A day with the monks of Luang Prabhang

We had heard about the tradition of offering alms to the monks early in the morning. Sticky rice, freshly cooked in the morning is offered. Usually the devotees place orders a day earlier and they start congregating at around 6 am and so did we! The operation is pretty well organised and it is like being at the time of suprabhatam in any temple of India.

Tara decided to join and was lucky to get something to offer as the guest house receptionist had forgotten to order, in spite of giving him the money in advance. They were kind enough to offer her a small stool to sit on.

I have a suspicion that the monks were waiting for these VIP's to arrive and get ready.
I saw the monks walking towards us as soon as these women were seated!

Tara was soon done with alms offering.

This young girl was actually collecting alms and
many young monks gave back from their collection.

They are quite busy most of the day.

They do have their outings.

While they are quite smart their dwellings are humble.

A glorious way to end the day.
While I did not really spend time with them or follow them about, I was lucky to get glimpse of their busy life. I could perceive a great sense of purpose in them and they did appear calm. Most importantly there were not many fat monks to be seen!
(Many of our friends were prompt in commenting on my earlier blog and had opined that we should have stayed at the very special room and had relived our honeymoon! While an interesting proposition, I am very sure that with the way the day went, the bath tub would have remained bone dry!)


Arun said…
Many thanks, Nidhi, for your acute visual observation- the clean, bright robes of the monks in the greyish morning light as also against the water in the evening shot, as well as the girl asking for alms!- and your insight into the non-visible elements: that there were no fat monks!!
Varsha Nair said…
The young monks giving back the alms to the young girl who must obviously be in need (taking back from a monk's bowl is unheard of here, at least I have not come across it) - that is so incredibly touching... the receiving and passing it on/sharing.
Wheels of the karmic circle turning.

Thanks Nidhi, my morning has begun with this image and thought, which I will keep in my heart compartment of special and inspiring moments/deeds.

I am more than determined now to visit LP again and if I can make it, include going to Phongsavan - the Plain of Jars.


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