Buddhism. A nice peaceful world religion; not set on dominating other cultures and converting them or damning them to an eternity of hell, right? Think again:
Okay, now let me be honest with you. I have no idea what the disemboweled, tormented figures were all about (probably I should have paid more time reading the labels and less taking photos that were supposed to be forbidden...my bad), and as far as I can tell, Buddhism is just about the most peaceful religion on the planet, but the gory images do make an outsider wonder.
Yesterday I went to the Choijin Lama Temple in central UB on the way to the countryside for some volunteer work - and I do mean central. As in, that glassy building in the background is the Blue Sky Tower, which is smack dab in the middle. It's 5000 tugrugs to get in (and another 25000 if you're going to pay for the privilege of taking photos...note to museum big shots: if you're going to charge for taking photos, you might want to set the tariff at something people will actually pay). It's a nice little ramshackle temple from the outside, but inside the buildings it gets impressive.
One of the things I love about the aesthetics of Buddhist temples is the overwhelming amount of detail. There's just SO MUCH STUFF to look at (pity that you're not supposed to take pictures). You can see some more tormented guys hanging from the ceiling - I took heart in the proportional disparities in the figures, since they most likely meant that these figures were not drawn from life...or rather, death.
Violence is not the only thing one doesn't expect to find in a Buddhist temple - there was also the matter of the red-haired demons getting it on. Actually, one of the buildings in the temple complex was dedicated to the - what, head monk? I'm not sure of the right title - head monk's tantric meditations.
But my tongue-in-cheeky commentary aside, it was an incredibly nice place to visit on a Saturday morning, and not without it's peaceful moments. I recommend it highly.