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The Bodhnath is one of the great religious monuments of Kathmandu. The vast stupa was built by the Tibetan King Sogsten, about the year 600 A.D, after he was converted to Buddhism by his two wives. (What a sensible man to take their advice!). It is said to contain the relics of a great Tibetan teacher of that day. It acts as one of the centers of Tantric or Tibetan Buddhism in the city. At sunset every day, crowds of local Tibetans, laypeople, together with male and female lamas, come out to walk, clockwise around the stupa. As they walk, some of them turn the prayer wheels or recite their rosaries and murmur the mantra, ‘Om mani padmi hum’. This is roughly translated as ‘Salutations to the jewel in the heart of the lotus.’ A mantra is holy words that are repeated over and over to aid concentration in meditation and to make merit. This is the great mantra of Tantric Buddhism and refers to the ‘’Buddha Self’, that, it is believed, lies within the heart of all humans, all living beings and of the entire universe.

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Additional Photos by kevin o'sheehan (kevinos) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1023 W: 173 N: 1802] (7517)
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