Chhingpa

ImageThe next dance depicts the Four Protecting Ghings, defending the Buddhist faith    against attack by demons. Shining paper masks hide the faces of the dancers, each a different color and each displaying a constant smile. The dancers' skips are rhythmically accompanied by the beating of cymbals.     

Without breaking step, the dancers charge haltingly at children in the audience. The youngsters recoil in horror, much to the amusement of everyone else in the crowd.

ImageThe next dance depicts the Four Protecting Ghings, defending the Buddhist faith against attack by demons. Shining paper masks hide the faces of the dancers, each a different color and each displaying a constant smile. The dancers skips, are rhythmically accompanied by the beating of cymbals. Without breaking step, the dancers charge haltingly at children in the audience. The youngsters recoil in horror, much to the amusement of everyone else in the crowd.

The gentle Dance of the Dakini contrasts sharply with what has gone before. Five young priests execute slow motion dance steps, keeping perfect time with the soft tinkle and slow beat of bells and drums held in their hands. The dancers are without masks, and portray female spiritual figures, the partners of Padmasambhava.

They have come from his pure land of Shangdok Palri where they live within his mandala. They herald the imminent arrival of Guru Rinpochhe at the Mani Rimdu.

Two of the Ghing are male, and carry cymbals, while the two females carry drums. The males represent skillful means and the female represent wisdom; these two aspects of the path to enlightenment are at the heart of Vajrayana (Tantric) practice. The union and harmony of Skillful Means (Compassion) and Wisdom, is often depicted (and often misunderstood) in Tantric iconography.