Photographer's Note

A Tibetan pilgrim prostrating in a street of old Lhasa. Probably he is turned towards the Jokhang Temple, the most important sanctuary of Lamaism, situated somewhere among the buildings.

Prostration, i.e. lying down on the ground, arms stretched out, is an important ritual in Tibetan Buddhism. It is a way of showing submissiveness to the gods and purifying the soul by ridding the mind of greed and conceit. Ideally a person should prostrate 100 000 times in a year, meaning about 300 times a day. Some pilgrims could prostrate their way around a sanctuary by falling down like you can see here, then standing in the spot where the hands were before, doing the same thing over and over again, slowly moving forward. Occasionally an entire pilgrimage could be spent prostrating towards the goal. It will take some time.

Since I took this picture more than 26 years ago I don't remember if the little boy accompanied the pilgrim, or if it's just pure coincidence that they were wearing the same colours.

Several more prostrators can be seen in a workshop. Both pictures from 1986 were scanned from Kodachrome slides.

abmdsudi, tyro, Sonata11, Graal, ourania, Kamilutka, SnapRJW, nikkitta, daddo, Vasa has marked this note useful

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Additional Photos by Gert Holmertz (holmertz) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 7084 W: 408 N: 14043] (66108)
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