Kagyu Lama Dance Page





Newsletter 2015

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

List of perfomances !

Information about the Buddhagarden.

Great Mahakala Meditation in the Karma Kagyü Lineage

(performed on Losar, Tibetan new year) in Jangchub Choeling monastery in Hemza-Pokhara, Nepal

In all Vajrayana Buddhism schools, every practitioner needs instruction and support of the guru, the buddhas and of the dharma protectors on his spiritual path. In our Karma Kagyü tradition, we consider Mahakala to be our dharma protector.

The teachings about Mahakala originate from the Tantra, in which Buddha holds his third discourse (discourse means teaching in the dharma wheel) in front of chosen Boddhisattvas. According to this teaching, Mahakala embodies the power of all Buddhas to overcome inner and outer obstacles.

It is said that before Buddha Sakyamunis, there was an evil power called Rudra that swore to destroy the world and all its inhabitants. Out of compassion, all Buddhas and Boddhisatvas manifested in a protective form to appease Rudra and to lighten his conscience. Since this time, the enlightened also assumes the form and physical attributes of Rudra. This manifestation is called Mahakala.

On the last level, Mahakala is the unity of all Buddhas. From the practitioners’ point of view, every attribute of Mahakala is an elaborate method to convert their own impurities into wisdom. 

Tibetan Sadhana (skr. Meditation) at the end of the year 
The Mahakala Sadhana at the end of the year is considered to be the most important event in Tibetan monasteries. After careful preparation, the Puja is performed for seven days. On the last day of the Sadhana, the Mahakala Vajra dance is performed in long-established monasteries which lasts the whole day. On 13/02/2002, the Vajra dance was performed in Jangchub Choeling monastery for the first time. Approximately seventy monks participate in this event either as dancers or as musicians.

The Vajra dance and its meaning
According to legend, the protective manifestation of the Buddhas and boddhisatwas defeated Rudra with nine wild dances. The Vajra dance was at first only passed on to highly qualified tantric practitioners in India. However, this holy dance was brought into the Himalayas and to Tibet in the 8th century, when Guru Padmasambhava blessed the place where Samye monastery was built (near Lhasa, the former capital of Tibet).

The Vajra dance, in Tibetan called Cham, requires exceptional concentration on the part of the dancers. It is neither spontaneous nor improvised. It consists of complicated steps and step sequences which have been transmitted meticulously. 
These movements represent the meditations practiced by the monks during the Sadhana.

In fact, there are many different kinds of Vajra dances and each and every one of them has a particular purpose. There is e. g. the auspicious Tan, the dance to purify the land and to overcome disturbances and the dance to destroy negative powers. Globally, they can be divided into the four enlightening activities which are pacifying, reproductive, inspiring and protective.

The Mahakala Vajra dance is part of the protective activities which defeat negative powers. In their pure vision, some of the former Karmapas have seen Mahakala in Action. They remembered his actions and taught them to their disciples. These actions have been combined in the Vajra dances.

These holy dances are very well known in Tibetan Buddhism and play an important role in the demonstration how the leader of the Maras was subdued.

The benefits
Performing the Mahakala dances increases future happiness and removes all kinds of obstacles, whether these are based in human or natural disturbances. They protect from irritations, mental attacks or the attacks by evil people. The location of the performance becomes peaceful and blessed.