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Hemis Monastery

Hemis Gompa

Hemis Monastery

is one of the biggest and wealthiest monatries in ladakh. Presently,Hemis gompa leh is run by Drukpa sect of Buddhism, which once flourished during the Namgyal dynasty.

Hemis Monastery Ladakh

is located approximately at a distance of 47 km from Leh.It belongs to Dugpa order and was founded in year of 1630 by the First incarnation of Stagsang Raspa Nawang Gyatso. Hemis Monastery Ladakh existed before the 11th century.

Guru Rimpoche have been born of on 5th month, 10th day which was predicted by Buddha Shakyamuni.It is said that he born on the earth in order to improve the religious condition of all living beings. And so on this day, which comes once in a cycle of 12 years, Hemis observes a major extravaganza in his memory. The observance of these sacred rituals is believed to give spiritual strength and good health. Naropa, the student of the yogi Tilopa, and teacher of the translator Marpa is connected with this monastery. A translation was made by A.Grunwedel of Naropa's biography that was found in Hemis gompa Ladakh monastery. In this manuscript Naropa meets tantric master who has given Naropa on 12 large and 12 small tasks to do in order to make clear to him to the natural illusoriness of all things.

Hemis Gompa Ladakh

Naropa is depicted as the "abbott of Nalanda"the university-monastery in today's Bihar, India, that flourished until the sacking by Turkish and Afghan Muslim forces. This sacking must have been the driving force behind Naropa's peregrination in the direction of Hemis. After Naropa and Tilopa met in Hemis and both of them travelled back in the direction of a certain monastery which now no longer existing kingdom of Maghada, called Otantra which has been identified as today's Otantapuri. Naropa is consered the founding father of the Kagyu-lineage of the Himalayan esoteric Buddhism. Hemis is one of the main seat of the Kagyu lineage of Buddhism.

Lord Buddha statue, Sacred thankas and stupas are kept inside the monastery. In hemis gompa leh they also enjoy Annual Hemis festival, Sacred Dance Festival which takes on 9th &10th day of the fifth month of the Tibetan calendar.It is celebrated for Guru Padmasambhav birth anniversary.Sacred mask dance is performed in the monastery, every year. The Hemis gompa Ladakh festival takes place in the rectangular quad in front of the major entrance gate of the monastery. The space is wide and open save two raised square platforms, three feet high with a sacred pole in the center.

Hemis Monastery Ladakh

A raised dias with a richly cushioned seat with a finely painted small Tibetan table is placed with the ceremonial items - cups full of holy water, uncooked rice, tormas made of dough and butter and incense sticks. Also there are various musicians in hemis monastery leh that play the traditional music with four pairs of cymbals, large-pan drums, small trumpets and large size wind instruments. Next to them, some spaces are left out for the Lamas to sit.The ceremonies start on the early morning ceremony at the top where, beat of drums and the ringing collide of cymbals and the religious howl of pipes, the portrait of "Dadmokarpo" or "Rygyalsras Rimpoche" is then ceremoniously put on display for all to respect and devotion.The most important of festivities of hemis gompa leh are the mystic mask dances. These Mask Dances of Hemis gompa Ladakh are known as chams Performance. These Chams performance is essential part of Tantric tradition which is performed only in those gompas which follow the Tantric Vajrayana teachings and the monks perform tantric worship.

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