Damaru in Group Puja

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Damaru in Group Puja

Postby Yudron » Fri Feb 01, 2013 10:12 pm

One of my lamas is from far away, and we have a little group doing his practices here. I have learned 99% of my puja skills in the Dudjom Tersar tradition. In that tradition, only the Loppon plays the small damaru in formal group practice... at least in all the pujas regularly done. However, based on what this other lama said, it is my understanding that -- in his tradition -- the "congregation" plays the small damaru as well during a Shitro puja. Do any of you come from a tradition where this is done, and if so, are they playing it only during the silynen, in accordance with how the Loppon usually plays, or at other times?

Please clue me in. :thinking:
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Re: Damaru in Group Puja

Postby Sherab Dorje » Fri Feb 01, 2013 10:17 pm

Only the loppon plays with the Karma Kagyus I hang out with.
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Re: Damaru in Group Puja

Postby JKhedrup » Fri Feb 01, 2013 10:21 pm

In the Gelug monasteries it is quite strict that only the most senior monks or person leading will use the damaru during group practices.

At many Gelug dharma centres, however, the resident teachers allow all students who know the ritual to use the bell and damaru together.

In the context of an extensive small group ritual like a self-initiation at the monastery, you might have all the participating monks using the damaru, but otherwise not. It would be very unusual, too, for any but the most senior monks to use the dorje and bell during public pujas at the assembly hall or khangtsen.
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Re: Damaru in Group Puja

Postby conebeckham » Fri Feb 01, 2013 10:42 pm

Actually, in Karma Kagyu, during most group pujas the Loppon would be the only one to use Damaru...except for Mother Tantra Drupchos, in which case all practitioners (except Umdze and Drummer, horn players, etc.) would do damaru in unison. You see this most commonly in Vajrayogini Pujas.
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Re: Damaru in Group Puja

Postby Yudron » Fri Feb 01, 2013 11:02 pm

conebeckham wrote:Actually, in Karma Kagyu, during most group pujas the Loppon would be the only one to use Damaru...except for Mother Tantra Drupchos, in which case all practitioners (except Umdze and Drummer, horn players, etc.) would do damaru in unison. You see this most commonly in Vajrayogini Pujas.


Well, this is interesting. Sounds like a dril chog, right? In the Dudjom tradition, the Loppon only plays during silnyen during a dril chog--and it is a little bit complicated how to do it. Are the people in the congregation similarly playing during the silnyen only?
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Re: Damaru in Group Puja

Postby conebeckham » Fri Feb 01, 2013 11:28 pm

In Kamtsang Vajrayogini, there is only Silnynen, except for a very short Kangwa which has Rolmo.

The drum-and-cymbal silnyen pattern is called "Phagmo Chirol" and all participants, not just the Loppon, play damaru and bell. I can't recall if the damaru and bell are played during the Kangwa, but it's very short, in any case. I don't think they do.

I do not know what a "Dril Chog" is.
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Re: Damaru in Group Puja

Postby Yudron » Fri Feb 01, 2013 11:36 pm

conebeckham wrote:In Kamtsang Vajrayogini, there is only Silnynen, except for a very short Kangwa which has Rolmo.

The drum-and-cymbal silnyen pattern is called "Phagmo Chirol" and all participants, not just the Loppon, play damaru and bell. I can't recall if the damaru and bell are played during the Kangwa, but it's very short, in any case. I don't think they do.

I do not know what a "Dril Chog" is.


A bell puja. Sounds similar... in this Longchen Nyingthig related tradition, in this puja it's only silnyen except the Dharmapalas, rolmo suring that. In the tersar we play silnyen all the way through during pujas such as our Yeshe Tsogyal puja. The congregation only plays bell, there, though, no damaru.
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Re: Damaru in Group Puja

Postby conebeckham » Fri Feb 01, 2013 11:52 pm

Oh....Akshobya practice is bell and dorje only, in Kagyu tradition, so maybe it's a "Dril Chog." There may be other practices that are like that which I don't know.....possibly Kunrik.

Protector practices in Karma Kagyu use both Silnyen and Rolmo--But daily Kamtsang protector practice is mainly Silnyen, actually. There are lots of musical patterns to learn, we could get technical and talk about BebChens, SumDungs, etc. But in general, during Vajrayogini, and Chakrasamvara, all participants use damaru and bell each time there is silnyen....much of these pujas does not have metrical drumming during the chanting. During Protector practices, and guru pujas, usually only the Loppon will use bell and damaru, and of course there is metrical drumming under the chanting. Some wrathful yidam practices, and even some Guru Pujas, have metrical drumming under either silnyen, or rolmo, or both.

Big subject.....lots can be said.
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Re: Damaru in Group Puja

Postby Pema Rigdzin » Sat Feb 02, 2013 12:17 am

I'm pretty sure that in the Kunzang Nyima tradition (which you probably know comes from another emanation of Dudjom Lingpa), in the main Vajrasattva sadhana, everyone plays the damaru even in group practice. At least this is what I think to be the case; I haven't been able to go to a group practice on it yet but I'm pretty sure I remember the flier for one saying for everyone to bring bell, dorje, and damaru if they have them, and I think I also heard from a friend that they were used by everyone, and I remember being surprised by this.
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Re: Damaru in Group Puja

Postby conebeckham » Sat Feb 02, 2013 12:19 am

On further review, I don't know if we use the term "Dril Chog" in Karma Kagyu. As I said, there are some pujas where there are no drums and cymbals--only bell and vajra.

Even in my center, the musical patterns and traditions vary depending on the source of the practice--so, for instance, Kamtsang music is different from Shangpa music, which is different from the music we use during Tersar-derived practices....etc.
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Re: Damaru in Group Puja

Postby Yudron » Sat Feb 02, 2013 2:57 am

Thanks guys. I'm forming a hypothesis this may be a regional thing... the Kagyu and Nyingma traditions from Eastern Tibet and Amdo having everyone play damaru for some pujas and the central Tibetan traditions, such as Mindroling and the big Gelug centers restricting the damaru to the Dorje Loppon--and perhaps senior monks in the Gelug. I'm remembering seeing the photos of the Ngagmos of Repkong where each of them had a damaru in front.

Cone--all of our main puja's are categorized as nga chog or dril chog. The dril chogs have silnyen and bell and mudras. In the drum pujas, only the loppon does most of the mudras and plays the bell, and there is both rolmo and silnyen, mostly rolmo, a lot of drum.

Thanks.
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Re: Damaru in Group Puja

Postby T. Chokyi » Sat Feb 02, 2013 3:25 am

Yudron wrote:Thanks guys. I'm forming a hypothesis this may be a regional thing... the Kagyu and Nyingma traditions from Eastern Tibet and Amdo having everyone play damaru for some pujas and the central Tibetan traditions, such as Mindroling and the big Gelug centers restricting the damaru to the Dorje Loppon--and perhaps senior monks in the Gelug. I'm remembering seeing the photos of the Ngagmos of Repkong where each of them had a damaru in front.

Cone--all of our main puja's are categorized as nga chog or dril chog. The dril chogs have silnyen and bell and mudras. In the drum pujas, only the loppon does most of the mudras and plays the bell, and there is both rolmo and silnyen, mostly rolmo, a lot of drum.

Thanks.


Actually, on a regular basis, Dudjom Rinpoche's pujas were done up at Tashi Choling with everybody playing the bell & damaru not just the Vajra master or umdse, also the umdse plays rolmo and/or zilnon depending on the puja etc and also maybe considered "bell leader" unless the Vajra Master is in the throne..."Heart Essence of the Lake-Born Vajra,” for example, is a mind treasure or terma of H.H. Dudjom Rinpoche, everybody played, and also everybody did the mudras throughout.
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Re: Damaru in Group Puja

Postby Yudron » Sat Feb 02, 2013 4:47 am

T. Chokyi wrote:
Yudron wrote:Thanks guys. I'm forming a hypothesis this may be a regional thing... the Kagyu and Nyingma traditions from Eastern Tibet and Amdo having everyone play damaru for some pujas and the central Tibetan traditions, such as Mindroling and the big Gelug centers restricting the damaru to the Dorje Loppon--and perhaps senior monks in the Gelug. I'm remembering seeing the photos of the Ngagmos of Repkong where each of them had a damaru in front.

Cone--all of our main puja's are categorized as nga chog or dril chog. The dril chogs have silnyen and bell and mudras. In the drum pujas, only the loppon does most of the mudras and plays the bell, and there is both rolmo and silnyen, mostly rolmo, a lot of drum.

Thanks.


Actually, on a regular basis, Dudjom Rinpoche's pujas were done up at Tashi Choling with everybody playing the bell & damaru not just the Vajra master or umdse, also the umdse plays rolmo and/or zilnon depending on the puja etc and also maybe considered "bell leader" unless the Vajra Master is in the throne..."Heart Essence of the Lake-Born Vajra,” for example, is a mind treasure or terma of H.H. Dudjom Rinpoche, everybody played, and also everybody did the mudras throughout.


Gyatrul Rinpoche is an unbelievably profound lama, and Tashi Choling is some kind of pure land, I'm sure. Everyonw should go there--it is so beautiful. It is common at monasteries where more than one terma traditions are practiced for the style of ritual to be made uniform. Gyatrul Rinpoche's centers do this, although I've noticed it getting less so over the years. Gyaltrul Rinpoche now refers who want to learn the Dudjom tradition, especially music and ritual to Lama Tharchin Rinpoche. Remember the 8 offering bowls we talked about? I think these kind of things come from Eastern Tibet, not from HH Dudjom Rinpoche's gompa in Kongpo.

What is a bell leader?
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Re: Damaru in Group Puja

Postby conebeckham » Sat Feb 02, 2013 6:44 am

Yudron wrote:Cone--all of our main puja's are categorized as nga chog or dril chog. The dril chogs have silnyen and bell and mudras. In the drum pujas, only the loppon does most of the mudras and plays the bell, and there is both rolmo and silnyen, mostly rolmo, a lot of drum.

Thanks.


So do Dril Chogs have no drum?

Karma Kagyu pujas, including those from Tersar traditions, have drums whenever there are cymbals--whether silnyen or rolmo.

Interesting.

I know some "differences" in the way we Kagyupas approach these different traditions--for example, in Sarma sadhanas we generally keep beat with cymbals in our laps, clapping them together a bit, while for Tersar pujas, one uses a ring on one's finger to tap the cymbals that sit in one's lap.
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Re: Damaru in Group Puja

Postby Yudron » Sat Feb 02, 2013 8:31 am

conebeckham wrote:
Yudron wrote:Cone--all of our main puja's are categorized as nga chog or dril chog. The dril chogs have silnyen and bell and mudras. In the drum pujas, only the loppon does most of the mudras and plays the bell, and there is both rolmo and silnyen, mostly rolmo, a lot of drum.

Thanks.


So do Dril Chogs have no drum?

Karma Kagyu pujas, including those from Tersar traditions, have drums whenever there are cymbals--whether silnyen or rolmo.

Interesting.

I know some "differences" in the way we Kagyupas approach these different traditions--for example, in Sarma sadhanas we generally keep beat with cymbals in our laps, clapping them together a bit, while for Tersar pujas, one uses a ring on one's finger to tap the cymbals that sit in one's lap.


But, again, the Nyingmapa's in Kham do things differently. To make things more confusing, Dudjom Rinpoche and his main ritual/music master Kusho Gyurme studied at Mindroling in a certain part of the 20th century, and things changed there afterwards and also there are branch monasteries of Mindroling that have varied the style, to. So people that say they are practicing Mindroling style may do things differently from each other.

No, dril chogs have drum during the silnyen. There are often some sections where the congregation plays their bell every four lines.
There are no rolmo in a dril chog the way we do it, even during dharmapalas.
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Re: Damaru in Group Puja

Postby T. Chokyi » Sat Feb 02, 2013 8:55 am

Yudron wrote: What is a bell leader?


Technically, when the Vajra master is in the throne, one watches for cues as to when you start playing the bell from the VM. It's a good idea to have this worked out in your text before the puja, because there are places where the VM only plays. Generally during the puja, the VM begins ringing the bell then you play your bell, when the VM stops then you stop, this is generally where your "cues" come from even though you may have your text marked etc...however, if the VM designates a "bell leader" (usually this will be the umdse) then the group follows that person for the cues.

Cone: I know what you mean about the ring on the cymbal, however if you are leading the puja then the tapping with the ring is fine, if you are not leading the puja, better not to tap. :tongue:

Yudron, were you taught "cymbal language"...the Tibetan notation for playing the cymbals?

Can you read an "ur sum dong" from cymbal notation?
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Re: Damaru in Group Puja

Postby Yudron » Sat Feb 02, 2013 9:23 am

T. Chokyi wrote:
Yudron wrote: What is a bell leader?


Technically, when the Vajra master is in the throne, one watches for cues as to when you start playing the bell from the VM. It's a good idea to have this worked out in your text before the puja, because there are places where the VM only plays. Generally during the puja, the VM begins ringing the bell then you play your bell, when the VM stops then you stop, this is generally where your "cues" come from even though you may have your text marked etc...however, if the VM designates a "bell leader" (usually this will be the umdse) then the group follows that person for the cues.

Cone: I know what you mean about the ring on the cymbal, however if you are leading the puja then the tapping with the ring is fine, if you are not leading the puja, better not to tap. :tongue:

Yudron, were you taught "cymbal language"...the Tibetan notation for playing the cymbals?

Can you read an "ur sum dong" from cymbal notation?


I've seen Tibetan musicians mark cymbal patterns in a couple of different ways. HH Dudjom Rinpoche assigned people to make notes about music using words, so there are guides called zindries that include music. Lama Tharchin Rinpoche is currently revising our main practice texts to include these notes from the Dudjom Sungbum right in the recitation text. That way everyone can learn how it is supposed to be done.

Sum dung mean three strikes, it is a common rolmo pattern in a nga chog. I don't know what ur means.

One time HH Dudjom Rinpoche was invited to a puja, and for a long time after it started he kept wondering what puja they were doing. Then, eventually he realized it was Namchak Putri, the sadhana he himself had compiled from Dudjom Lingpa's termas. It had been completely unrecognizable to him.
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Re: Damaru in Group Puja

Postby T. Chokyi » Sat Feb 02, 2013 10:01 am

Yudron wrote:
I've seen Tibetan musicians mark cymbal patterns in a couple of different ways. HH Dudjom Rinpoche assigned people to make notes about music using words, so there are guides called zindries that include music. Lama Tharchin Rinpoche is currently revising our main practice texts to include these notes from the Dudjom Sungbum right in the recitation text. That way everyone can learn how it is supposed to be done.

Sum dung mean three strikes, it is a common rolmo pattern in a nga chog. I don't know what ur means.

One time HH Dudjom Rinpoche was invited to a puja, and for a long time after it started he kept wondering what puja they were doing. Then, eventually he realized it was Namchak Putri, the sadhana he himself had compiled from Dudjom Lingpa's termas. It had been completely unrecognizable to him.


It's just the longer pattern played with the rolmo before the three strikes (twice). In different parts of Tibet, as you probably have heard, the dialects are quite different, if there was a visit to Golok for instance...

Cymbal notation is a little different than what musical notation looks like, although I have not seen traditional musical notes added to practice texts that have been translated into English that I can remember, so in that way, I think adding the musical notation is a first, adding any kind of "words representing music" associated with the text would be new (to English practice texts). I've never seen anybody put cymbal notation anywhere though, although it isn't really necessary. I have seen very useful illustrated "cues" added to texts, such as the beautiful pictures of the Bell & drum etc recently added as musical cues into CHNN's practice texts, and if I'm recalling correctly also there were some pictures representing musical cues in some Drikung sadhanas I saw recently.
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Re: Damaru in Group Puja

Postby Pema Rigdzin » Sun Feb 03, 2013 3:34 am

Yudron wrote:
Gyatrul Rinpoche is an unbelievably profound lama, and Tashi Choling is some kind of pure land, I'm sure. Everyonw should go there--it is so beautiful. It is common at monasteries where more than one terma traditions are practiced for the style of ritual to be made uniform. Gyatrul Rinpoche's centers do this, although I've noticed it getting less so over the years. Gyaltrul Rinpoche now refers who want to learn the Dudjom tradition, especially music and ritual to Lama Tharchin Rinpoche. Remember the 8 offering bowls we talked about? I think these kind of things come from Eastern Tibet, not from HH Dudjom Rinpoche's gompa in Kongpo.

What is a bell leader?


These days for Tersar pujas at TC (which is like 99% of what is openly practiced as a group there) they're adhering to the dril chog/nga chog thing with sadhanas, but for some reason it seems like that was only instituted a few yrs ago. I may be wrong. But it seemed like we used to all play the bell at the appropriate sections of every sadhana, and then I didn't go up there for a while and happened to read about the whole dril chog/nga chog thing, which I had been unfamiliar with, and then when I went back that's how they were doing things. This is at least what my memory is telling me.
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Re: Damaru in Group Puja

Postby conebeckham » Sun Feb 03, 2013 4:25 am

An "ur" -- the cymbals hit, hit again, and again, and again...each time, with less space in between, until they finally "die down"--
It's like an accelerando, with a gradual decrescendo, if you know the terms...or, perhaps, like the sound a coin makes when it stops spinning on it's side and starts tending towards stopping?

An "ur" is part of a BebChen, or Bebchung, usually...a Bebchen usually has three hits, with tipping on the rims, followed by an "ur" and then a NyiShak or a Sum Dung, depending. Then there's also the issue of whether there is a "za you," or "za may."

Impossible to really explain these things without a pair of cymbals in your hands, innit???

:shrug:
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