An explanation of the Tormas and Welcome Gate at 37th Kagyu Monlam

The theme for the tormas of the 37th Kagyu Monlam is the buddhas of the six realms.
The mantra is OM MANI PADME HUM.

1. Torma makers mount the giant tormas into place on the stage.


2. Chöpon-la directing the torma installation.


3. The torma makers installing the shalzes, elaborately carved decorative food offerings. There are eight shalzes on each side of the stage.. .


4. The beautiful tormas are carefully installed and stabilized.


5. Six magnificent tormas flank the stage, three on each side of the Buddha. There are 8 shalzes on each side, along with decorative towers of fruit and baskets of flowers.


6. Three tormas before fruit and flowers are added to their base.


7. The OM torma represents the god realm. Ratmasambhava Buddha is at the top, and the God-Realm Buddha, Thubpa Gya Jin, is in the center.


8. Detail of Thubpa Gya Jin, the God-realm Buddha, with his stringed instrument representing the enjoyments of the realm.


9. The MA torma represents the Jealous God realm. Amoghasiddhi Buddha is at the top, and the Jealous God-Realm Buddha, Thubpa Tak Zang, is in the center.


10. Thubpa Tak Zang, the Jealous God realm Buddha, with his sword representing the fighting in this realm.


11. The NI torma, representing the human realm. Dorje Chang, the primordial Buddha, is at the top, and Buddha Shakyamuni is in the center..


12. Buddha Shakyamuni, the Buddha of the human realm, with his monk’s staff and begging bowl.


13. The PAD torma, representing the animal realm, with Buddha Vairochana at the top and the Animal Realm Buddha, Thubpa Senge Rapten, in the center.


14. Thubpa Senge Rapten holding a text, pacifying the ignorance of the animal realm.


15. The ME torma, representing the hungry ghost realm, with Buddha Amitabha at the top and the hungry ghost Buddha, Thubpa Kha Bar, in the center.


16. Thubpa Kha Bar holding a wish-fulfilling vase to pacify the cravings of the hungry ghost realm.


17. The HUM torma, representing the hell realms, with Buddha Akshobhya at the top and the Hell-Realm Buddha, Thubpa Shin Je Kyi Gyalpo, in the center.


18. Thubpa Shin Je Kyi Gyalpo holding fire and water to pacify the heat and cold of the hell realms.



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Recorded during the 37th Kagyu Monlam, Bodhgaya, India. January 28-30, 2020.