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Published on Feb 21, 2012
His Holiness Karmapa performed the "Go-Ma" sacred Dance during "Gutor" events in Bodhgaya, India on February 20th.
The Black Hat dance is an elaborate ritual that took many days to perform in Tibet. The purpose of the ritual is to eliminate the obstacles, which in the individual are the afflictive emotions and misconceptions that cause sufferings. At the beginning of the dance, the Black Hat Dancers make symbolic offerings of Gold Libation (tea) to the lineage Lamas, Tutelary deities (different forms of the Buddha) and Dharmapalas (truth protectors), in order to please them and receive their blessings. As stated in the Vinaya, code of monastic ethics, the robes of ordination serve as a reminder that the person wearing them is fully ordained monk. Ina similar manner, the Black Hat costume is worn by some Tantric practitioners to maintain the clarity and pride of arising in the wrathful aspect of a tantric deity. This divine confidence or pride serves a special funtion for the exclusive path of Tantra. The Black Hat dancers apply protective substances on their cheeks and forehead which give them the wrathful appearance of wrath. They exhibit this fierce aspect in order to tame the minds of sentient beings afflicted by such negative emotions of hatred, greed, and ignorance. They are not motivated by anger, but by the supreme love and compassion.