Ceremonies, which often include ritual music and dance, are held at Mindrolling throughout the year. These ceremonies are performed for a variety of purposes such as honoring those who have died in the previous year, purifying negativities, and bestowing blessings on monastics and laity. The giving of empowerments, dispelling obstacles and asking for protection, requesting peace and an end to famine and warfare are also occasions for ceremony.
Drubchö for the Nine Dharmapalas
This Drubchö is held for three days beginning from the 27th of the seventh lunar month. During this ceremony, prayers and various offerings are made to the nine Dharmapalas and other protectors in order to dispel obstacles to the Dharma and sangha.
Saga Dawa Drubchö
This Drubchö held on the 15th day of the 4th lunar month marks the birth, enlightenment and mahaparinirvana of Shakyamuni Buddha, one of the most important occasions throughout the Buddhist world. Special prayers, rituals and butter lamp offerings are made during this ceremony.
Beginning the 24th day of the first lunar month, this Drubchen is a ten-day ceremony. It is based on the Kagyed De-Sheg Du Pa terma that is one of the treasure teachings discovered by the renowned Terton Nyang Ral Nyima Wozer and later revived by Terdag Lingpa. When Terdag Lingpa was about to pass into Parinirvana, it is said that he asked his disciples and sangha members not to weep but to realize the truth of impermanence. He then instructed them that if they had devotion for him and truly wanted to benefit beings they should do the Kagyed ceremony each year. This, he said, would benefit the Dharma and all sentient beings. In accordance with the instructions of this great Bodhisattva, from that time on, the Kagyed Drubchen has been held every year, and is now being performed at the Mindrolling monastery in India.
Tel-da Tse Chu
This auspicious ceremony marks the birth of the great Mahaguru Padmasambhava. This Drubchö is performed for three days in accordance with the Lama Sangdu text from the 8th to the 10th day of the 5th lunar month. During the Drubchö, special feast practices are done and the tsog (feast offering) is distributed to the general community.
Tsimar Kangsol Puja
This special puja is performed for six days from the 6th day of the 10th lunar month. It is held to dispel obstacles to the Dharma and sangha by offering prayers to Tsimar who is one of the main protectors within the Nyingma school.
This ceremony is performed from the 27th day of the 10th lunar month for three days in order to dispel the obstacles of all sentient beings. It is done in accordance with the Vajrakilaya ritual of Yang Sang Pudi, which is a terma, discovered by the great treasure master Guru Chöwang and later revived byTerdag Lingpa
The Vajrasattva Drubchö
The Vajrasattva Drubchö is a seven-day ceremony based on the Minling Dorsem or Mindrolling Vajrasattva ritual. Minling Dorsem is part of the Vajrasattva cycle of teachings discovered by Chögyal Terdag Lingpa. The Drubchö is held every year for seven days beginning on the 10th day of the first lunar month. This grand ceremony is performed to purify the negativities of all sentient beings, particularly of the deceased. On the 15th day of the first lunar month (the sixth day of the Drubchö), His Holiness Mindrolling Trichen, along with the entire sangha, performs a special ceremony for those who have died within the previous year.
The Yamantaka Tordok
This important Drubchö is held from the 23rd day of the 12th lunar month to the last day of the year. It is performed in accordance with the ritual of Yamantaka of the Shinje Dregjom terma discovered by Chögyal Terdag Lingpa in order to dispel all the obstacles for the coming year. This ceremony is considered a very special ritual for the peace and welfare of all the sentient beings. Witnessing the lama dances performed on the 28th and 29th days during the ceremony is said to avert the obstacles of the coming new year.
Yarne Rain Retreat
The rain retreat lasts for one and a half months, from the 15th day of the 6th lunar month to the 30th day of the 7th lunar month. The retreat is held in accordance with the instructions of the Buddha in the Vinaya Sutra directing all monks to observe certain restrictions and engage themselves in meditation and practices for the period. ‘Sojong’ or confessions are offered by the sangha on two occasions during this retreat. On the evening of the 30th, the last day of the retreat, selected monks give teachings and expound the Dharma to the community.
Guru Drakpo Tordok
This ceremony is held for three days from the 27th day of the 11th lunar month as a special ritual to dispel the different obstacles caused by the eight classes of spirits and other adversities such as war, famine and epidemic. It is performed in accordance with the ritual of Minling Gudrak from the Guru Drakpo terma discovered by Chögyal Terdag Lingpa.
Since the heat in India makes it impossible for the dances in this ceremony to be performed in the 5th lunar month as they were in Tibet, this Drubchö is held for three days beginning on the 8th day of the 2nd lunar month. The Tsechu Drubchö marks the birth of Guru Padmasambhava and is done in accordance with the Terma, Lama Sangdu, which was discovered by the great treasure master Guru Chöwang and later revived by Terdag Lingpa.
On the 10th day of the 2nd lunar month, a full day’s Lama Dance is performed in accordance with the ritual of Lama Sangdu. These Lama Dances are renowned for their blessings and are the foremost examples of the Lama Dances of Tibet in their original form. Many people come from all over to receive the blessings of this great ritual. On the next day, His Holiness Mindrolling Trichen. Kyabje Mindrolling Trichen bestowed a long-life empowerment to the public in order to dispel the obstacles and difficulties in the coming year. This tradition has been observed down to the present day since the Tsechu Drubchö was first performed in Mindrolling. It has been an opportunity both for everyone to receive the blessings of the Mindrolling Trichen and for the coming together of the monastic and lay sangha.
Kamei Tsogchen Dupa Drubchö
One of the most sacred Lama Dances, the Kamei Tsa Cham, is performed on the 13th day of the 9th lunar month. It is a full day of ritual dances wherein the dancers depict the pacifying of the land and building the mandala for the ceremony. Thereafter, the main Drubchö is held for five days beginning from the 17th day of the 9th lunar month. This ceremony is held in accordance with the Dupa Do in the Kama or oral tradition from the Lochen Kabum and represents the entire mandala of peaceful and wrathful deities in accordance with the Anuyoga tantra.