MATHO/Mangtro (2):神諭Oracles

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拉達克兩大節慶之一就是藏曆1月10-15日的瑪透(藏文是芒拓)“拿讓”節。10-13日每天下午4:30左右護法神會附身在兩位僧人身上,人們可以問問題。14-15日則是全日活動,從早上10點開始跳金剛舞,然後下午神諭出現。
What brought me to Ladakh was the Nagrang Festival at Matho (Mangtro in Tibetan language) which involves two oracles with unique charisma. They are famous for their predictions and scolding/exposing people with impure thoughts among the assembly crowds.

拉達克還有其它兩所寺廟也有神諭,瑪透神諭的特色是神準和有個性,因此吸引了各地群眾,甚至回教、印度教徒和國際觀光客。兩尊護法的名號是“白紅榮贊”(Rongtsen Kar Mar),來自康區,因為追隨當地的一位大修行者多傑·巴桑(Dorje Palsang)而來到拉達克。由於多傑·巴桑的證量,虔誠的拉達克國王對他生起很大的信心,賜予大片土地。多傑·巴桑為了利益瑪透的人民,決定在此建立瑪透寺,兩尊榮贊也追隨他並音誓言守護其法教而一直在瑪透待下。(數年前,有一次榮贊對主法的仁波切發飆,我猜是紅榮贊吧,祂説現在的人不具信心,只是來看熱鬧,所以不想來了,還怪仁波切幹嘛把祂們召請來。後來薩迦法王和祿頂堪千仁波切寫信勸請榮贊記得其誓言,之後還是每年都來,這幾年還沒有再次發飆過~)
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The two orcales, Rongtsen Kar Mar, i.e. White Rongtsen and Red Rongtsen, came from the Kham area in Eastern Tibet. They followed a great practitioner named Dorje Palsang from Kham because of his high realization. Dorje Palsang travelled around and eventually came to Ladakh where the king was so impressed with his realization and miraculous power. Thus, he was granted vast pieces of land. Somehow he decided to build a monastery in Matho to benefit the people here. Ever since, the two Rongtsens settled here to guard Dorje Palsang’s activity in accordance to their oaths.

榮贊附身在喇嘛身上後,這兩位僧人會在寺廟屋頂只有手掌寬的簷壁上奔跑,加持寺院各處和回答信眾的問題,祂們說的話只有僧人聽得懂。紅榮贊總是跑在前面,較為忿怒,常常揮舞軍刀——往寺廟屋簷或墻壁上揮時,就是砂石崩裂四射;往自己身上砍時,則似乎肌膚發紅但不見血;往自己口舌處切割時則會出血,但是第二天又完全復原。白榮贊雖然也做這些讓人驚駭的舉動,但是行止平靜許多,反而是在遊走高處時,眼神渙散朝天凝視,腳步顢跚若醉,讓我很為他捏把冷汗,特別是他們倒著走的時候。
Every year, during the 10th-15th of the first month of Tibetan lunar calendar, the two Rongtsens would come to two chosen monks. During these few days, they perform various tasks from assigning tasks to monk/lay people during the festival, blessing the monastery and the assemblage, making predictions in accordance to requests, giving advice on practice…People from all over Ladakh and even overseas come to see them during this period.

每天都有很多人向榮贊問問題,不過聽說榮贊除了回答問題(像是今年村子的收成如何、今年該修什麽法等),尚以當眾揭露心懷不軌者聞名。要是有僧人跳金剛舞時跳錯了,也會被他們打。政治性問題他們不予回答。曾經有某大仁波切繞著圈子來重覆問問題,想要考驗祂們,結果被怒斥説“我們是自蓮花生大士以來即具誓守護佛法者,你是什麽東西,膽敢來考驗我們?!”節慶期間吹奏吉祥樂的喇叭樂手(這邊除了法樂外,榮贊出現期間還有三人民間樂手的樂團奏樂)前幾年過世了,他的兒子不願意繼承這工作,榮贊也對此表示不滿。還有一年,有個日本人不顧禁令偷偷照了相,馬上生起重病,最後懺悔修法後才好。 人眾中有心思不良者,榮贊也會怒叱其人。總之,這類的故事很多。所以,在祂們降臨時,我很努力讓自己不要想些有的沒的,免得給祂們修理。
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我唯一看到一次紅榮贊發飆是在他要進大殿時。那時,大殿階梯上坐著很多人,只留下中間一條走道,左邊最上面卻有個空位,我正琢磨著要不要從擠得要命的這邊換位子去那裡。還好沒去,過兩分鐘祂過來入殿時,突然揮刀朝階梯左側最下面的一個人身上打去,還打了不止一下。人擠得要逃命都空間有限,那群人個個臉色發白,向旁流竄。不知道是他看了礙眼(他出大殿後會站在左方台階頂端一會兒),還是那第一個被打的人心不清淨?
The Red Rongtsen is always the more fierce one. Both of them would wave their sabers around and toward themselves, and sometimes Red Rongtsen would have so much blood from cutting his own tongue. Fortunately all these wounds would fully recovered within a day.  A few years back, once he was very mad and yelled at the Rinpoche conducting the event, saying that nowadays people lack of devotion so they do not want to come any more, and wrathfully blamed the Rinpoche summoning them. Later on both HH Sakya Trizin and Luding Khenchen Rinpoche wrote some letters to remind them of the their own vows. Apparently it worked so they still come every year afterwards without yelling at other Rinpoches.

初10,也就是降神的第一天,榮贊會在一群當地男子中選取了一些人擔任各種工作,像是負責維持秩序的僧人、下個月要去遠方山上煨桑的。在擔任榮贊僧人屆滿的前一年,榮贊也會在候選僧人中指派下一任僧人。前幾年還指派過瑪透寺的洛本、領唱師等職務。

某日,白榮贊在大殿門口臺階上現忿怒姿態,狂揮亂砍,適逢一個三歲娃兒晃出人群走到他下方,榮贊刀到小娃兒頭上突然很溫柔的在他頭上加持了一下,小娃兒晃過後,他又繼續怒叱狂舞。
Rongtsen Karpo (the White one) is the more peaceful one. I always felt worried about him when they ran swiftly on the rooftop walls because he always looked up unfocusely at the sky and the way he walked was as if he were drunk. Once a 3-year old kid wandered out of the crowd and walked by him while he was wielding the saber fiercely.  Yet when the kid getting nearby, he suddenly stopped the waving around and hacking, extended the saber gently and blessed the kid by placing the saber on the crown of the kid with great loving-kindness.

人們也真的比較不怕白榮贊。榮贊離體時,兩位僧人都會昏厥倒地,由眾僧托起抬回大殿內。紅榮贊被抬回時,大家還是離得遠遠的;白榮贊被抬回時,一幫小孩會拿自己的帽子或衣物衝去觸碰白榮贊的鞋底做加持。不過,我看到幾個問問題的(大部分時候都是他們在寺廟各處指定地點內問,只有幾個是在屋頂上問,我才看得到),都是去問紅榮贊。

最後兩天是全日活動,上午跳金剛舞,下午神諭出現。這兩天人群爆滿,很多警察過來幫忙和當地村民代表一起維持秩序。
Tens of thousands of people flooded in during the last two days of the festival. Many policemen came to assist keeping order for safety reason.
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蒙著頭的就是兩位擔任榮贊的僧人。沒有降神時,他們都是紅袍覆面,手持燃香,保持清淨。擔任紅榮贊的僧人有一隻很靈的小白狗。他們兩人一年要閉關好幾個月,閉關期間斷絕手機電話等對外連繫,這位僧人需要家裡送東西時,就寫張紙條綁在小狗身上,小狗就會送信回家~~他家還不是在山下而已,他家在隔壁村子,開車都要幾十分鐘。
When Rongtsens did not come taking over their bodies, the two monks would have their head/face covered with a shawl and hold burning incense in public areas, but most of time they would stay in their respective houses doing rituals.

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巴庫拉仁波切也來看瑪透的榮贊,五歲的他戴著小小的黃帽,超級可愛。The 5 year old Bakula Rinpoche also came with his super cute little yellow hat.

原本很遺憾今年藏曆年比平常晚了一個月,到達的第二天開始,雪就融的只剩下高山上才見蹤影。瑪透的護法很給面子,慶典的最後一天早上起來,竟然一片白茫茫!昨晚下雪了!這下我不用等哪年藏曆年在一、二月時過來,就能看到白雪皚皚中的瑪透寺(芒拓寺)了!
The snow was mostly gone on my second day of arrival. I told Lama that I would like to come back next time when the Tibetan New Year falls in January so that I can see the monastery with more snow. The Matho protectors were very kind to fulfill that wish. On the last day of the festival, I woke up and discovered the whole area was covered by snow overnight.
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上午依然不停飄著細細的雪花,很為要穿梭在屋簷邊的榮贊感到擔心。因為下雪,上山不易,所以節慶延到十一點多才開始。到了下午又是滿滿的人潮,在紛飛白雪中瞻仰榮贊。當地老百姓每年看著榮贊,彼此間有很深刻的感情。榮贊出現時,群眾會一陣敬畏的靜默,然後一起大聲禮贊。榮贊除了是護法外,也是老百姓對佛法生起堅定信心的來源。

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榮贊就是在這屋頂的牆垣上跑來跑去。最後一天祂們還是蒙著眼睛奔走的。當祂們披頭散髮,上身裸露,前胸後背各繪上黑色瑪哈嘎拉面相,下身著獸皮裙,矇眼搖動鼗鼓巡行時,真的是很特別的時刻,就像護法從淨相中的世界來到現實世界中一般。
On the last day, Rongtsens not only ran around on top of the narrow walls like this one as what they did in the previous days, but they also had their eyes blindfolded! They also had their bodies painted in black with Mahakala faces on both the chest and the back and only put on tiger/leopard skin skirts and shoes in freezing temperature. Instead of the sabers, they held damarus. It was such a special moment to watch them sounding the damaru and walking around (blindfolded), just like the scene described in ancient texts came alive.

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瑪透/芒拓寺募款的其中一個方式是讓大家買彩票抽獎。彩票一聯放在一個大水桶裏,由村裏的小朋友抽出。頭獎2萬元盧比的得獎者是遠在德拉敦哦寺的小喇嘛!

After the festival ended, the monks drew lottery from the lottery tickets they sold in the past few days for fund raising. The 1st prize of 20,000 Rupees went to a monk still physically in Ngor Monastery in Manduwala.

降神時是嚴格不准拍照攝像的,但是上午的金剛舞則可以。這段攝像是法友在2010年拍的:
Photo/video shooting is strictly prohibited when oracles comes, but shooting is allowed during Chhams (sacred mask dances). This is a piece of nice work at YouTube:

http://youtu.be/rRCJwnMxe10

MATHO/Mangtro(1): Back to Ladakh And A Wonderful Stay At Matho 快乐再访拉达克及初至玛透

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Last time when I came to Ladakh, I was physically ill. This time I was mentally unfit. Yet each time this place simply recharged me back to a happy and well state shortly after arrival.

Maybe it is because of the blue sky and fresh cool air, or maybe simply because it feels like returning home whenever I come to high attitude places (Leh is at about 3500m high).

上次来之前在生病,这次来之前心情不佳,不过每次一来到拉达克,马上身心回复平衡。我可能特别适合来到高原吧(这边海拔差不多3500米),一看到蓝天、雪山,马上心情就很好。

Also, unlike in Delhi, Ladakhi people are friendly yet do not bother you excessively, or at all. As Lonely Planet put it, Ladakh is a rare place in India where it is traveler friendly and yet so hassle free.

***

Luding Khenchen Rinpoche’s monastery, Mangtro Monastery (Matho Monastery), is about 30 min away by car from Leh. The monastery is just amazingly beautiful, located on a hill top, surrounded by snow capped mountains and overlooking the Matho village.
祿頂堪千仁波切的寺庙“玛透寺”(芒拓寺)离Leh有三十分钟的车程。初见寺庙时,只能以“惊艳”来形容。一个只有350户人家的村子,怎么会有这样一座巍峨寺庙!四周是雪山,俯瞰玛透村。听说夏天绿意盎然会更美,不过我觉得现在已经够让人瞠目结舌了。
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***

Lama was very kind to let me stay in his room right by the monastery so that I do not need to travel from Leh everyday to see their famous annual oracle festival. Staying close to the monastery also saves me from climbing up to the monastery from the village.

His nephew and niece were also very kind taking care of me. They do make me feel very much welcome here.

来之前,只乞求喇嘛帮我在玛透村里找张床,能睡就好。不然每天从Leh赶来看玛透寺一年一度的神谕法会,虽然住的会好些,但是来回会花很多时间在路上。喇嘛很慈悲的让我住在他的房间里,所以我不只不用每天赶车,连从村子向上爬山朝庙都省了。

Last night, Phuntsok brought me cakes, bread, jam, spread cheese and various things as he was worried that I might not get accustomed to the food here — but actually Lhamo, his young cousin now studying in high school, has been serving me so much food with her wonderful cooking. I can not recall myself being able to cook anything at all, not even an omelet, in my high school days, so am really impressed at her cooking talent.

喇嘛的侄子、侄女很也一同热情照顾我。昨晚他侄子下班后,让我很感动的带了一堆食物(面包、起司、果酱…)上来,就怕我吃不惯这里的东西。其实他表妹虽然才高中生,但是超能煮的。因为怕浪费,所以婉拒了大部份的食物,但留下了蛋糕,看着都很高兴。他们的心意让我觉得很感动又很溫暖。

As I really do not need so much food, I turned down some other stuff but happily accepted the cakes. Even seeing the cakes makes me happy. It is the considering gesture that makes me feel so touched.
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***

110314 Ladakh 106Everybody warned me that Ladakh in winter would be extremely cold. I told Lama that that I can live in very simple place, just need a bed to sleep at night, but please find me a bed in a room with fire! ( was thinking of the traditional fireplace in Tibetan family).

No electricity and water was expected, but actually he has a mini solar system good enough to power the lighting, TV and my various gadgets. Moreover, he borrowed this gas-heater which Indian government provided to the Choglamsar flood victims (Lama’s youngest sister lost her house and everything in the flood).

The heater heats up the room very well. Indian government can exceed expectation sometimes.

来之前,每个人都警告我说拉达克的冬天是如何的寒冷。其实今年藏历新年在三月,本来就比往年溫暖——到的第一天就见喇嘛的侄子穿着短袖上衣。喇嘛还放了一个煤气暖炉在房内,舒适程度甚至胜过上海的中央空调。

***

110316 Mathok 011One day I asked Lhamo to take me to Leh. It was a pleasant bus ride – a photo of HH Sakya Trizin worshiped in the bus and  throughout the trip, there were always some ladies chanting mantras.

Also very impressed at how the youth would always yield seats to the senior. I really appreciate Matho people!

某日乘公车去Leh。公车内挂着萨迦法王的照片,一路上玛透妇人们虔敬地持咒声不断,年轻人也都必定会让座给年长者,大家相互帮站着的人拿包。他们保存下来的传统和礼教真的是太让人欣赏了!

***

View from the rooftop in the morning (my morning is after 7am while Lama left his place every day at 3:40 for the 4am Hevajra Puja!)
每天早上起床上厕所,看到的就是屋顶上的这片晨景——我的早晨是七、八点;喇嘛的早晨则是三点多就出门去庙里做四点开始的七日喜金刚法会。
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I did tsog offerings for two consecutive days. First day was the 10th based on the Chinese calendar and the 2nd 10th day was based on the Tibetan calendar.

110315 Mathok 038There are many birds in Matho. Every morning when I went up to the rooftop, there were always over 10 of these pretty birds resting there while all offerings had already been completely taken 🙂 Though I am quite fond of the monkeys in Manduwala, knowing birds having enjoyed my offerings does bring extra joy.

连着两天做薈供——第一天是根据农历做的,第二天是藏历。晚上供掉薈供品后,早上到屋顶上,就会见到十几只鸟儿歇息在屋顶上,薈供品则了无踪影。

虽然我蛮喜欢德拉敦的猴子们,不过看到鸟儿来吃薈供品,还是更为心喜。

***

On the night before the last day of Hevajra Puja and the 3rd night of the appearance of the two Rongtsen oracles, there is this amazing light-cloud circle around the moon, formed by smoke-like clouds while stars can still be vividly seen in the clear sky. With the moon light, it seems like a ring of light surrounding the moon. Again, pity that my camera is not good enough to capture this amazing vision.
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喜金刚法会圆满的前一晚,也是红白荣赞两尊神谕降临的第三晚,在没什么云、可以见到各主要星座的天空中,出现了一圈如烟般的云雾,围绕月亮。完美圓形的雲彩在月光的映照下,形成一轮環繞月亮的微虹光圈。

再次感叹自己的相机若是稍稍好一点,可以照下这个奇景就好了~~

***

The last day of Hevajra Puja was concluded with the dissolution of the sand mandala. The two oracle monks also came. When they are not in trance, they have head and face completely covered with long shawl, which adds more mystic flavors to their majestic being during this special period.

Standing close to them is an aweing experience.

喜金刚法会的最后一天是收摄壇城。观看沙壇城的灭寂总是有种特别清淨寂静的感觉,那是少数较为趋近体悟空性的时刻吧。

今天两位担任神谕的僧人也来了。他们平常住在两尊护法神各自的屋子中修法,像是现在没有被附身的时刻,会用绛红色大披肩包住头面,只露出双眼。虽然不是降神的时刻,站在他们身边也令人感到非常敬畏。

拉達克的Leh

躺在德里又髒又悶的旅館床上,我不禁自問這個一向不屬於我的問題:我到底在這裏做什麼?

頭痛、拉肚子、感冒、月經……所有的不適一起像火車般輾過來。

因爲臨時决定搭著IBA同學們去拉達克玩,轉機得在德里待一晚,第二天4點又得趕往機場。還好加德滿都機場check-in時碰到Kagbeni的堪布(那麽巧,就排在我後面!),一路上免去思考、還價,跟著他順利找到住的地方(在尼泊爾來不及訂)。

那時去定機票,離出發只有三天了,好不容易有機位,我卻不知怎麽的猶豫起來。在博達大佛塔轉著轉到旅行社關門,只能保留到當晚的機位也飛了。一邊走着,一邊檢視著自己到底在龜毛什麼,觀了一會兒,確定自己是想去拉達克的,只是不想那麽早去(也沒有特別的原因,就是不想),最後决定只加入他們的後段行程,有便宜機票就去,沒有機票就算我今年沒緣份。

第二天去,竟然買到比前一天還便宜的機票。再過一天,堪布喬登宣布堪千阿貝仁波切答應給我們開示(是我在幕斯坦happy時,上《入菩薩行論》的幾個同學請的法,他們本來以爲是沒望的,因爲阿貝仁波切現在很少講法了,他那時對這個請求也不置可否――倒是糾正了請法發言同學的藏文文法)。所以我晚五天啓程的收穫是此生有幸聼了阿貝仁波切的神奇開示,代價就是一個人孤零零的躺在這個我不喜歡的城市的旅館床上折騰。話說回來,拉肚子的時候,自己一個人還是方便些,就當是修金剛薩埵除障吧。

Lying on the bed in a hot and not so clean guesthouse room in Delhi, I can’t help asking myself this question that I generally don’t bother to waste time in: “What the hell am I doing here?”

Headache, diarrhea, coughing, running nose, period…you name it. They all hit at the same time.

In order to catch an early morning flight to Ladakh to join some IBA schoolmates there, I have to spend one night in Delhi yet I am way too weak to deal with this hectic city. Fortunately when I checked-in in Kathmandu airport, the Kagbeni Khenpo happened to queue behind me (Poor Khenpo, he must thought he got rid of me already in Mustang) so I tag him to Majnukatilla where lots of inexpensive guesthouses available and most importantly, where I feel safe. I almost passed out in the long taxi ride but managed to drag myself into this room (though I demanded the hotel staff to carry my small in-flight luggage for me. For a 350 INR room, that is a deeply touching service.)

I only decided to go to Ladakh three days before my schoolmates’ departure yet I started hesitating when buying the tickets. After walking around the Boudha stupa for awhile, I decided to go only 5 days after them for no specific reason. Because of this irrational decision, I got to attend the suddenly announced teaching by Khenchen Appey Rinpoche. This is like once in a life time, very rare and precious opportunity so I feel so fortunate. But lying alone on the bed while feeling very sick does make me feel very vulnerable. I almost vowed that I’ll never come to India alone, just almost…then thought maybe this is a way to purify some defilements/downfalls so maybe all not that bad.

頭痛消失了 Getting well

到拉達克的那天,還是很不好的狀態,唯一值堪告慰的是頭痛好了(可能我適合高原吧,到了3500公尺高的地方反而不頭疼了),另外,先來的加州尼師談下很低的價錢讓我一起住進一個在當地算是奢華的旅館,所以我决定這次來拉達克哪兒也不去,就待在旅館裏休息。

My headache disappeared when I arriving at Leh, yet I still felt very illed on the first day. Therefore, I decided to simply relaxed and do nothing in this trip. Thanks to the Californian nun who came here earlier and negotiated a very good price for a semi-luxury hotel. At least I had a quite good room to stay.

 

杏子Apricot
這裏的杏子好吃的不得了,小小的那種最好,一公斤6070盧比,入口即化,綿密香甜的口感,像是吃果醬一樣。大一點的外皮會像進口的李子一樣有點酸。梨子也極端好吃,軟軟的,水份多到刀一劃就滴出果汁來~~聽說葡萄也頗讚,不過我完全沉醉在杏子中,就沒有去試了。
The apricots in Ladakh are a must-try. Extremely juicy, sweet, soft…also the pears. I brought back some for the IBA mates and Isabel said it’s like ambrosia!

沿路都有賣乾果和蔬果的。Sellers at Main Bazaar for dried fruits and fresh veggies. 
 

皇宮與寺廟Palace and monastery

 
和幕斯坦很像,市區最醒目的就是皇宮和寺廟,不過除了皈依佛教的拉達克王家與人民外,這裏也有許多回族。拉達克有點像是把西藏和新疆揉和在一起的感覺,人們長得像維吾爾族,講得拉達克語屬于藏語但口音和其他地方不同,保留比較多古藏語的發音,衣飾是獨自一格的藏服,有著獨特的可愛高帽子。有時後走在路上看見像是維吾爾族的漂亮少女手上搖著轉經輪,真的有很錯亂的感覺。
Similar to Lo Manthang, the palace and monastery stand out in the city. However, except for Buddhists, there are also a big population of Muslims so you can hear broadcasting from the mosque several times a day throughout the city. Yet the majority Ladakhis and the royal family are Buddhists, their language preserves ancient pronunciation of Tibetan language and the clothes is also slightly different from other parts of Tibet with unique hats which surprisingly don’t provide too much shade from the burning sun here. 
  

羊絨圍巾與棉染Pashmina and cotton scarves

這裏到處都在賣羊絨圍巾或披肩,朋友說比加德滿都便宜些。她們天天在外頭逛,還在老城區裏找到兩家染店,賣白色的棉圍巾,可以染成任何你想要的顔色,原來印度人的做了衣服後,還能定制相配顔色的圍巾或褲子來搭配。
Apart from the Pashmina all over the place, my Argentina friends found these 2 shops in the old town where they can dye whatever color you need on cotton stuff within a couple of hours. So that became their hobby there on top of shopping for Pashmina scarves and stones.   

最後一晚,旅館還幫我們升了個火。Bonfire in the last evening