Within Tibetan Buddhism, there are ritual dances performed by the monastic order for various purposes, such as combating evil and ushering in good fortune. The Winter Ritual Dance is one such example, during which monks don their ceremonial robes to perform the dance.
On one particular occasion, Gaden Yangchen Phuntsok Ling Monastery in Kham, Tibet held a four-day Winter Ritual Dance between 31 October and 3 November 2013. Dances were performed for the first three days of the event, with a large crowd gathering to watch the monks dance in their ceremonial robes and receive blessings.
In conjunction with this Winter Ritual Dance, the monastery also celebrated the reopening of its two stupas, known as the Stupa of Reconciliation and the Stupa of Long Life, which are both 13-metres tall. They were both recently renovated and dedicated to the long life of the monastery’s abbot, Khen Rinpoche Trinley Lhundup Drakpa Gyaltsen.
On the fourth and final day of the celebrations, the monastery’s abbot together with two visiting Lamas, namely Lama Wangchuk and Geshe Lobsang Tenzin presided over the sogtae, or Life-Entrustment ceremony of Dorje Shugden. The sogtae initiation was auspiciously conferred on the gathered crowd numbering 5,000.
Dorje Shugden’s heart crystal, which is symbolic of the mutual commitment between the practitioner and the Protector, was given to those who received the life entrustment of Dorje Shugden. This commitment will endure until the practitioner gains Bodhicitta. Dorje Shugden chakras were also distributed to the faithful.
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