Vajrakilaya Puja and Lama Dances – Gutor Puja

From February 2 – 8, 2024, the annual Gutor Puja was ongoing at Ka-Nying Shedrub Ling Monastery. The puja took place over seven days preceding the start of the Tibetan lunar New Year. It is essentially a wrathful exorcism to sweep away all lingering negative energy, harmful influences, bad luck, and adverse circumstances and usher in good fortune, prosperity, blessings, good health, and excellent conditions for a fresh start to the next 12 months.

The gutor’s ‘special guest’ is the mighty deity, Vajrakilaya, whose powerful blessings are evoked by the monastic assembly based on an intricate Vajrayana sadhana practice, intense mantra recitation, and thunderous musical interludes. The puja is led by Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche, Tulku Urgyen Yangsi Rinpoche, and Phakchok Rinpoche

The highlight of the Gutor Puja is the all-day Lama Dancing, or cham (Tib.), on the final Protector Day of the waning 12th Tibetan month. The dance includes around 25 or more costumed Black Hat lama dancers. This dance will take place in the monastery’s upper front courtyard during both morning and afternoon sessions. Every year, a few hundred spectators fill the courtyards to enjoy the monastery’s popular annual Lama Dance.

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