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INTERVIEW

Rain Gray: "I'm sitting in Kathmandu, Nepal. It's October 7, 1986. And I'm sitting with a friend of mine Lama Lobsang Molam, who is a monk at a monastery in Swyambu, Kathmandu, Nepal. And we're here to discuss the historical usage of singing bell bowls, and what we've been able to piece together after researching for eight years, and trying to discover what these things are. Lama Lobsang will be acting as translator because we have with us another monk who has knowledge of these singing bowls from Tibet, before the Chinese invaded Tibet. Lama Lobsang do you want to introduce yourself and our guest?"

Tibetan singing bowl interview

Lama Lobsang Molam and Lama Lobsang Leshe

Lama Lobsang Molam: "Yes, he's Lama Lobsang Leshe. Actually he came to Nepal from Tibet, before 1959. In Tibet he was a monk at Drepung Monastery, the biggest gompa in Tibet. There are four major monasteries in Tibet. One is Drepung Losel Ling, one is Drepung Gomang, one is Ngapa Dartsang, one is Dayang. There's four. So, he comes from Drepung Losel Ling."

Lama Lobsang Leshe: "Actually the Tibetan government, Ganden Potang, is a. . . first Ganden Potang become Drepung Monastery. Fifth Dalai Lama footnote 1 he built it in Drepung, his first palace is in Drepung Monastery. So that singing bowl lives behind this palace, we call Kungar Awa, his throne, like a singing bowl house, you know."

LLM: "Someone says, one older than him, a monk, he said 'This singing bowl came from India side and before this present Buddha', we call Sange Wasong, 'is for begging bowl this is.' At that time this singing bowl was used for a begging bowl of that previous Buddha."

RG: "Does that mean Shakyamuni Buddha? Or a previous incarnation?"

LLM: "No, no, no, a previous incarnation, the third Buddha. This present Buddha is fourth one, isn't it. The third Buddha, Wasong. 2 At that time they are using that singing bowl for begging bowl, and all the Arhats and disciples were using singing bowls for begging bowls. This doctrine is Buddha Shakyamuni's doctrine. At the present time we don't use singing bowls for begging bowls, we're using begging bowls made of iron, you know, they are not singing bowls."

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Copyright © 1989 Randall E. Gray.  All Rights Reserved