Research Project 2020

Abhiseka: The initiation to caryānṛtya

“On October 27th, along with my fellow RYI classmates Dhi Dhi and Shreeti, I took the initiation to caryānṛtya from our caryā guru Padma Raj Bajracharya (Mahila Gurju), who is a revered Vajrācārya priest from Lalitpur. Although for the past ten months our lessons have been irregular due to the pandemic, we are immensely blessed to have our Abhiṣeka doneat a private ceremony. Our initiation ritual signifies that we have the seed and moisture to practice the caryā dance. After the initiation puja, the three of us performed for the very first time as caryā dancers in full costume and crown. Dhi Dhi, Shreeti and I performed the Āryā Tārā, Sapta-locanī Tārā, and Vajrayoginī dances respectively. We also performed group offerings of Namaskara (Guru praṇāma orsalutation/refuge to the three jewels) at the beginning and Ṣoḍaśyalasya (Sixteen goddess offering) at the end. 

Following is a picture of three of us after our performance as caryā dancers (Image_One). We are showing the mūdra-s of Vajrayoginī (red), Āryā Tārā (green), and Sapta-locanī Tārā (white).

My costume and crown highlight the representation of Vajrayoginī when performed as a caryā nṛtya. Here are the three postures of the classic pose of Vajrayoginī holding a khaṭpara (skull bowl) in left hand and a karti (knife) in right hand that I tried to enact/embody.

It was an immense blessing to rejoice in the triple auspiciousness of Vijayādaśami, Guru Rinpoche day, and our Abhiṣheka tithi, that all occurred around the same time. May our aspirations and efforts on the path of caryā nṛtya come into fruition. Heartfelt appreciation to our Gurju, Guruma, Aasna Bajracharya, Birat Raj Bajracharya, and their families for organizing our Abhiṣeka with so much kindness and sincerity.