Dance Honouring the Eight Aspects of Padmasambhava -
Dance Honouring the Eight Aspects of Padmasambhava
Posted 10 Feb 2017 01:00 PM

This is the most spectacular aspect of the whole performance, infact, the centre-point of the ritual dance. The great guru Padmasambhava, in whose honour the festival is performed makes a dramatic entry with his entourage. The guru wears a golden mask with benign countenance, and a serene Buddha like face found so often in the sculpture of South East Asia.

The guru is led by a procession of musicians, some masked and otherwise, to the resounding sounds of music : two lamas hold incense pots (phoks) and two blow wind-pipes (rgya gling), two play long trumpets (dugchen). They enter the arena in rows. Then follows guru Padmasambhava accompanied by a disciple who carries a parasol for the guru. Padmasambhava is accompanied by his seven more personifications.
It is interesting to observe that the bodily size of Padmasambhava is nearly one and a half times more than his other incarnations. Their details are given in the chart below :

Eight Aspects of Guru Padmasambhava:

Name Colour of Mask Attributes in hand Aspects
1. Padmavajra Gold Bell & Skull Preached Dakinis
2. Padmasambhava Blue Vajra & Skull Moved the wheel Dharma and subjugated evil
3. Lolden Mchhog Flesh-coloured Damru & Incense A Great teacher
4. Padmar Gyalpo Flesh-coloured Damru & Incense A Great teacher
5. Niyama Odzer Yellow Sun symbol & Trident Showed miracles
6. Shakiya Singe Yellow Bowl & Meditational Mudra Received teaching of Mahayoga Tantra
6. Senge Dadoks Blue-Black Vajra & Scorpian Mudra Destruction of heretics & their conversion
7. Dorje Tolod Reddish-brown Vajra & Iron Subjugated all the evil spirits of Nepal, Tibet and Bhutan. Revealed the truth for the people.

The layout of the Performance Space:

1 & 2 Central altar with flagstaff
3. Dais for head lama
4. Seats of the musicians and other lamas
5. Space for the sponsors
6. Space where the eight aspects of Padmasambhava receive worship
7. Space where 16 forms of katichan or dakinis sit during the worship of Padmasambhava.

All the characters take their respective place in the courtyard
The four masked heroes praise the qualities of body, speech and mind of Padmasambhava and dance before him. Then the five heroines, who represent the five skandhas, the five senses, the five elements, the universe of five Buddhist categories, dance in front of Padmasambhava and praise the three bodies of the guru.

Then each of the incarnations of Padmasambhava wearing masks of different colours, dance one after another and display their majesty and prowess to protect and bless humankind by articulating their qualities by their gestures.

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