14 Inside Chuku Nyenri Gompa White Amitabha, White Conch Shell, Copper Cauldron On Mount Kailash Outer Kora [14 of 72]
But the statue most enshrined in pilgrims’ awe is barely discernible. Less than quarter lifesize, and so swagged in jewelry that no arm or even neck emerges, the white marble image of the Amitabha Buddha is the oldest and most precious of Kailas. Under its mandarin crown the pale face gazes, emptied of expression. Its eyes seem closed, its smile barely starting. It is said to be ’self-manifest’, shaped by its own will from the stone, and to have flown here from its birthplace in the milky waters of an Indian lake. Encased beside it is the white conch shell blown by the saint Naropa a thousand years ago, and near the altar a huge cauldron of chased copper, floating with lights, is the pot where he brewed his tea. These three relics are treasured as the body, mind and speech of the Buddha. – To A Mountain In Tibet – Colin Thubron.