Posts Tagged ‘Bon Religion’

Bhutan Travels, a touch with the past.

October 26, 2008

Heavy fog billows around steep ridges. Occasionally the blurred sight of a red rooftop or a golden tip, a whitewashed wall offering a glimpse what lies behind the grayish-white vapors – slowly the mist begins to raise and enables a view to a breathtaking clustered structure, glued to a vertical rock formation of more than 2000 feet like a swallow’s home. The Taktshang Goemba or “Tiger’s Nest”, situated high above the narrowing Paro valley in Bhutan.

On the back of a flying tigress Guru Rinpoche, the holy founder of tantric Buddhism, is said to have landed here to meditate in a cave.

Now, those are long gone times, over 1.300 years, when Bhutan was  still  part of Tibet and the old Bon religion and its animistic world of Gods was widespread and Buddhism just started to get a foothold. Today the rock perched Goemba is the holiest monastery in the Himalayas.

To honor the Guru, every year festivals are taking place in all the Lhakhangs and Goembas spread over the country. The bhutanese people call them “Tshechus”.
Tshechus are religious mask dances and rituals intended to familiarise the visitors with bhuddist teachings – the Dharma – to protect them from mishaps and free them from evil. The dances are taking place each year at the Dzongs, either in spring or autumn, arranged according to the lunar calender.

Tshechus have been established by the founder of Bhutan, the Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, already during the 17.century. Bhutanese people owe their unchanged cultural identity to those rites and festivals closely tied to religion. These events usually are lasting several days, largest and most important Tshechus are those in Thimphu and Paro. Tshechus also provide a forum for social gatherings and contacts. Therefore everybody takes out his best dress or official robe to celebrate the occasion.        Some of the dances are said to be traced back to Guru Rinpoche himself. However, most dances have been choreographed by Pema Lingpa, a tantric saint from Bumthang or the Shabdrung.

If you want to learn more about Tshechus visit:                                                                http://www.bhutan-travels.com/Tshechus.html


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