National Geographic : 1955 Jul
© National Geographic Society 12 Kodachromes by Heinrich Harrer 4 Guardian Deities Glare with Unblinking Eyes at All Who Enter the Potala Amid nomads and pilgrims the author ventured into the palace to receive the Dalai Lama's blessing at New Year. Inside he found the handiwork of generations of artists, their vivid designs obscured by dust and gloom. + "In a land that shunned bicycles, cars, and all modern inventions, the prayer wheel [lower left] was the only wheel in daily use," Mr. Harrer says. "Stuffed with written supplications, the drums stood in every home and temple. The devout never passed without spinning the cylinders to send petitions on their way to heaven. At work or play, Tibetans frequently muttered the magic prayer, 'Om mani padme hum' (0 thou jewel in the lotus, amen!)."