In the second of his films about Tibetan Buddhism made in the early ’60s Desjardins looks more closely at the religious side of the culture, with an examination of the rites and rituals, yogic practices and meditation involved in Tantric Buddhism.
We see the makeshift monasteries which the Tibetans had set up at that time to continue their traditions, and how they make mandalas, and the underlying meaning of them.
We meet with sects that specialise in study and debate, and see their traditional learning techniques; have a rare glimpse of the preparations for the Kalacakra rite, set up for want of a more suitable place, in one of the Dalai Lama’s rooms.
We are also shown Khentse Rinpoche taking on the form of Mahakala, and engaged in ritual exorcism and performing the yajna offerings, and see some of the famous lama dances, which are ritualised expressions of the Tibetan world-view.
Towards the end we meet with some of the more yogis who had followed the Dalai Lama into exile, and see their students, and the film ends with still shots of some of the more famous teachers in the tradition.
While researching the materials for these films I found out that Arnaud Desjardins had passed away from this world on August 10th, 2011, may all his good works bring him many blessings in his next life.
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Studying the Scriptures
Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche
Chanting during Mahakala
Cham Dancing Mahakala
Lobsang Sonam Tzampo ?