cannot kill any animals, they must not steal, they must refrain from any sexual misconduct, they must speak correctly, and they must not drink anything that can get them drunk and must not take anything to get them high so they will not make any bad choices. That also is a very big contributing factor in them wanting to be left alone because in their minds the further they are from sin, the less likely they are to actually sin. They must pray every day and meditate constantly. The temple called Taksang in Bhutan is the perfect Buddhist temple. With it being on the side of a mountain the Buddhists that live there must be in a Buddhists paradise because it is everything a Buddhist would want out of a temple. It is secluded and an extremely peaceful place to be. It also is extremely beautiful because of its location which is unlike any other man made structure around it.
              In "Bhutan Places of Interest" they state that on April 19th, 1998 the temple was destroyed in a fire. The temple was rebuilt to its former glory since then. The original temple was built in 1694, the new temple was built to replicate the old one, which it does. Since the fire the temple has opened up to vacationers looking for a beautiful hike and a tour of the rebuilt monastery. The monastery is 1000m above the Paro Valley. So it is a very long and breathtaking hike up to the monetary. In "Culture of Bhutan." They state that the monastery is open to the public now but is guarded by the nation’s soldiers and all cameras, phones and handbags must be checked at the entrance. It is very important that this landmark is very well taken care of to insure that it won’t be destroyed again or thrown into disarray. Since the government has such a strong presence at the temple. really shows that even though the temple is now open to the public. It is still a very important landmark to the people and is a very important place to all Buddhists as well.

Links to further research:
Fabriuis, Karl. "The Most Beautiful Yet Precariously Placed Monasteries on Earth."Environmental Graffiti. Pixdaus, n.d. Web. 17 Oct. 2013
This source will help with looking at strangely placed temples.
Aviram Vijh. "Tatshang Gompa (aka Tiger's Nest)." YouTube. YouTube, 24 June 2011. Web. 17 Oct. 2013.
This youtube video shows the temple and some of the surroundings.

J├╝rgen. "Taktsang Monastery ‘The Tigers Nest’." Niceartlife Magazine. Niceartlife.com Magazine, n.d. Web. 17 Oct. 2013.
This article contains some facts about the monastery.