Kagyu Lama Dance Page





Newsletter 2015

See Lama Dances live on the Gardening Exhibition 2015 in Landau.

Information about the Buddhagarden.

Grand Mahakala Puja in the Karma Kagyu Lineage

(performed on Losar the Tibetan New Year)
here in the Jangchub Choeling monastery in Hemza-Pokhara, Nepal

In all Vajrayana schools of Buddhism, every practitioner requires the guidance and assistance from the Guru, Deities and the Dharma Protectors in his spiritual path. In our Karma Kagyud tradtition, we regard Mahakala as our Dharma Protector.

The Source
The teaching on Mahakala originates from the Tantra in which the Lord Buddha preached to highly qualified Bodhisattvas in his Third Sermon (Sermon means teaching the wheel of Dharma). According to the teaching, Mahakala is the embodiment of the power of the Buddhas to subdue both internal and external hindrances.
It was stated that before Buddha Sakyamunis time, there existed an evil force known as Matram Rudra who voved to destroy the world and all its inhabitants. Out of compassion, all the buddhas and bodhisattvas manifested themselves in a wrathful form to sublimate Matram Rudra who vowed to destroy the world and all its inhabitants. Out of compassion, all the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas manifested themselves in a wrathful form to sublimate Matram Rudra and liberate its consciousness.
Since then, the Enlightended one also assumes the form and physical attributes of Matram Rudra. This manifestation is known as Mahakala. In the ultimate level, Mahakala is the union of all Buddhas. From the practitioners point of view, each attribute manifested opf Mahakala is a skillful method, a method to transform ones defilement into wisdom.

Tibetan Years End Puja
The year end Mahakala puja is sonsidered to be the greatest annual event in the Tibetan monasteries. After elaborate preparation, the puja is carried out for seven days. On the last day of the puja, Mahakala Vajra dance, lasting the whole day is arranged in the established monasteries. However, this is the first time Jangchub Choeling Monastery is performing the Vajra dance (that was on the 13th February 2002). Around seventy monks will be involved in this event either as dancer or musicians.

The Vajra Dance & its significance
According to the legend, the wrathful manifestation of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas subdues Matram Rudra with nine ferocious dances. Since then the Vajra dance was introduced only to highly qualified trantric practitioners in India. However, this sacred dance was brought to the Himalayas and Tibet during the 08th century when Guru Padmasambhava blessed the location for the construction of Samye Monastery (a place close to Lhasa, former capital of Tibet). The Vajra Dance, known as Cham, in Tibetan requires an extraordinary degree of concentration on the part of the dancers. The dance is neither spontaneous nor improvised. It consists of complicated steps and sequences minutely codified by the tradition. Their movements portray the meditations that the monks have practiced during the puja.
There are actually many types of Vajra dances and each serves a specific purpose. There is auspicious dance, dance to purify the land and subdue disturbances and dance to destroy the negative forces. Broadly, they can also be categorized into the four types of enlightened activities, which are peaceful, increase, power and wrathful.
The Mahakala Vajra dance is classified under the wrathful activity that subde the negative forces. In their pure vision, some of the earlier Karmapas had seen Mahakala in action. They memorized his acts and taught them to their disciples. These were added on as Vajra dances. This sacred dance is well known in Tibetan Buddhism as it plays an important role in portraying the subjugation of the Chief of Maras.

The Benefits
The performance of the Mahakala Vajra dance will increase good fortune and remove all kinds of obstacles, whether it is caused by human or natural disasters. It also protects one from charm, attack by spirits, or curses by wicked people. The place of the performanxe will become peaceful and blessed.