Every autumn, the most beautiful season of the year is also celebrated in Sichuan Ganzi Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture. The western part of Sichuan has vast plains, snow-capped peaks, and endless mountains.
In one day, people see a hundred sights and a thousand colors. Tourist locations such as Aden and Seda are mesmerizing. However, when they really come here, tourists favor the most amazing kind of temple. It is the Yaching Temple.
Compared to Tao Cheng Yading, Yacheng Temple is much less popular. It is surrounded by water on three sides and is located in the remote area. Even so, people are never less curious about it. You should know that there are more than 20,000 Tibetan women practicing here.
It is admirable that they live in groups and have never changed in their devotion. But this "nunnery" in the eyes of outsiders, also has a special rule - no shopping at night. Why is that?
Sacred Yachung Temple
Yazheng Temple is built on a vast grassland. In summer, the grass and water are abundant, and cattle and sheep are flocked. Early in the morning, only three or two shepherds, and a few fluttering flags. But in the afternoon, the temple bell rings, the sound is far away, like a holy land. From a distance, the Yachting Temple is red all over, the Buddha temple is magnificent, a holy landscape.
There are more than 160 huge stone pillars under the main hall of Yachung Temple, which have supported the temple for nearly a century. When visiting the temple, visitors' eyes are wide open and they are impressed by the skill of the workmanship. However, it is only when they see the female Jokum in the temple that they truly feel the great power of faith.
A number of red short houses have been built here for several kilometers around Yachung Temple, as if they were springing up. Counting in detail, the total number of red houses is no less than more than 20,000. And in each house, that there is a female Jogi who practices.
In fact, the word "Jom" in Tibetan means "female venerable". These women practice voluntarily, they are far away from the world, disappearing into the Buddhist monastery, keeping a clear mind. Although "nun" in Chinese has the same meaning, people's emotional net weight is very different.
As you enter the temple, the magnificent Hall of Perfect Light is like a lotus platform on which tens of thousands of Jokims are seated. The Jokhum are closed-eyed and concentrating, chanting sutras, attached only to their faith.
In fact, there are quite a few young girls among the Jurmans. They left their homes and came to the "holiest place" in the world. Even though the red earth is more prosperous, relatives miss, they have cut off all thoughts. Since then, they have become "the female Bodhisattva who always accompanies the Buddha" in the mouth of Tibetans in groups.
Not "nun" but "Jueh-Mu"
In Ganzi Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in western Sichuan, Seda Buddhist College became famous earlier than Biqing Monastery. However, there are thousands of monks in Seda Buddhist College, and their food and clothing habits are no different from those of monks in the mainland. But compared to the "nuns" in our eyes, the Jokhang monks of Yachung Monastery are amazing.
They wear Tibetan blue monk robes and big red monk hats. Sometimes they appear on the grassland to help the shepherds round up the cattle and sheep. Sometimes, they appear in the cold wind, chanting scriptures alone.
The only thing that remains unchanged is the way the Jomans dress. They must be holding scriptures, wearing plain footwear, worshipping the heavens, their eyes revealing their dedication and sincerity. They also participate in labor, building their own houses.
Even though it was only a simple shelter, they did the same serious and careful work. When they were finished, the Joms dug up red clay to decorate the exterior, echoing the magnificent Yachung Temple.
The Jurms are generally unadorned, but just as ambiguous. They dress up their nuns' houses, scrub the tables and chairs, and even post colorful photos on the walls. If you are close to a Jhum (of the same sex), a faint scent of Brahman is memorable when you are invited into their residence.
On the other hand, Jem has a cordial relationship with each other and there are no constraints. They spontaneously form hierarchical relationships according to the order in which they enter the temple. Because some of the older Joms are highly respected, these people also naturally become the ones in charge.
When it comes to entertaining foreign guests, the young Jom usually does not step in and only the old Jom makes the decisions. In Tibetan Buddhism, there are strict rules for women to become monks.
On the one hand, women should have a decent character and strong beliefs. They must have to maintain the habit of self-discipline over the years and endure poverty and solitude. On the other hand, Jem must also have a lifelong follower.
They are either master and disciple or sisters. When these Joms share the same ideals, Yazheng Monastery becomes the best place for them to live.
When both conditions are met, then age, region, ethnicity, etc. are not important. Even if a woman is married or has given birth, she can be admitted.
Only when the Jogues resolved to return to the monastic world again, they were completely banned from entering the Buddhist order. Generally speaking, the new young Jom enters the temple, she will boil a pot of ghee tea, and then take turns to give tea to the elderly. In the formal ceremony, the old Jomans then greeted her one by one.
In the Tibetan New Year every year, all Joms take a five-day holiday. During this time, the Joms sing and dance together, and they share the oil cakes, cakes and tea they have saved up.
In the evening, the crowd dances around a grand bonfire without any restrictions. In the summer, the Jokims also have a "Anju Festival" where they go to the mountains in pairs to salvage the melting snowy mountain water and wash themselves in earnest.
Walking in the woods and along the streams, the multi-talented Joms play music or chant scriptures to express their reverence and gratitude to heaven, earth and nature. It is also worth mentioning that some young Jokhum are allowed to go out for a walk and explore the streets during the annual puja.
The curiosity of the young Jhum was also tolerated as long as it did not interfere with Buddhist activities. However, there is only one requirement that has remained unchanged for centuries, and that is - no going out shopping at night.
When Yacheng Temple was built, the founders intentionally kept it away from the downtown area. One is to maintain a peaceful atmosphere for practice, and the other is to raise the threshold of tolerance for practitioners. In the vast grasslands, all the jhumas are at the mercy of the arrangements. When night falls, that is also the time when danger comes.
The grassland is inhabited by wolves and other beasts, so if Jueh-Mu goes out at night, there is a high risk of an unpleasant encounter. Women are already weak, and if they are surrounded by wolves, it will be very difficult to survive.
In Ganzi Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in western Sichuan, the night is also often the coldest time. The wind is blowing, cold and bone chilling. Walking in the night road, people have poor vision, encounter evil.
Some mud pools and swamps, some narrow roads in the mountains, which can be a hidden danger that takes lives. The Jokhum live a life of austerity for years, they lack food and clothing, and their poor health makes them more susceptible to illness. Therefore, it is one of the rules of the collective that the women do not go out at night.
On the other hand, during the night time, Jem naturally has fears and worries. In Tibetan Buddhism, many bad things happen at night. As a practitioner, Joms should take the lead and become advocates of inactivity at night.
A few important reasons
The second reason for not allowing Jume to go out shopping at night is to deliberately strengthen their self-discipline. The world is complicated and changing, all kinds of new things are emerging, women naturally love beauty and curiosity, these factors, Juehmo's practice is increasingly difficult.
A visit to the mall, which is full of goods, who does not like to see more. Such instinctive behavior, that is any puritanical commandments can not be completely eradicated.
The so-called cultivation is more about "cultivating the mind". Buddhist saying "a flower a world, a leaf a Bodhi." The person who disappears into the empty door, that is to abandon all, cut off the desire and curiosity, not in vain to cause trouble.
Of course, most of the older Jhum have reached this point, but the younger initiates may not. How can a calm heart not ripple when it enters the mortal world and sees fun and interesting things?
In fact, the Jogues are not absolutely poor. In the case of Yachen Monastery, it attracts tourists from all over the world, which greatly enhances the local economy. As a result, the Jokhum of Yachen Monastery also have an extra allowance, receiving 300 yuan a month for daily use. Most of this money is used for daily spending, purchasing tables, mats and curtains.
They also purchase joss sticks and wooden fish at the annual Buddhist puja. The young Jyotirmas shop and spend recklessly, and then the money is easily spent. When they can't get their new purchases at the time of a big event, they are bound to be disliked and blamed by others.
As the saying goes, "the wind rises at first, blowing a pond of spring water". If you have experienced such a thing as reckless consumption once, there will be a second and third time. A heart that has disappeared should never do so.
One cannot avoid the complete elimination of material desires after all, so one must abstain from them properly. Therefore, Jyum goes out after a precious application, not to mention shopping. Moreover, the night is a special time. During the long night, one's thoughts always jump repeatedly. Once you are attracted to something, it is even more restless.
The third reason is the elimination of male and female lust. For the young Juehm, handsome and handsome men still have great attraction. Out shopping at night, in the streets is easy to meet the opposite sex. The two sides pass each other, their eyes and scent linger, their bodies come into contact. These are unpredictable and completely avoidable.
It is important to know that some men are not disciplined, they walk indulgent, and more likely to cause the wrong impression. In any age, Jhum in Buddhism have had their hearts troubled by this, and eventually revert to the monastic world and leave the institution.
Most of these so-called "lovers" that Jhum is looking for are not responsible for their affairs. When the Jom is remorseful, Yachung Temple has already closed its doors, there is no half-hearted talk.
In order to avoid such scenes, Yachim Monastery has made strict requirements for the young Joms. They are not allowed to go out shopping at night and must stay in the temple. And this is the fourth reason - to cherish the opportunity to practice.
Since ancient times, Tibetan Buddhism has valued the elimination of practitioners. Once a heart is found to be insincere, there is a severe punishment. These people will be regarded as the scum of the practitioners, no longer tolerated in the local. Not only the Yazheng Monastery, but also the secular people's criticism and contemptuous eyes.
For a young Jyum, the right she has to practice is precious. In the past, Tibetan areas still practiced an extremely backward system of serfdom. A poor girl's parents could not even decide her fate in life. Like straw, girls were bought and sold at will, with little freedom.
And once they were chosen by the Jogeem of Yachimji, they only had a slight chance of escaping. Since then, these girls have been cut off from the mundane world and from exploitation and oppression. Accompanying the Buddha, they wash their bodies and minds, and also find a place to stay and take in.
And in the modern world, the Jom of Yachim Monastery still has a remarkable status. They can be chosen by the "pioneers" of the practice, which is a blessing in itself. Buddhist culture for all Tibetans, it is like "god" of faith.
And these girls watch the "gods" day and night, for thousands of people in the world to pray for the blessing of the scriptures, and how great and honored. Therefore, when a family or clan has a Jogme, everyone is proud.
When such an opportunity was given to an ordinary girl, and she gave it up easily, how sorry and regretful is this?
The development and status of Jom
But from another point of view, isn't cultivation the pursuit of what you want in your heart? When external requirements are used to restrict the practitioner, it seems impure. If there is practice in the heart, then there is practice everywhere.
There is no practice in the mind, and the shackles restrict the body, but not the mind. As a result, over the years, the old Jom in Yachung Monastery has also come to a new view. That is to respect the ideas of the practitioners and the thirst of the next generation.
With the passing of modern freedom development, more and more Tibetan girls have new options. They are not held back by customs, and the best of them are even getting out of the mountains and their hometowns.
Some of them got into college, some stayed in the big city to change into new clothes, but also into new ideas. Practice does not have to be formal, the heart has its own Buddha shine. With such an idea, a group of girls from Ganzi Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture have lived a new outlook.
At the same time, the community of Jem is much purer. Only those who are truly willing to accompany the Buddha, they will be baptized by him. Without reluctance, without difficulty. In the spirit of self-discipline, in the spirit of concentration.
A group of practitioners also ushered in a true successor. They are a very small minority of their peers, but they are also the true seekers of Tibetan Buddhism. Let those who like to do what they like, this is perhaps the best arrangement.
And now, when visitors come to Yachung Temple, a grand statue of Lotus-born Daishonin (Ganesha) is erected. It is covered with gold, magnificent, and just like Kuan Yin Daishonin overlooking the human world.
Not being bound by forms, but simply pursuing inner devotional beliefs, this has allowed millions of Tibetans to gain a new concept of life again, making culture and thought inclusive. I believe that, as this develops, Yachung Monastery will also see greater changes.