The Naropa Festival, one of the biggest and most prominent Buddhist festivals in the world, will be held in Ladakh this year. Attracting tourists from India and abroad, it will be celebrated at the Hemis Monastery from 16-20th September 2018.
The festival celebrates Naropa, an 11th century Indian Scholar-Saint. Once the chancellor at the famous Nalanda Univeristy, he heralded the beginning of a rich tradition in Buddhist philosophy, shaping the cultures and identities of many. His teachings, the Six Yogas of Naropa, have also become fundamental pillars of the Himalayan Vajrayana Buddhist tradition.
This year, the Naropa Festival will include various elaborate ceremonies. Among these will be the unveiling of precious ancient relics. The Six Bone Ornaments of Saint Naropa, and a the silk embroidered brocade of Buddha Amitabha will also be displayed.
Naropa Festival 2018 to be held at Ladakh
The Naropa Festival will be held at the Hemis Monastery 40 km from Leh in Ladkah, the seat of the Drukpa Order. The Drukpa (or “dragon”) Lineage dates back to Saint Naropa, and forms a large part of the history of Buddhism itself. Above all, the order follows the Mahayana Buddhist tradition in philosophy. They “acquired the name ‘Drukpa’ in the twelfth century when the reincarnation of Naropa, Tsangpa Gyare, saw nine dragons fly up into the sky from the ground of Namdruk.”
The present Gyalwang Drukpa (head of the Buddhist Drukpa Lineage) is the twelfth incarnation, and is a world-renowned humanitarian. Like the rest of the Drukpas, he is also known for converting compassion into action to tackle the many issues we face today. The Drukpa, and the Hemis Monastery are also known for their annual celebration of the birth anniversary of Guru Padmasambhava.
You can find out more about the Drukpa and the Naropa Festival on their official website, and their Facebook page. We will also be covering the festival in greater detail, so make sure to watch out for updates!