Monday, December 10, 2007

A day to remember...

Bishal Cintury
GANGTOK, December 9: More than 4,000 people including tourists thronged to the Old Rumtek monastery and Enchey monastery to witness the Kagyed Dance (mask dance) today.
The dance is divided into two parts known as Gotur Chaam and Maha Kala Chaam are performed by the Kagyu and Nyingmapa sect of Buddhist here. Monks wearing from various monasteries around the state gathered here to participate in the event.
“Five different dances ~ Sangdikokar, Chaksipa, Sewa, Singzong and Sena are being performed by the monks to ward-off all the demons and devils from the state and hail in Sikkimese New Year that begins tomorrow” said Mr Kanor Bhutia a member of the Dutche (organising committee). “We started our puja of Maha Kala a guardian deity of Sikkim 15 days ago and conclude today ~ on the 29th day of the 10 month of lunar calendar” he added.
Monks were seen chanting mantras, harping out melodies with their traditional instruments like drums and cymbals in sync with the dance. Tourists were enthralled by the performances of the monks wearing masks of bulls, pig, hornbill, snow lion, dragon.
“I think this is one day when they get to wear something other than our traditional garb of the monks,” said Mr Leo Grzyb a Buddhist from Slovakia.
“This is my second experience, the first one was in Buddhagaya in Bihar. For me its simple spiritual energetic dance where we need our state of mind and its kind of connection between common man and God as I am Buddhism practitioner for 4 years so at least I can learn the vibes” he added.
This occasion is observed in a grand fashion in Old Rumtek, Enchey in East and Ralang in South district but all heritage monasteries of Sikkim, which are preserved by the Central Ministry for Cultural and Heritage Affairs. Right from kids to septuagenarian people thronged to the monastery to pay reverence to the guardian deity and they were seen offering new rice and fruits with Khadaas (traditional scarf) to the guardian deity Maha Kala.
According to the Buddhist mythology people believe that their guardian diety will protect them from all hurdles. “Long ago, Lang Darma a single horn demon who killed all the monks and destroyed all the monasteries there in his campaign for destroying Buddhism from Tibet,” said Mr Kunga Nima Lepcha a devotee. “Ultimately, Lopen Palki Dorjee an incarnation of our diety took upon the task to destroy this demon and protected Buddhism, so, this dances depicted this story” he added.