Sabtu, 2 November 2013

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The Star Online: Lifestyle: Arts & Fashion

Monks from Nepal to celebrate the Lama Dance


The Lama Dance also known as mask dance is a ritual to expel evil forces and bring good fortune.

In Tibet, thesacred dance called Lama Dance is steeped in tradition. Introduced by the great master Padmasambhava, the Lama Dance is a cleansing ritual of sorts. Padmasambhava, also known as the Second Buddha or Guru Rinpoche, was a sage guru from Oddiyana, north western Classical India (Swat Valley of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan) who brought Vajrayana Buddhism to Tibet, Bhutan and neighbouring countries in the 8th century AD.

Padmasambhava introduced the Lama Dance or mask dance to put a stop to evil forces disrupting the construction of the Samye Monastery (the first Buddhist monastery built) in Tibet. The abbot Shantarakshita advised the then Tibetan King, Trishung Deuchen, to invite Guru Padmasambhava to help overcome the negative forces.

The Lama Dance was a ritual dance to purify, eliminate evil and bless the site of the monastery.

Nowadays, this ritual dance is performed to cleanse the soul and bring good fortune and increase merit.

The fundamental themes of the dance – triumph of virtue and supremacy of truth – remain the same. The lama dance is also symbolic of the victory of good over evil.

Cultural enthusiasts can catch this Lama Dance at the annual 1,000 Offerings (to Ambitabha Buddha) at the Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall in Kuala Lumpur on Nov 2 (5.30pm to 6pm) and Nov 3 (noon to 12.30pm).

The abbot of Kopan Monastery in Nepal, Khenrinpoche Geshe Chonyi, 50, will be the presiding lama at the event. The Lama Dance is brought to Malaysia by the Losang Dragpa Centre, a Tibetan Buddhist Centre in Petaling Jaya in Selangor. Six lamas from Kopan Monastery will perform three types of Lama Dance comprising Black Hat Dance, Skeleton Dance and Sword Dance. This is the second time the society is organising the dance.


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