ASTAMATRIK A D ANCE ASTAM ATRI KA DANCE

OF LALITPUR

By: Min Bahadur Shakya
Nagarjuna Institute of Exact Methods

CONTENTS
Introduction Origin and History of Astamatrika Dance Ritual Procedures of Astamatrika Dance Purpose of Astamatrika Dance Need for Preservation of Astamatrika Dance Masks and Paintings of Astamatrika Deities Conclusion

INTRODUCTION
Patan the ancient city is also called Lalitpur - The city of Fine Arts. The indigenous people are mainly Newars living in by clusters of Buddhist Viharas which stand jostling with many Hindu temples but it is the Buddhist premises which are predominantly in the City. ………

ORIGIN AND HISTORY OF ASTAMATRIKA DANCE
King Sri Nivash Malla....... Guru Kulapada Acharya Madhusudan Brahman Sadhana of Astamatrika

RITUAL PROCEDURE
Refuge in Triple Jewels Prostration to Guru and offerings Guru gives Instruction in the dance to the candidates in front of Nrityesvara Performing Uposadha-fasting ceremony Participant visualizes themselves as one of mother goddesses and other deities

PURPOSE OF ASTAMATRIKA DANCE
The dance of Astamatrika is for the removal of obstacles in the city caused by unknown evil spirits, ghosts and eight great fears. Besides, a tantric practitioner worships the Astamatrika for the attainment of eight great Siddhis, well being, peace, prosperity of the country and the people.

NEED

FOR PRESERVING ASTAMATRIKA DANCE

Musical instruments Carya songs Carya Dance Masks creation Paintings

MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS
The musical instruments used in this dance are called "Ponga" and are supposed to be heavenly instrument, and the sound produced thus, has a spiritual significance. Visitors are simply astounded and delighted to see such a spiritual heritage in living form. But unfortunately these heritages in these days are really endangered.

CARYA SONGS
Charyagita is one of the unique features of this dance. Unlike other secular songs, Charyagita has a spiritual significance which is esoteric in nature and can not be fully comprehended by uninitiated mass. The charya dance and charyagita have to be performed and sung simultaneously and is considered in action.

MASKS CREATION
Astamatrika dance is also a ceremony that is ritually marked by a set of masks, which on this occasion, are worn and danced with. These masks have a continual life tone or energy. They are focal points of the Astamatrika dance ceremonies performed during Dashain festival.

ASMATRIKA AND OTHER DEITIES IN THE DANCE
During these Astamatrika dances 13 deities are represented. They are as follow:
2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. Simhini - White Bhairava – Blue Ganesh – White Kumara – Red Brahmayani – Yellow Varahi – Red Indrayani - Yellow + Ash Mahalaxmi  - Red Kaumari - Red Vaishanavi – Green Mahakali/ Chamunda – Red Rudrayani - White Vyaghrini - Yellow

Picture 01

Simhini

Picture 02

Bhairava

Picture 03

Ganesh

Picture 04

Kumara

Picture 05

Brahmayani

Picture 06

Rudrayani

Picture 07

Kaumari

Picture 08

Vaishnavi

Picture 09

Varahi

Picture 10

Indrayani

Picture 11

Mahalaxmi

Picture 12

Mahakali/Camunda

Picture 13

Vyaghrini

Picture 14: Musical Instruments for the Dance

Picture 15: Simhini, Bhairav and Vyaghrini dancing together.

Picture 16: Ganesh

Picture 16: Ganesh