June 24, 2022 – The Summer Solstice has just passed by.
According to Buddhist legends, it is believed that the Sun returns from the North, and journeys to the South, after paying a visit to the Guardian King of the North, Namsey Zambala (Kubera) – the deity of wealth and prosperity in Buddhism.
The Summer Solstice is, therefore, a time for celebration and propitiation for wealth, good harvest, long life and prosperity. Usually a ritual to the wealth deity Zambala is conducted. The central monastic body still does these ceremonies. Devotees also recite Kuenzang Moelam (ཀུན་ཏུ་བཟང་པོའི་སྨོན་ལམ་ kuntuzangpö mönlam) for general wellbeing.
On the other hand, the Winter Solstice is a time when the Sun returns from the South, where the Guardian King is Shin-jey (Yama Raj), whose is also the Lord of Death. Around the Winter Solstice, Bhutanese perform “obstacles and death-preventing rituals” such as Jabzi and Mikha Kharam, and propitiating rituals to Tshepamay (Longeivity Buddha) and to Worldly deities such as Tsheringma. All included in what is term as Lho-choe or chhoga.
Supreme to all rituals is, however, Drolma Yuldog, which literally means “Obstacles removing Tara ritual”. Since Tara represents both a wealth-giving deity as well as obstacle-removing and enlightenment-granting divinity, there is nothing better than conducting Drolma Yuldog. Even Guru Padmasambhava is believed to have conducted Drolma Yuldog for King Thrisong Detsen, to pave way for the success of Samye monastery construction in Tibet.
The founder of Mahayana, Nagarjuna (Gyempo Ludrup in Bhutanese), also invoked the Mother Tara, to help him win the Great Debate against the Theravada elders.
The Buddhist master, Atisha Dipankar, who revived Buddhism in Tibet in the 11th century, is supposed to have invoked Mother Tara when he found himself in a sea storm on his way to Indonesia.
Drolma Yuldog is basically the invocation of all 21 Taras, in which different Tara serve different roles and purpose. My favourite Taras are Tsugtor Namgyelma and Drolma Kurkulle. The ritual is parricularly recommended for people born with birth mewa 7 and for women.
May the Super Mother Tara bless all.