Damaru is a kind of traditional handy Drum. Damaru is used in religious worshipping and other rites. It is a small two-faced drum with a leather string tied over the narrow middle part of it. A bone or wooden ended string is knotted with the string. When the Damaru is swung or moved by hand in a faster motion once to the left and once to the right alternatively, the wooden or bone ends of the string make rattling sound on the membranes fitted on both faces of the drum. It is appeared along with the trident or Trisula in association with Shiva cults. This tantric symbol is supposed to be composed of two half-skulls put together.
Thursday, October 25, 2018
Through the festival of Dasain commences on first day of the bright fortnight of the month of Aswin and lasts for a fortnight, yet a few days between the seventh and tenth day aree of special importance. The first day of Dasain is known as Ghatsthapana when barley seeds are sown in sands brought from holy river from which a freshly germinated shoot looking like yellow flower springs out, Fulpati is on the seventh day when a state procession of government officials starts from Hanuman Dhoka to receive the flowers from Gorkha, the home town of Prithvi Narayan Shah, the founder of greater Nepal nation state. Lots of slow and fast gun-fires are a feature of this day that people enjoy. On its eighth day, the festival is known as Maha-Astami – a day of feasting, enjoyment and, to some extent, of animal sacrifices to goddess Bhagavati. Navami or the ninth day is the special day of animal sacrifices offered to goddess Durga or Bhagavati. Lots of buffalos and goats are killed. Goddess Durga is known to have killed the buffalo demon (Mahisasura) by herself. The tenth say is known as Vijaya Dasami or the day of victory over evils. Rama is known to have defeated Ravana on this day. Exchange of greetings, feasting with friends and relatives, visiting one’s superiors for blessings and various other social entertainment programmes are part of the festival.
The celebration of Dasain is centered around the worship of Shakti, or the mother goddess Durga. The tradition of worship of Shakti or feminine power has an ancient origin. Interesting hymns dedicated to the glory of Aadi Shakti, the eternal universal mother are proof of its Vedic origins. Some of her earlier names mentioned in the Vedas are Usha, Prithvi, Vac, Ratri, Aditi and so on. The Puranas are also full of praise for mother goddesses.
Darais are mainly found in Damauli of Tanahu District and on the banks of Madi River. Flat-nosed, short in stature and stout in built, Darais are prominently boatmen and fishermen. The Darai language is imbued with Bhojpuri, Maithili, Magar and Gurung languages. Darai women enjoy a place of esteem in their society. Darais marry after having children. They profess Buddhism, and alcohol accentuates their religious ceremonies.
Akin to the Tharus in many ways, the traditional strongholds of the Danuwars are the Banke and Bardia districts. The Danuwars belong to four clans such as loincloth wearer, janai or the sacred thread wearer, Rai and Adhikari. The loincloth-wearing Danuwars live between the Chure and Mahabharat Ranges while the thread wearing ones live in the Terai plains. Rai and Adhikari Danuwars prefer the riverbanks. In religious matters, Danuwars are closer to the Tharu and Dhimal ethnic groups. Farming is their major occupations.
Just as music, there are as many forms of dances as there are races, languages and religious faiths in Nepal. Folk dances are frequently performed during festivals and other occasions for entertainment. These days, representatives folk dances of various races of people are staged in a single programme in halls enabling locals as well as tourists to see these performances easily. Dances of Gurungs, Newars, Parbatiyas, Tamangs, Magars, Tharus, Bhotias, Bhojpuri, Awadhi, Maithili and Madhises are generally performed. There are many kinds of classical as well as religious dances as well. Masked dances of the deities are performed during various occasions such as the Kali dance, Maha Luxmi dance, Four Betals dance, Lakhey dance, Khyak dance and so on. These dances depict the look, nature and different deities concerned. In Nepalese dances, the feelings and ideas are expressed in various mudras or poses made as part of the dances. These can be understood by anyone having some idea and habit of observing such dances.
A class or category of demon goddess. Dakini is the feminine version of Daka the term used for male demons. Dakini literally means “sky walking woman”, hence they are believed to be capable of flying. Also, Dakini is used as synonym for prajna or embodiment of wisdom. Every Goddess is regarded as Dakini in that sense. Such a Dakini may be designated as the female partner during Tantric initiation ceremonies and, thus, she can take both, human as well as superhuman forms.