Two years later he married the Chinese Princess Wen Cheng at the behest of her father, the Tang dynasty emperor Taizong. His intelligence and energy were well known very early in his youth. Understanding and using the deity dance as a means to enlightenment is the yoga called Cham, which is both a ritual and an exorcism. Bhrikuti became known as Green Tara and Wen Cheng became known as White Tara. While much of this is poorly known in the West, the Tibetan influence has been well felt in Asia. Performed throughout Bhutan, it is usually presented in festivals featuring several days of dancing.
In his early twenties, Songtsen Gampo unified and subjugated many savage and unruly tribes. The Princesses eventually became important saints in Tibetan Buddhism. The king reasoned that this would ensure the successful construction of the Samye Monastery which would be a strong monastic base for the expansion and growth of Buddhism in Tibet. These Cham lineages have all continued unbroken since being established in Bhutan 400, 500 and 600 years ago. . Tum Ngam Cham: A subjugation dance of the State Religion dedicated to Padmasambhava.
Since the Zhamarpa Lama moved his monastery to Thangbi Bhutan in 1470, this Cham has been continuously performed there and nowhere else. They are created by advanced Buddhist masters, and according to tradition are often are often transmitted to these masters through mystical visions. This inter-connectivity between church and state, with the priest-king, explains why travel in Tibet involves many visits to monasteries - they are places of worship per se but they are also museums, libraries, social centers, hotels, and centers of communication. About this time he also changed the name of the city from Rasa to Lhasa. Losar is the first day of the New Year which is a day of celebration and visiting, very much like any where else in the world. King Songtsen Gampo felt that this lack of an alphabet and written language was a general failure in many ways, so he sent a senior minister to India to study Sanskrit and develop a Tibetan written text. Lune Productions has previously introduced local and foreign audiences to four dance shows, namely the A O show, Lang Toi My Village , Suong Som the Mist , and Teh Dar.
The Tibetans themselves have always felt that they evolved from the union of a monkey and a mountain-ogress. It was performed by the villagers of Nabji. It was by Pebbles Hindi. There are several Cham lineages that survive today in Bhutan. He is now 47 years old and one of two lead dancers.
The Sakya started during the reform movement of Atisha and were prominent from the 11th to the 14th century. Dances can be instructive with a moral overtone, purify and protect, or proclaim religious victory, but they are long and tedious. Goenpo Bernak is a form of the protective deity Mahakala. In Tantric Buddhism the deities dance in meditation visualizations, in painting, in sculpture, in the Yogic Cham dances. Buddhism had started to take hold in Tibet. The Cham dance, while performed during Monlam, is not restricted to the New Year period. He was particularly unable to make any progress with construction of the first Tibetan Buddhist monastery at Samye located southeast of Lhasa.
Padmasambhava came and assessed the situation. The Lama Namkha Samdrup 15th century , a Tibetan lama who established himself in Bhutan. At this time Tibet had no written language and so the people could not read about the new religion in their own tongue. The Kagyu order was also formed during the reform movement by a student of Atisha and they played a major role in the 15th and 16th centuries. Dance in Western cultures is experienced primarily as entertainment, and is rarely performed as sacred ritual. This Cham was performed by lay monks and villagers of Thangbi, augmented by guest dancers from Jakar Dzong, on Sept. Groups of young women sing and perform during the interlude.
The dancers literally weave themselves together. Dancers embody the deities with all their hand and body movements. These Cham no longer exist in Tibet. After several years his subordinates returned and the king approved the new written language. However, since the rise of New China in 1949, secular power in the Tibet Autonomous Region is firmly in the hands of the Chinese government and not the monks.
Dancers help purify the ground, protecting it from demonic spirits, followed by a procession of trumpets and cymbals, flags and banners, and finally blessings from monks, lamas and religious men. It all started about one thousand five hundred years ago …. But in its recent history Tibet forsook military operations, adopted Buddhism as its state religion and became, for centuries, a finely tuned and focused theocracy. These Cham were performed by the monks of Tamzhing Monastery, seat of Pema Lingpa. Tibet is the land of mystery and legend. He married the Nepali Princess Bhrikuti in a strategic alliance to mollify the Nepali king.