"make peace with yourself to find peace in the outer world"

Amarbayasgalant Khiit means “Monastery of Tranquil Felicity” and is the largest ancient spiritual center located in the NE of Mongolia. It was home of Zanabazar known as a spiritual leader of the Tibetan Buddhism since XXVII century. After the majority of the temples scattered around Mongolia were demolished by the communist regime and their monks put in dungeons or killed, only a handful of them managed to survive. Today Amarbayasgalant Khiit is one of very few remained Buddhist temples, teaching religion according to the old Tibetan tradition outside of the Tibet.

WHERE the monks of amarbayasgalant khiit LIVE

A prayer OF the last tibetan monks in mongolia

Amarbayasgalant Khiit before sunrise

Amarbayasgalant Khiit is built as per ancient "feng shui" tradition. Mountains surround its East, North & West side as protection from the negative energy while on its South the main gave faces the most important travel road of the valley. The entire complex is on a higher ground, giving a great point of view over the entrances of the vast valley. All this done to increase the circulation of CHI energy, valued by monks and all Tibetan Buddhist believers.

This stupa contains the remains of previous generations monks and it is used as place for meditation where pilgrims and monks walk in counterclockwise direction. 

For the Tibetan Buddhist symbolism is very important. Across the main gate of the Amarbayasgalant Khiit a wall stands in front of the most important path in the valley. Its main function is to protect the monastery from the penetration of any negative energy that can be caused by the wind and the road going directly towards the temple.

A monk going for the 2nd morning pray, Amarbayasgalant Khiit main gate, Mongolia

The phases of the moon determine the level of energy creatures can obtain. On a new moon bad spirits gain power, whereas on a full moon positive energy is at its peak and monks can benefit from it. As a result, whenever a believer wants to attempt a new beginning in life like marriage, a new job or go to a war it should strive to do it on a full moon.  

From everywhere monks congregate towards a prayer room. Everyone is rushing to join the morning session.

The main hall of Amarbayasgalant Khiit used to be vocalized by the prayers of hundreds of monks living permanently at the complex. Today only 20 of them are left.

About half of the monks are young boys who study Tibetan Buddhism all day. Usually they wake up 3am for a special ceremony that last about 30min. At its end big drum or trumpets signal to all creatures the beginning of any new day. Before the break of a day monks follow precise ritual of 108 bows. This number represents the time spent in the mother woond in terms of weeks or in other words symbolizes a reincarnation that happens every day. Then at sunrise a basic breakfast is served. All food is based on fruits and vegetables. The Amarbayasgalant Khiit monks believe in the genuine taste of things. As such, adding any spices to what lands on their tables is strictly forbidden.

 Asia   Mongolia   Amarbayasgalant Khiit, Monastery, Fall, 2015

Monks at time of prayer.

Little monks follow their spiritual leader and absorb any knowledge he has to share. They consider to be privileged to dedicate their lifetime to the Tibetan Buddhism. Once they are ready, an exceptional mission awaits them. They want to spread their believe across all corners of Mongolia and beyond. 

End of the pray is announced by this little monk with a long sound of his conch shell trumpet (dung dkar).

From the watchtower at the monastery's wall monks announce the beginning of each day with a long sound by conch shell trumpet (dung dkar) in order to wake up the spirits of the valley