Golden deer on the roof of the Jokhang, Lhasa

golden deer, roof of the Jokhang
Golden deer & the 'wheel of the Dharma', Tibet.

It is common to see this image on Buddhist temples in Tibet and elsewhere. It is a Buddhist symbol recalling the first sermon of the historical Buddha at the deer-park of Sarnath, near Varanasi in India. This statue is on the roof of the Jokhang temple in Lhasa. In this photo, the Potala palace is seen in the distance.
On becoming enlightened, the Buddha went to seek previous companions who had deserted him. These ascetics had abandoned the Buddha for rejecting their extreme practices of mortification. Instead the Buddha sought a more moderate 'Middle Way' to enlightenment.
Arriving at the deer park of Sarnath he taught his first sermon, outlining the 'Eightfold Path', the basic teachings of Buddhism. This teaching is described as 'turning the wheel of the dharma.'
The deer and the eight-spoke wheel symbolically represent this event.

Next month: The pathway to hell!

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The principals of Footprints Tours are practicing Zen Buddhists whose interest in Buddhism was stimulated by living with the Sherpa people in the Everest region of Nepal.
Our travels in Tibet and Nepal are enhanced by these beliefs.
Our next trek into Tibet and Lhasa is part of our tour to the Kyirong region of Tibet.

This trek to:the 'Valley of Happiness' is in April-May 2000.

Preceeding the Kyirong trek we shall be in Nepal on a botanical trek to view
the rhododendron of the Solu regon.

other Tibet and Nepal treks.

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revision 18 Mar 2001