# 1 Real Everest Trek

Everest Kalapatthar

# 2 Everest base camp

Everest Base Camp Trekking

# 3 

Annapurna Base Camp

# 4 

Iceland Peak

Mani Rimdu Festival 9 Days

Trip Code : SR/NF-02
Accomodation : Hotel
Duration : 9  Days
Grading : Easy
Activity : Cultural wonders
Starts at : Kathmandu
End at : Kathmandu

Overview

Celebrated at Tengboche, Thame and Chiwong Monasteries of Solukhumbu, Nepal, Mani Rimdu Festival consists of sacred ceremonies and series of rituals of empowerment. It is a sequence of nineteen day celebration, which concludes with a three day public festival. Sherpas gather and celebrate this festival with monastic community. Lamas and Sherpas gather at the monastery for five days for the welfare of the world.  During this period, demons are quelled and the virtuous are rewarded. Wearing elaborate masks and costumes, the monks, through a series of ritualistic Lama dances, dramatize the triumph of Buddhism over Bon. The main first day of festival involves prayers. The second day witnesses colorful Lama dancing. The Lamas wear brocade gown and wonderfully painted papier-mâché masks for the dance performance. The last day is for some humorous dances and chanting prayers. Hundred of local people and foreign tourists attend the performance. This trek rewards you with the living culture of Sherpa people against the backdrop of the great Himalayan picturesque sceneries.

The Dances (Chham)

The dances are performed on the 2nd day of Mani Rimdu.





Ser-Kyem

The six dancers represent Ngag-pa (Tantric magicians). They make offerings of alcohol from silver chalices and small tormas to the Lama, Yidam, Khandro, and Shi-Dak (Earth deities). This offering of spiritual nectar is prepared in many ceremonies.

A Buddhist practitioner takes ‘refuge’ in the Lama (spiritual guide), Yidam (personal deity) and Khandro (wisdom dakini). A central theme in Tibetan Buddhist practice is to make offerings to these beings so that they will encourage the virtuous actions that lead to Buddhahood.

Ghing-Pa

Connected with his emanation as Dorje Trollo, the four dancers, Ghing, are servants of Guru Rinpoche. They have come from his Pure Land of Sangdok Palri, where they live within his mandala. They herald the imminent arrival of Guru Rinpoche at the Mani Rimdu.
Two of the Ghing are males who carry cymbals, while the two females carry drums. The males represent compassion and the females represent wisdom; these two aspects of the path to enlightenment are at the heart of Vajrayana (Tantric) practice. The union of compassion and wisdom is often depicted but frequently misunderstood in the Tantric iconography.



Guru Rinpoche

Led by a reverend monk holding burning incense, Guru Rinpoche makes his dramatic entry in the form of Dorje Trollo (the Adamantine Sagging-Belly). Guru Rinpoche has seven emanations; six of them are peaceful. Dorje Trollo is one of the wrathful forms he assumes to defeat the demons in Tibet. He comes from his home on the Copper Mountain riding a flying tiger, together with the Ghing.

Having paced out his symbolic mandala, Guru Rinpoche is invited to a throne and offerings are made to him, befitting to the ‘Second Buddha’. In his right hand, he carries a dorje, a symbolic diamond or thunderbolt, representing invincibility. In his left hand, he brandishes a phurba, a symbolic dagger for slaying demons. Having overcome the demons, Guru Rinpoche converts them to Buddhism, and makes them take solemn vows to protect the teachings and all practitioners. The symbolism can be interpreted on many levels. The inner demons of hatred, greed, and ignorance can be overcome by meditation on compassion and wisdom, and thus transformed into Enlightenment.






Nga-Chhyama

The Drum Dance is performed by six Ngag-Pa to celebrate the attainment of Samadhi (meditative concentration).

Mi-Tsering



A one-actor comic interlude, Mi-Tsering, (Long Life Man) is the children’s favorite. He is a kind, bumbling, gentle old man. He means well and does his best, but inevitably gets everything wrong. He is, however, convinced that he's an expert and tries to instruct others in some of the temple rituals, such as offering khataks (silk scarves), or doing prostrations. His light-hearted comic act brings a poignant message of encouragement to ordinary people - that sincerity and good intentions count for as much as expertise. It is Mi-Tsering, who heads the procession of monks welcoming Trulshig Rinpoche’s arrival at Chiwong, and who heralds him into the courtyard to preside over the dances. He is an acknowledgement of everyman’s good intentions, however humble.

Rol-Cham

Entrance of the monks and Mi-Tsering with banners and ceremonial instruments, heralding Trulshig Rinpoche’s arrival.

Thur-Dhag

Thur-Dhag, the Dance of Liberation, is the central act of the sacred dance. The two skeleton figures are the Lords of the Universal Cemetery - reminders of the transient nature of human existence. Two Ngag-pas enter and perform a mystical invocation, luring all demons and negative energies, then trap them into a small dough figure. At the same time, Trulshig Rinpoche performs a wrathful fire puja - calling the demons in, with long strokes of a nine-pronged dorje with black pennant. The demons are trapped, and ceremonially burnt on a small pyre, as an offering to the gods, who are then asked to liberate the world. With symbolic strokes of his phurba, Rinpoche, out of compassion even for demons, sends them to the realm of wisdom.

The demons of hatred, greed, and ignorance are dead. The Lords of the Cemetery carry the corpse to the Gods of the Mandala. The ashes from the pyre are buried under a flagstone in the courtyard.

Kang-Wa

Rinpoche invokes the Great Protectors asking them to perform the activities of a Buddha. Mahakala is blue; Ekajati has one eye; Mahadeva (Shiva) is red; and Trudo Lhamao (the Cemetery Deity) is brown. During this dance, Ang Babu and his family make offerings to Rinpoche and to the Sangha.

Mi-Nak

The two black men are servants of Shalung Genyen Chenpo, the protector deity of Dza-Rong-Phu monastery, who appears next. Originally a fierce murderer, Shalung Genyen Chenpo, later on, is reformed and thus becomes a protector of the Dharma. 

Khandro

Five Wisdom Dakinis enter and make offerings of tsog, song, and dance to Trulshig Rinpoche. These Wisdom Dakinis are the active part of the Lama, Yidam, and Khandro. There is further ceremony and procession by the monks, as Trulshig Rinpoche leaves the courtyard.

Tok-Den

This second comic interlude is a kind of spiritual soap opera. A Tantric yogi and his two hopeless disciples attempt to cope with life, death, love, lust, alcohol, and an assortment of other samsaric problems. At the end of the scene, Tok-Den demonstrates his spiritual prowess by bending a metal sword against his unprotected skin. 

Ngag-Pa

 A monk takes out a Torma as a compassionate offering to the beings, who like leftovers.

Ti-Cham

The Knife Dance cuts up and destroys any remaining demons. 

Lok-Cham

This Dance concludes Mani Rimdu.

The dances are performed on the 2nd day of Mani Rimdu.

Ser-Kyem

The six dancers represent Ngag-pa (Tantric magicians). They make offerings of alcohol from silver chalices and small tormas to the Lama, Yidam, Khandro, and Shi-Dak (Earth deities). This offering of spiritual nectar is prepared in many ceremonies.

A Buddhist practitioner takes ‘refuge’ in the Lama (spiritual guide), Yidam (personal deity) and Khandro (wisdom dakini). A central theme in Tibetan Buddhist practice is to make offerings to these beings so that they will encourage the virtuous actions that lead to Buddhahood.

Ghing-Pa

Connected with his emanation as Dorje Trollo, the four dancers, Ghing, are servants of Guru Rinpoche. They have come from his Pure Land of Sangdok Palri, where they live within his mandala. They herald the imminent arrival of Guru Rinpoche at the Mani Rimdu.
Two of the Ghing are males who carry cymbals, while the two females carry drums. The males represent compassion and the females represent wisdom; these two aspects of the path to enlightenment are at the heart of Vajrayana (Tantric) practice. The union of compassion and wisdom is often depicted but frequently misunderstood in the Tantric iconography.

Guru Rinpoche

Led by a reverend monk holding burning incense, Guru Rinpoche makes his dramatic entry in the form of Dorje Trollo (the Adamantine Sagging-Belly). Guru Rinpoche has seven emanations; six of them are peaceful. Dorje Trollo is one of the wrathful forms he assumes to defeat the demons in Tibet. He comes from his home on the Copper Mountain riding a flying tiger, together with the Ghing.

Having paced out his symbolic mandala, Guru Rinpoche is invited to a throne and offerings are made to him, befitting to the ‘Second Buddha’. In his right hand, he carries a dorje, a symbolic diamond or thunderbolt, representing invincibility. In his left hand, he brandishes a phurba, a symbolic dagger for slaying demons. Having overcome the demons, Guru Rinpoche converts them to Buddhism, and makes them take solemn vows to protect the teachings and all practitioners. The symbolism can be interpreted on many levels. The inner demons of hatred, greed, and ignorance can be overcome by meditation on compassion and wisdom, and thus transformed into Enlightenment.

Nga-Chhyama

The Drum Dance is performed by six Ngag-Pa to celebrate the attainment of Samadhi (meditative concentration).

Mi-Tsering

[Image] A one-actor comic interlude, Mi-Tsering, (Long Life Man) is the children’s favorite. He is a kind, bumbling, gentle old man. He means well and does his best, but inevitably gets everything wrong. He is, however, convinced that he's an expert and tries to instruct others in some of the temple rituals, such as offering khataks (silk scarves), or doing prostrations. His light-hearted comic act brings a poignant message of encouragement to ordinary people - that sincerity and good intentions count for as much as expertise. It is Mi-Tsering, who heads the procession of monks welcoming Trulshig Rinpoche’s arrival at Chiwong, and who heralds him into the courtyard to preside over the dances. He is an acknowledgement of everyman’s good intentions, however humble. 

Rol-Cham

Entrance of the monks and Mi-Tsering with banners and ceremonial instruments, heralding Trulshig Rinpoche’s arrival. 

Thur-Dhag

Thur-Dhag, the Dance of Liberation, is the central act of the sacred dance. The two skeleton figures are the Lords of the Universal Cemetery - reminders of the transient nature of human existence. Two Ngag-pas enter and perform a mystical invocation, luring all demons and negative energies, then trap them into a small dough figure. At the same time, Trulshig Rinpoche performs a wrathful fire puja - calling the demons in, with long strokes of a nine-pronged dorje with black pennant. The demons are trapped, and ceremonially burnt on a small pyre, as an offering to the gods, who are then asked to liberate the world. With symbolic strokes of his phurba, Rinpoche, out of compassion even for demons, sends them to the realm of wisdom.

The demons of hatred, greed, and ignorance are dead. The Lords of the Cemetery carry the corpse to the Gods of the Mandala. The ashes from the pyre are buried under a flagstone in the courtyard. 

Kang-Wa

Rinpoche invokes the Great Protectors asking them to perform the activities of a Buddha. Mahakala is blue; Ekajati has one eye; Mahadeva (Shiva) is red; and Trudo Lhamao (the Cemetery Deity) is brown. During this dance, Ang Babu and his family make offerings to Rinpoche and to the Sangha.

Mi-Nak

The two black men are servants of Shalung Genyen Chenpo, the protector deity of Dza-Rong-Phu monastery, who appears next. Originally a fierce murderer, Shalung Genyen Chenpo, later on, is reformed and thus becomes a protector of the Dharma. 

Khandro

Five Wisdom Dakinis enter and make offerings of tsog, song, and dance to Trulshig Rinpoche. These Wisdom Dakinis are the active part of the Lama, Yidam, and Khandro. There is further ceremony and procession by the monks, as Trulshig Rinpoche leaves the courtyard.

Tok-Den

This second comic interlude is a kind of spiritual soap opera. A Tantric yogi and his two hopeless disciples attempt to cope with life, death, love, lust, alcohol, and an assortment of other samsaric problems. At the end of the scene, Tok-Den demonstrates his spiritual prowess by bending a metal sword against his unprotected skin. 

Ngag-Pa

 A monk takes out a Torma as a compassionate offering to the beings, who like leftovers.

Ti-Cham

The Knife Dance cuts up and destroys any remaining demons. 

Lok-Cham

This Dance concludes Mani Rimdu. 

ADVICE 

In order to achieve ultimate happiness, we must destroy our delusions. The dharma, the pạth, the Buddha, and the guru, for example, are meant to destroy our delusions and subdue our mind. Receiving criticism, disrespect, or bad treatment also hurts our cherishing thoughts, our thought of the 8 worldly dharmas. This is not bad, but good indeed. Therefore, hurting yourself- cherishing thought and worldly concern is a practice of dharma.

Normally in our daily life, we interpret someone treating us badly as negative, but actually it is positive. It becomes a remedy for our selfish mind and worldly concern. The person who is treating us badly is helping us to destroy our delusions, our self-cherishing thought, and worldly concern and desire just like the dharma does. By doing something opposite to our wish, the person interferes with the comfort we are seeking out of worldly concern, so he or she harms our worldly concern. This is exactly the same as dharma. Their actions become the real medicine to cure the real inner disease that we have had from time immemorial.

# Real happiness in life starts when we begin to cherish others...

When is Mani Rimdu for the year?

The date of Mani Rimdu festival is fixed according to the Tibetan Lunar calendar. The head Lama at the chiwang Monastery announces the dates. In chiwang the Mani Rimdu is performed on the 9th Tibetan month which usually falls on the day of full moon in October or November. 

Construction of the sand Mandala

Sand Mandala is constructed step by step colored sand is used to build complicated and symbolic design. It takes many days to complete Sand Mandala. Defensive blade symbolizing deities are placed around the Mandala. The bowl of Mani Rilwu pills ( spiritual medicine ) is placed above the center. The Mandala symbolizes the palace of Garwang thoze chenpo ( lord of the dance), creation of the Buddha of kindness, the main idol of Mani Rimdu. The Mantra “OM AH HUNG RHI and OM MANI PADME HUNG” is repeated thousands of times by the monks during the week of ceremony before the public festival. During meditation, they imagine kindness flowing in the form of the mantra into the Mandala and Mani Rilwu pills. Kindness then releases out from the Mandala, blessing all those who attend the Mani Rimdu Festival.

Wang ( the empowerment ) 

The Wong is the opening day of public ceremony. It’s performed on the full moon day of the tenth Month in the Tibetan lunar calendar. The sacred Mani Rilwu (sacred or blessed pills) and Tshereel ( Pills for long life ) are given to everyone attending the ceremony.
Chham ( the Dances ) 

The daces take place on the 2nd day of Mani Rimdu. Symbolic demons are conquered, chase away or transformed to protectors of Dharma. As the theme of the dance positive forces fight with those of disorder through the dances. The dance conveys Buddhist teaching on many levels from the simplest to the most philosophical. During the dance the monks are believed to become divine being. The dances are only performed during Mani Rimdu because they are considered to be very sacred and not for ordinary entertainment.

Ser- kyem 

Ser-kyem is most commonly used to make tea offering to Dharma guards such as Mahakala. It has two pieces: a larger raised dish-shaped bowl and a smaller raised offering bowl. The smaller bowl is placed in an upright position in the larger dish when the offering is being made. When not in use, the smaller offering bowl is placed upside down in the larger bowl. The food offerings can also be placed in the larger dish when in use. This offering of spiritual nectar is made in many ceremonies. The six dancers represent ngag-pa (tantric magicians). They make offerings of alcohol from silver vessels and small Tormas to Lama, Yidam, Khandro and Shi-Dak ( the earth deities). A Buddhist consultant takes refuge in the Lama (spiritual guide ), Yidam ( personal deities)  and khandro ( wisdom Dakini ). A central theme in Tibetan Buddhist practice is to make offering to these beings, so that they will help with the virtuous actions which lead to Buddhahood.

The Fire Puja ( Jinsak )

The fire puja is performed in the yard the day after the dances. The fire puja is an offering to Agni ( the God of fire ) and to the Gods of the Mandala – to alley all harm in the world. The harm is visualized as dissolving into the grain and butter is burned. Afterwards, the sand Mandala in the temple is pull to pieces, and the sand is given as an offering to the serpent Gods ( Nagas).

Chhingpa 

The next dance portrays 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 hops are rhythmically accompanied by the beating of cymbals. The dancers charge at children in the audience and scare them as for fun.

The Dakini dance is performed genially slow motion dance steps, keeping perfect time with the soft tinkle and slow beat of bells and drums is performed by five young priests. The dancers are without masks and portray female spiritual figures ; the partners of Padmasambhava. It is believed that they come from his pure land of Shangdok palri where they live within his Mandala. They herald the imminent arrival of Guru Rinpoche 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; those two aspects of the path the Torma is made from barley flour and decorated with colored butter. It begins by symbolizing the body of the deity and by the end of the ceremony, symbolizes enlightenment itself. It stands in the front of the Mandala on its own shrine at the very heart of the temple.

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival in Kathmandu


  

Day 2: Fly from Kathmandu – Phaplu


 

Day 3: Phaplu – chiwang Monastery


 

Day 4: Mani Rimdu festival


 

Day 5: Mani Rimdu festival


 

Day 6: Mani rimdu festival


 

Day 7: Return from Chiwang Monastery – Phaplu


 

Day 8: flight from Phaplu – Kathmandu.


 

Day 9: Departure


 

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