Lachen, Jan 4 (IPR)
The Annual “Guru Thangmar” prayers and Chham concluded today at the Ngodup Choeling Gumpa. During the course of Chham, prayers and thanksgiving were offered to the deities for their continued protection of all sentient beings.
The six days annual
puja which ends with the colorful cham is performed on the eleventh month of
the Tibetan Calendar in Lachen.
The ceremony was attended by Minister, FEWD, Tshering Wangdi Lepcha, District Collector North Shri Karma R Bonpo, SP North, K. Shandarpa, DFO North, ADC Chunghtang and other officers of Chungthang Sub-division.
The Cham symbolizes the destruction of evil forces towards the wellbeing of all sentient beings. Before conducting the Cham ceremony monks meditate for days and even weeks during which they offer prayers to invoke ancient protective deities lead by “Mahakala” or “Yeshey Gonpo”. In the course of the ceremony visualizing themselves as deities, Cham performing monks execute elaborate ancient ritualistic dance movements while reciting sacred prayers. These are meant to draw in evil forces who are then trapped in effigies made of wood, paper and dough. The protective deities are often depicted in wrathful form. This is illustrative of the fact that evil does not exist externally and comes from one’s own mind. It is believed that performance of Chham removes negativity and shows the path to transformation. At the conclusion of the ceremony the dance leader “Champon” cuts open the effigy drawing the evil into his own body thereby showing it righteousness, peace and the path to liberation. The evil is transformed into good and this is the essence of Cham ritual.
Tomorrow the religious texts of the monastery will be taken around the town and the festival of Losar will commence day after tomorrow in Lachen and will be observed till the beginning of the new Tibetan year which falls on 5th February.