Chap Chu: Sacred Spring Ritual Tashiding Monastery
28 minutes 2011
This film is about an almost forgotten Buddhist ritual in Sikkim. Once a year during the summer, the lamas of Tashiding monastery perform the Chap Chu. The ritual commemorates how, in the 17th century, a Tibetan lama Ngadak Senpa Chenpo miraculously produced two drinking water sources for Silnon and Tashiding villages in West Sikkim.
The Tibetan lama instructed the lamas and villagers to hold this purifying ritual every year so as to forever maintain the water’s purity. On the day of the ritual, the Tashiding lamas carry a statue of Ngadak Senpa Chenpo to the water source where, on the same day, the lama used to take his bath some four centuries earlier. The ritual concludes with a communal bath with all the lamas joining into a joyful water fight.
Cinematography and Editing: Phurba Tshering Bhutia
Commentators: Tshering Paljor Dokhampa and Acharya Neydup Bhutia
Sikkim Ritual Video Archive Project
Produced by the Namgyal Institute of Tibetology, Sikkim
DVDs of ‘Chap Chu’ are available at the Institute’s book shop.