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Tibetan rituals attract many

WITH A MESSAGE: Monks performing a mask dance during the festival.   | Photo Credit: Photo: Lingaraj Panda

Staff Reporter

BERHAMPUR: Centuries-old traditional rituals of Tibet livened up things at the `Maha puja' performed at the Rigon Thupten Mindolling Monastery at Chadragiri in Gajapati district.

The 10-day Buddhist tantric rituals ended on Wednesday. The Lamas performed ritualistic dances for two days. More than 3,000 Tibetan refugees living here and in the nearby villages thronged the `Jeerang' where the monastery was located to witness the unique festival of Himalayan origin.

For the guru

The dances were a form of veneration for the guru and founder of the Nyingma Buddhist order to which the monastery was attached.

Guru Padmasambhava was the founder of the order. He had spent a large part of his life in India. At a kingdom called Zahor, he perceived the spiritual truth. His spiritual visions were later depicted metaphorically in a group dance form. One of his disciples, Padma Ling Pa, a visionary mystic who lived in Bhutan, was the composer of most of these dance forms that were performed at the monastery. According to Chime Gonpo, a Tibetan of Chadragiri, these dances were a result of several days of prayer and practice by the monks for the well being of the world. The highlight was the dance of the eight manifestations that depicted eight forms of guru Padmasambhava. `Dakini', the female embodiment of wisdom, danced and paid obeisance before them. The `eight manifestations' also danced one after the other, depicting manifestations of spiritual truths.