Tibetan and Himalayan Library - THL

THL Title Text
Khardo Hermitage
by José Ignacio Cabezón
January 30, 2006
Section 3 of 5

Ritual Cycle

Daily. The 20 fully ordained monks who formed the ritual core of the monastery would gather for “daily tea/prayer” (gyünjargyun ja), every morning in the smaller of KhardoMkhar rdo’s two temples.

Monthly. Five days each month were always celebrated:

  • First of the month: Tārā Ritual (DrölchokSgrol chog); and bi-monthly confession ritual
  • Tenth: Offering-Ritual to the Lama (Lama Chöpa TsokBla ma mchod pa tshog)
  • Fifteenth: Medicine Buddha (MenlaSman bla); and bi-monthly confession
  • Twenty-fifth: Offering-Ritual to the Lama
  • Twenty-ninth: propitiation ritual (kangsoBskang gso)
  • First Tibetan month: A cycle of rituals, lasting seven days, focusing on Yamāntaka, Guhyasamāja, and Cakrasaṃvara. These began at the end of the New Year festivities.
  • Second Tibetan month: For seven days either the Scriptures would be read, or else the Prayer to the Twenty-One Tārās would be recited.
  • Fourth Tibetan month: unknown ritual
  • Fifth Tibetan month: The self-initiation rituals of Sarvavid Vairocana, or else of Kālacakra.
  • Sixth Tibetan month: the Sixth-Month/Fourth-Day (Drukpa TsezhiDrug pa tshe bzhi) holy day is celebrated. In addition, one-hundred monks would gather to read the scriptures for seven days during a separate convocation in this same month.
  • Ninth Tibetan month: 100,000 repetitions of the Tārā prayer would be accumulated during this month.
  • Tenth Tibetan month: Winter Solstice Ritual (Gün Nyidokgi ChogaDgun nyi ldog gi cho ga).
  • Eleventh Tibetan month: The monks split into two groups. One group would perform White Mahākāla (GönkarMgon dkar) rituals, and the other, rituals focusing on TamdrinRta mgrin.
  • Twelfth Tibetan month:
    • Fifteenth day of the month: the hermitage celebrated the famous Khardo TünchöMkhar rdo mthun mchod, a festival commemorating the third Khardo LamaMkhar rdo bla ma. During the festivities, monks from Nenang Nunnery (Nenang GönpaGnas nang dgon pa) came to KhardoMkhar rdo to perform various propitiation rituals (for example, to the deity Vajrakīla) in front of the stūpa containing the mummified body of the third Khardo incarnation Chökyi Dorjé (Khardo Kutreng Sumpa Chökyi DorjéMkhar rdo sku phreng gsum pa chos kyi rdo rje). While the NenangGnas nang monks were performing those rituals, the monks of KhardoMkhar rdo were simultaneously engaged in other protector deity rituals in one of the other temples. All of the local people from DodéDog bde who worked for the Khardo Lama’s estate (Khardo labrangMkhar rdo bla brang) came up to the hermitage on this day. Upon leaving, they received a bit of money, some butter, meat, and fried dough cookies.
    • Twenty-ninth day: A ritual involving the Throwing of the Torma as an offering to Mahākāla (Gönpo TorgyakMgon po gtor rgyag).
Khardo Hermitage , by José Ignacio Cabezón

Table of Contents

  1. Location and Layout
  2. History
  3. Ritual Cycle
  4. Glossary
  5. Notes
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