Jokhang Temple, a place of the Holy Statue of the Buddha is the holiest Buddhist temple in Tibet and it is located in the center of Lhasa city. Originally it was built for the holy statue of the Buddha called Mikyoe Dorjee. Moreover, it was brought to Tibet by Brikuti Devi, the Nepalese wife of the King Songtsen Gambo, as her dowry.
In the meantime, Princess Wencheng – the Chinese wife of the King Songten Gambo – also brought another statue of the Buddha and she built Ramoche temple to provide “residence” for the second statue for the Buddha.
History of Jokhang Temple (Place of the Holy Statue of the Buddha)
According to legend, there was a lake here called Wotang at the original site. And, Jokhang temple was built right on top of the lake after it was sealed. The two statues were later put in the wrong temples intentionally after the King Songtsen Gambo passed away. The holy statue that we see today inside Jokhang temple is the one brought by princess Wechang. She was the Chinese wife of the king. For the Tibetans, this statue is so holy that it is considered almost like the Buddha Shakyamuni in person. Every day you can see thousands of pilgrims in line to pay homage and make offerings to the Buddha statue.
You can also see hundreds of people prostrating in front of the temple. Furthermore, people also prostrating in the open space at the front entrance of the holy Jokang Temple. The prostrating is an important physical practice to accumulate merits and purify sins. The sins one has committed through his or her body. At the same time, they pray for the well-being of all beings. They recite mantras, and meditate or think of the Buddha or Bodhisattvas and their deeds to help all the beings.