Jammu, August 09:

Ladakh based Drukpa Order- the leading sect of Himalayan Buddhism announced the dates for the ‘Naropa 2016’ – a grand spiritual celebration that happens once in 12 years. Christened after the Indian scholar-saint Naropa, this is the biggest and most prominent Buddhist festival in the world and attracts tourists from across the globe. Referred to as the “KumbhMela of the Himalayas”, the Naropa Festival 2016 commemorates the millennial birth anniversary of Naropa in a month-long celebration throughout September at Hemis Monastery, the seat of the Drukpa Order in Leh.


Half a million people are expected to attend the festival this year, that promises to be a unique mix of spirituality, culture and diversity. It will feature performances by Bollywood celebrities and several high profile dignitaries from across the globe. His Eminence Drukpa Thuksey Rinpoche, one of the regents of the Drukpa Order, announced the dates of Naropa 2016 at the recently concluded Hemis Festivalin Leh.


Naropa is the patron Saint of the Drukpa Order whose life heralded the beginning of a rich tradition in Buddhist philosophy. Himalayan Buddhism and its offshoots across Central Asia are steeped in the teachings of Naropa who played a defining role in shaping the culture and identity of various communities. Saint Naropa resided in Ladakh, where he mastered the “Six Yogas of Naropa.” These are now meditational pillars of Vajrayana Buddhism, and are fundamental to nearly every school and lineage of the greater Himalayas. His message of experiential learning and active compassion continue to be the fundamental principles of the Drukpa Order and have earned the lineage a robust global following.


The Naropa Festival will feature an elaborate ceremony where His Holiness the Gyalwang Drukpa– spiritual head of the Drukpa Order who is revered as Naropa’s reincarnation, shall don the Six Bone Ornaments that are the physical legacy of Saint Naropa– left behind after his liberation.