is the pendant of the damaru, a victory banner, proclaiming the vanquishing of the four maras and the prison of samsaric mind. Consisting of a triangular header and a tail, they ornament the simplicity and power of the drum. The drum is the sound of Emptiness, the pendant is the splendor of its manifestation into the world, into the five Buddha Families, five skandhas and five elements. Especially, they are an expression of the Five Dakini (Khandroma) families, the elegance and power of the feminine Wisdom energy, freely dancing in space (Tib: Khandro means \’she who travels in the sky [of mind]).
Instead of the polyester brocade and small panels that are used today, we have had classic-stye chopen fabricated, that reflect the long and meaningful traditions of Chod. These are 100% Benares silk, with nine full length panels going in a sequence from blue (space-sky), white (water-clouds), red (fire-sun), green (air-vegetation) and yellow (earth-mountain) at the center, and then repeating the same pattern to the back. These move beautifully and elegantly and are a fitting proclamation for the activity of Chod.
The tail of the damaru is completed by certain essential ornaments. These include:
- 1. Mirror or melong.
- 2. Yerka or small jingle bells.
- 3. Tiger and leopard skins strips.3. 4. Semiprecious gems: turquoise, amber and dzi bead.
- 5. Human hair (which you will have to acquire yourself!).
The mirror adorns the center of the chopen, traditionally silver, but brass is acceptable, due to the higher price of silver. This melong is both the expression of pure, stainless dharmakaya mind and the indivisibility of luminosity and emptiness.
The yerka or small bells call the dakinis and are the sound of their joyous laughter. There presence is an essential part of the damaru\’™s sound. Sadly, this became one of the missing ingredients in the translation of Chod from old Tibet to India and Nepal and then to the West. This tradition must be revived by today\’™s dedicated practitioners.
Tiger and leopard skins magnetize and overcome the wild passion of oneself and others and attract beings of the 6 realms. We use the finest \’faux furs\’ available today, which carry the animal energy, while respecting the lives of these magnificent beings.
Dzi, turquoise or amber stones. placed on the handle, attract the three kinds of non-human spirits (above, upon, and below the ground respectively).