Charya Geet

 

- Yagnaman Pati Vajracharya

 

(This is the summary of the paper presented in Newari during the 'Conference on the Buddhist Heritage of Nepal Mandal' in 1998.)

 

  1. Introduction

  2. Breakthrough by the Lotus Research Centre

  3. Objectives of this working paper

  4. Supporting materials

  5. Origin of charyageet

  6. Impact of distorted language Doha

  7. Hevajratantra

  8. Role of the Commentators

  9. Charyageet in Nepal

  10. Various Characteristics of Charyageet

  11. Role of band of singers in charyageet

  12. Language and style of charyageet

  13. Rules of Chacha

  14. Conclusion

Introduction :

            In the land of birth of Gautam Buddha, more particularly because of the magnificant  presence of Swayambhu Mahachaitya, the Charya Geet  (song) is thriving upto the present day in the Nepal Mandala (also called Nepal Valley or the Kathmandu Valley). Buddhism has expanded to all parts of India such as Bihar, Bengal, Kashmir, etc. and various parts of  China, mainly Tibet. Vajrayama Buddhism has also spread to the above mentioned lands. Charya Geet occupies a very important place in Vajrayama.

            Charya geet is not simply confined to any particular subject, idea or context but it encompasses  various ideas and subjects. Similarly, it is not  confined to any particular area or country but has spread to places  and countries. The charya geet has developed not simply as a tool to be used by a single community. The people who have faith in Yogatantra  and Anutarayogatantra have been employing the charya geet for various purposes to suit the taste of the people living in various places. Therefore, various names are given to it according to places where it is used and the people who use it.

            The charya geet is addressed in various names such as Chacha, Charyapada, Sangiti, Charyageet, Vajrageet, Vajragiti, etc. The very culture of Nepal Mandala is embedded in Chacha.  Those who sing chacha are called chachapa.  The practice of singing chacha in foreign lands in a natural manner has disappeared. But as it is evolving  in Nepal as an integral part of a ritual activity, charyageet is keeping abreast of time as main culture of  Nepal.

Breakthrough by the Lotus Research Centre

            Charyageet is popular among the Mahayana Buddhists of Nepal, especially Vajra- charyas, Shakyas, Udas and other Mahayana followers. They are taking charyageet as a part of their ritual as well as culture. This culture is the typical Newar culture which is popular in the international arena. It is a great privilege for me to have the opportunity of writing a working paper on charyageet. For this, I am extremely grateful to chairman and manager of Lotus Research Centre Mr. Bajraraj Shakya and Churna Bahadur Vajracharya respectively.

 

Thanks for suggestions

            I have presented the outlines of this  working paper at a workshop seminar held at Accheswar Mahavihar on Kartik 17, 2053. (Oct, 1996). In that workshop seminar, Pandit Ratnakaji Vajracharya and Dharma Ratna ‘Trisuli’ gave a written comment on the working paper. Then, on the same occasion literateur Satya Mohan Joshi, epigraphist Hemaraj Shakya, Buddhist ritual expert Pandit Badri Ratna Vajracharya, scholar Mahiswar Raj Vajracharya, propagator of charya Prajwal Ratna Vajracharya made a verbal comment on my working paper. On the basis of these comments, I have written this working paper for the second time. I thank all these commentators.

 

Objectives of this working paper

            Looking casually, the chacha does not appear significant or meaningful. But if one delves deep into it, one will find so many things in it. In charyageet there is religion, history, literature, language, introduction of idols, philosophy, ritualistic knowledge and so on. The merits of charyageet cannot be measured in terms of weights and measures as it is pregnant with meanings.

            The essence of charygageet is immeasurable. Therefore, an attempt has been made here to give an account of ordinary matters of charyageet. These are :

 

1.         To prepare a framework in the form of a paper to support the people working on finding out the origin of charyageet.

 

2.         To keep the record of rules and regulations in practice in the  field of charyageet.

 

3.         To provide support or suggestion regarding the works to be done in the field of charyageet.

 

Supporting materials

            Mention has already been about the significance of charyageet as well as the wide area covered by it. It is full of mysteries and symbolic meanings. The verbal expressions  in the charyageet and the practical application of charya meanings are not only educative but they are also initiatory. In other words, most of the secrets of charyageet are merged into the circle of  teacher-disciple tradition. This also points out to the sensitivity of teacher disciple relationship.

 

1.         Old manuscripts, books on chacha used here and there in the Kathmandu Valley in the form of ritual materials, worship procedures and the cultural traits of Newars and chachas included in the transcripts of these books are main materials of this working paper. I have heard that there are other chachas than mentioned already. Works on chargageet have already come out in a book called Charya Charya Vinaschaya. Even though those chachas have been composed by Siddhas such as Luipa, Sarahapada, Bhusukapada, Kukuripada, Godaripa, no other chachas except the chacha of Godaripa called Trihanda have been mentioned in the manuscripts. In the book Charya Charya Vinaschaya chachas of Vachaspati and others have not been included. But, on the contrary, three chachas of Kukaripa who was born in Kapilvastu have been incorporated in that book. It is not that there are not separate compilations such as Dohakosh and Gatha.  Even though the feelings expressed there are very much similar with the feelings expressed in chachas, they have not been included in the charyageet. Therefore, the main supporting materials of this working paper are the compositions on charyageet by the noted chacha  composers of Nepal like Vakavajra, Lilavajra, Suratvajra, Amoghvajra, Ratna Kulisa, Suratananda, Sundarananda, etc. the works which have been in use since the ancient times.

 

2.         I have followed the study of Benoytosh Bhattacharya regarding the time of charyageet composers. In course of writing, editing and publication of Guhyasamaja, Nispannayogavali, Sadhanamala, he has mentioned about charyageet composers in introductions and in other appropriate places.

 

3.         I have used the views of scholars on chronicles of Nepal published in newspapers.

 

4.         I have used the writing in research journals published from Benares. Time mentioned in these  writings has also  considerably helped in preparing this working paper.

 

5.         Lama Taranath was 600 years old. I have also borrowed from his thoughts on the time of chacha composition.

 

6.             Hevajra tantra has a tremendous impact on the Buddhists of  Nepal. Whatever worship activities are continuing in the Mahayana-dominated area of Nepal are confined to the area occupied by the followers of Aevarajra tantra. Chachas existing in Nepal and frequently used in Nepal belong to the domain of Hevajratantra. The text Hevajratantra composed at the time of King Vigrahadevapala and Hevajratantra edited by David Snellgrove in Roman script are still used in Nepal.

 

7.         I felt that the legends and the belief of the people must not be forgotten. I have used the legends mentioned in Swayambhu Purana.

8.             Tradition is also a part of culture. I have used tradition as a  supporting material for this working paper.

 

Origin of charyageet

            When did charyageet originate ? Who first composed it ? No evidence is so far available to trace its origin. An attempt is made here to trace the origin through the following materials.

            There is no deliberate plan or programme to trace the origin and development of charyageet.

 

Factors that helped create charyageet

            In ancient times, too, there was the practice of expressing feelings in poetry. It is an effective and beautiful way of  expression that attracts readers. This is also applicable  in the matter of pleasing gods and goddesses. Hymns and psalms were  composed and chanted in religious shrines to offer prayers and please gods and goddesses. The followers of Mahayana Buddhism used to compose hymns and psalms and profusely used them  with a wish to attain the status of  Boddhisattva. This state can be attained in this present life if one tries with proper dedication and devotion. This is the belief of the followers of Mahayana.

 

Saddharmapundarika

            It has been mentioned in the sacred Buddhist text Saddharmapundarika that those who offer  worship playing musical instruments and chanting hymns and psalms attain Buddhahood. This text was written in the early century of the Christian era. It is one of the famous Navagranthas or Navadharmas (nine scriptures). The merit of worshipping gods and goddesses accompanied by playing of musical instruments has also been mentioned in the text Pancharakchhya. Musical instruments are a potential means of attracting audience.

 

Guhyasamaja

            It can definitely be said that the psalms were first noticed in Vajrayana tantrism. Guhyasamaja is the first text among the Navagranthas of Mahayana literature. This text was written by Asanga of the third century A.D. The essence of Gulyasamaja is said to be a spontaneous outburst of the Buddhist scholar who was deeply influenced by the discourse of Lord  Buddha delivered before a mammoth gathering. Guhyasamaja is a Buddhist tantric text. As this tantra has not mentioned the need of playing musical instruments and singing charyageet, the charyageet did not exist at that time. But the verse in the form of a song of Guhyasamaja text may be called the origin of charyageet.

 

Aryanamasangiti

            Aryanamasangiti  is also a source of the origin of  charyageet. No one knows who composed it but it is considered very old. Most of the Vajrayana scholars had written commentary on Aryanamasangiti. So far, the oldest great commentary on Aryanamasangiti is Aryamanjushri Namasangiti which was written by Acharya Chandragomin around 635 A.D. With the composition of Namasangiti, verses shaped into charyageet came into being. The verses of Namasangiti were recited collectively in accompaniment of the play of musical instruments. This is the precedent of charyageet.

 

Impact of distorted language Doha

            The practice of making Doha from the distorted language is an ancient art. The perfect Vajrayana practitioners like Luipa, Kukuripa, Gunduripa, Karnapa, Shabaripa, Sarohapa, etc. had written about the philosophic aspects of Vajrayana with Doha as medium in poetic style. Well-known Pandit Hara Prasad Shastri of India discovered  Charyacharya Vinascha   in Nepal Sambat 1007 (1886 A.D.) This work included many charyageets. Pandit Shastri claimed discovering one thousand year old history of Doha of Buddhist song. Doha, the distorted language, began in India from the 6 th century to 12 th century A.D. Chacha in Hadabharan of Lilavajra,  Yamahimandala  of  Suratvajra and Raktavarna of Vakavajra were greatly influenced by Doha.  Charya charya Vinaschaya  contained three compositions of Kukuripa of Kapilvastu and also chachas of Trihanda which is very popular in Nepal.

            Kollayire chacha of Hevajratantra is very much the same as Doha. Though the language of Hevajratantra is a mixed Sanskrit, the language of Kollayire chacha is entirely Doha. Therefore, it becomes clear that Doha must be the source of inspiration for the  charyageet.

 

Hevajratantra

            It is said that Hevajratantra was composed by Padmavajra arround 693 A.D. Lama Taranath gave to Kamalpada the credit of writing Hevajratantra. The words Padma and Kamal are related to lotus. Therefore, it is very much likely that the author of Hevajratantra is one with  two different names.

It is also said that Hevajratantra is a new verson of Guhyuasamaja tantra. In comparison to other tantras, Hevajratantra appears to be an old one. It is said there are five five lakh stanzas in original Hevajratantra. The summary of charyageet has been given in its abridged form. They are as follows:

 

1.         There are Kollayire chachas in Hevajratantra. The Kollayire chacha is still prevalent among the Vajrajana practitioners as an integral part of superior worship. There are also hints to prove that there are other chachas in Hevajratantra along with Kollayire chacha. Kollayire  is simply mentioned in the context of chacha to be sung or recited.

 

2.         There is a detailed description in Hevajratantra about the need of songs to be sung by Sadhakas (devotees, practitioners) during Sadhana  (meditation). The main objective of a Sadhaka  is to attain  liberation in his life time. It has been mentioned in Hevajratantra that one must sing charyageet and perform charya dance in order to attain liberation. Therefore, charyageet plays an important role in the matter of  attaining liberation. Kukuripada of Kapilvastu (633 A.D.) has emphasized on Mahamaya Sadhana, Vajrageet Abyantra Sadhana. Vibhuti  chandra (13th century A.D) has said that the performance of Yogisvara Vajrageeta  charya ensures liberation. The text Saddharmapundarika also has said that those who worship Lord Buddha by singing charya accompanied by  the play of musical instruments can attain Buddhahood.

 

3.             Hevajratantra has defined the charyageeta. The language of charyageeta appears to be very simple. But, this is simply understatement because its meaning is very profound with its own philosophy. It is said that the language of charyageet must be precise and not loose like folk song.

 

4.             Hevajratantra has also explained the method of singing charyageet and also its rules and regulations. There will be a leader selected among Sadhakas first of all, and  the leader starts singing the chacha. Then, other Sadhakas start singing chacha.

 

5.         What is the impact of charyageet ?

            The impact of charyageet is assessed. The role of  assessing the impact  is given to the leader. The leader also checks the smell of garlic, vulture and camphor, etc and the sound of the musical instrument.

 

            It is because of these  explanations given by Hevajratantra and because of the treatment of charyageet as an integral part of Vajrayana that Hevajratantra may be called the origin of charyageet. It is only after the composition of Hevajratantra that charyageet developed and spread.

 

Development and spread of charyageet

            Hevajratantra is the principal supporting material of charyageets like Paramto,  Shunyaniranjan, Chandragamashan, Yemehimandala.

 

Role of the Commentators

            There are many commentators of Hevajratantra. In the field of writing Doha Sarohapaju is one of the most popular one. Karnapa is the author of many chachas. They commented on the Hevajratantra and composed Doha as required in their own ways. Such Dohas inspired the people to compose charyageet.

            The compositions of Luipaju (669 A.D.) and Suratvajra of Nepal (1410 A.D.) Charyacharya Vinaschaya and Yemahimandala mention chacha. In his work Kriyasamuchya Jagaddarpan has mentioned Kallayire verse. As the authentic work like Kriyasamuchaya has stressed the need of singing charyageet during the worship activities, it is but natural that the charyageet should continue as if it is an integral part of religious activities. Kriyasamuchaya played an important role in recognising the importance of charyageet in the worship activity. Therefore, chacha became an essential factor in important and auspicious religious activities including initiatory activities.

            But, the information about the life and activities of Jagaddarpan, the author of Kriyasamuchaya, is lacking. It is said that this work has already been translated into the Tibetan language in the 13th century. This shows that it was written a long time ago than the 13 th century.

            Abhayakara Gupta was the author of Nispanayagavali, Ganachakra, etc. In his Vajravali, there are  many chachas. Abhayakara Gupta was the contemporary of Ramapala, the king of Pala dynasty of Bengal.

 

Charyageet in Nepal

            Charyageet originated from Hevajratantra. The influence of Hevajratantra was there in Nepal even before the rise of Padmavajra (1575 A.D), the creator of Hevajratantra. For example, Vakvajra (1243 A.D) was elder than Padmavajra. He had composed chacha called Raktavarna, the meaning of which synchronised with  the meaning of Hevajratantra. The very goddess called Raktavarna is the product of Vajratantra. Vakvajra composed chacha in the name of Raktavarna Devi.

            It is to be recalled here that scholars were of the view that tantras were evolved in a secret manner following the teacher- disciple tradition. Otherwise, there would not be continuity in the flow of ideas of charyageet. Padmavajra might have acquired the knowledge of Hevajratantra from Vakarjra. This has been confirmed by the work of    Padmavajra called Guhyasiddhi. There is no information about the place of birth of Padmavajra. Some, however, say that there was someone in Nepal with the name of Padmavajra.

            Hevajra Nairatnama Devi was born in Nepal. Manjushri, the builder of the Nepal Valley, paid obeisance to Nairatma Devi in the form of Swayambhu purana. The observance  of Dishipuja in the Dashami of dark half of Marga by Newars in the form of Abhyantar festival is a remnant of the same old tradition.

            The Nepal Valley must be a place of the origin of Hevajratantra. There are fine lakh stanzas in original Hevajratantra. Hevajratantra written by Padmavajra is only an abridgement of the original Hevajratantra. Historians say that Bodhisattva Manjushri made the Nepal Valley inhabitable. The time of Manjushri, according to the Blue Annals is 600 years after the time of Lord Buddha. Thus, the time of Manjushri’s rise to prominence is around first century A.D. Balachandra Sharma in his book Historical Outlines of Nepal says that  Manjushri Mulakalpa was written in 79 A.D.

            It is said that Hevajratantra was given by Lord Buddha himself. Even though some are of the opinion that Manjushri had recited the chacha called Shodasa Bhuja at the time of paying visit to Shri Hevajra Nairatma, there is still a lot of study to be done to confirm this.

            In Vajrayana and Tantrayana chachas are used for various purposes and in various ways.

 

1.         Chacha to be sung in ordinary worship activities.

 

2.         Khyo chacha, chacha to be sung in open field, such as Bhunkhyolaya at Swayambhu during Dyoguthi and Acharya Goth Bhwaya (feasting) chacha is to be sung during feasting.

 

3.         During the 12-year jatra of Paladyah (Samkata or Chandamaharosana), Vajracharyas of Tebahal sing chacha.

 

4.         Chacha to be used in secret puja which must not be shown to others.

 

5.         Chacha to be used for charya dance.

 

6.         Chacha to be used during very secret puja in which only those who have undergone diksha (initiation) are allowed to take part.

 

Various Characteristics of Charyageet

1.             Charyageet with philosophical content. In this set of chachas, there is philosophy. For example, it says that all the world are materials in the world  are transient. All the religions say that the world is illusory.

 

2.             Chachas glorifying iconography

In such chachas there will be iconographic details such as color of the gods and goddesses, their eyes, appearance, hands, armour, ornaments, etc.

 

3.             Technique of worship

            In such chachas, technique of worship is described. There may be use of mantra

            and objects of worship.

 

Role of band of singers in charyageet

            There are also chachas which are simply  muttered  without using words. In the case of chachas to be sung loudly, there are a group of singers to help. These groups of singers are directly or indirectly  related to charyageet. These groups are the following.

 

  a.   Group b. Group c. Group
1. Worship All of (a) All of( b)
2. Raga Dance posture Payenta
3. Ta Stanza recitation Mantra
4. Dabadaba Asthava Bhushan Japa (muttering of prayers)

                                   

Language and style of charyageet

            There are two phases, permanent and temporal, in charyageet, like in modern songs. The first phase is not a permanent one like in modern songs. It is only the second phase which is permanent. In every phase of chachas there is no need of repeating the tunes. But, in the case of chachas to be sung in Ragas called Nata, Bhairavi, Gunjali and Gwadatri, repetition of tunes in each phase is required. In chachas to be sung during Bhairavi and Kamoda Raga, repetition of tunes in each phase is done.

 

Connection with Raga

            During the preliminary phase of chacha, there was no connection between chacha and Raga. There was no practice of chacha singing with the support of Raga. It is mentioned in Hevajratantra that first of all, the Naya (the leader) starts  the tala (tune), then others sing the chacha as they wished. This is also the  originality of charyageet. The connection of chacha with Raga must have been a later development. This is also true in the case of tuning. In chachas of the ancient times or in classical chachas, their authors have not mentioned the name of tunes or Ragas to be accompanied in chacha singing. In later times, chacha is connected with Raga and Tala.

 

Combination of Ragas

There is a chacha to be sung in one Raga. But some chachas are sung with the help of two Ragas in combination.

 

1.         The combination of Raga Bhairab with Raga Komada.

 

2.         The combination of Raga Trabali with Raga Hendol.

3.         The combination of Raga Deshar with Vibhasa.

 

The authors of charyageet have given their names using various language styles. These are Shilyagata Dhariya, Gawanti Lilavajra, Amoghvajra Geetcharita, Pranamanu Suratvajra Geete, Surat Bhani Bhawayi, Gawanti Parmadivajra Geeta, etc. There are  numerous chachas without the name of their authors or composers.

 

Language

            There  is a mixture of languages in charyageet.  In terms of language, charygeet may be classified into various groups. There are  chachas which are purely in Sanskrit language. Scholars call it hybrid Sanskrit. There are chachas with a mixture of languages such as Bengali, Maithli, Hindi, etc. Some languages of chacha are difficult to be identified. Such language  is called distorted language. The chachas written in distorted language may  be grouped into classical chachas. There are also chachas using typical Nepali language. But classical chachas presuppose the use of word such as Vajra.

            There are chachas in a language which is difficult to be understood . There are also chachas with symbolic language of mantra. The chachas have no titles such as story, poem or tale, etc. A title  is given to chacha on the basis of the reading of the starting letters whether it carries any meaning or not.

 

Method of singing Chacha

            Chachas are rendered into tunes by breaking the alphabets. Tune and rhythm  are adjusted just like in a raga. That is why, prior to starting the chacha, chachas are tuned to raga. Then, raga is stopped and chacha is started. When the chacha  stops, then the raga is started and chacha is stopped. In Lalitpur and Bhaktapur there is the practice of reading the stanzas of raga before stopping the raga. However, in Kathmandu, stanzas of raga need not be  read out in every chacha activity. There are also two ways of singing chacha, one is in  height pitch and the other in low pitch.

 

Rules of Chacha

            One of the objectives of this  working paper is to record the rules of charyageet. An attempt is made here is this direction. Rules mentioned in Hevajratantra have aready been mentioned. Given below is the summary of these rules.

 

1.         Yogis and yoginis must sing chacha song for attaining salvation.

 

2.         In a group of chacha singers, a leader is elected.

 

3.         First of all, the leader sings the chacha song. Then, others do the same and that too according to their convenience.

 

4.         The leader must watch whether the chacha is sung in a proper manner.

 

a.       While singing chacha, there may be various kinds of sound.

 

b.       There may be smell of garlic or that of burning of camphor.

 

            The application of prevailing rules shows that they are not much different from the rule made by Hevajratantra. The rule  prevailing at present are the following:

 

1.         Chacha is not sung without the worship activities. Worship activities are compulsory for singing chacha. Kukuripada in his work Sri Vajragita Abhyantara Sadhana has said that chacha is sung in the superior Abhyantara  puja.

 

2.         It is the responsibilty of chacha  nayo (leader) to decide the appropriateness of chacha. After  this, others start singing the chacha. The practice of appointing chacha nayo has been disappearing. In  spite of this, there is a practice of  selecting a leader among the seniormost  members in a protocal order. But with the permission of the leader, other members also do the work of the leader to decide the appropriateness of a chacha. If the chacha is not sung properly, the leader may sing the chacha himself to give an example. It is  also the responsibility of the chacha leader to decide which chacha is to be sung for a particular occasion.

 

3.         During the great  puja like Mansahuti,  the very act of initiating the auspicious work of singing chacha is done by  no less a person than Mulaacharya  (head of Acharyas) who utters, without any efforts, words in a musical voice invoking Padnritewara and Chakrasamvara. Mulaacharya is called Vajracharya before the origin of the caste Vajracharya. After the completion of the work of singing chacha after worship ritual, chacha is sung again for bidding farewell. In the final chacha song, it is the voice of Mulaacharya  which is  final. The Mulaacharya  while singing chacha  subdues the voice progressively and merges into self after separation from  acquired divinity. Thus, the Mulaacharya is the person  who acts in the beginning as well as at the end of chacha. In Hevajratantra, the Mulaacharya has been treated as the living incarnation of Shri Hevajra.

 

4.         There is a role of Raga in chacha. Raga is employed at the star or  end of chacha. The Raga is only  used by seniormost members of the society. The junior members do not ask to use raga.

 

5.         After the turn of the seniors to use raga is over, the juniors are entitled  for the same.

 

6.         But there is no rule for the seniors to use the raga left out by the juniors.

 

7.         There is a rule establishing the practice at  singing chacha at the fag end of the worship ritual. In this case, the leader  who takes the turn of singing chacha hands over the act of using  raga to Guru Vajracharya presiding over the worship  ritual. Guru Vajracharya, then, sings raga and closes the worship  ritual. With this, the act of singing  chacha  also comes to an end.

 

8.         In the case of chacha accompanied by dance, chacha stanzas are  recited before  using raga. Chacha dance  continues with the support of recitation of stanzas.

 

9.         In the superior class of worship  rituals there will be a group of people playing a certain  kind of musical instrument called Panyeta. In this case, after the completion of singing chacha, musical instrument Panyeta  is played before closing the ritual   with the accompaniment of raga.  At the time of dance, dance is  continued along with the play of Panyeta.

 

10.       There are chachas which must be sung in tune   with the worship ritual. Besides this, there are a variety of chachas which are sung in consideration of time, situation, place,  kind of worship and at the request of the interested people.

 

11.       The work of teaching chacha or guiding the learners is done on the occasion of performing puja rituals. This is almost a tradition. In such cases, the first  thing is done to worship padmanrivitewara.  In the middle of the  learning process, Bapuja is held. Besides this, there is also the procedure of marking the conclusion of the learning process.

 

Conclusion

            In the present time, though charyageet has disappeared in Kashmir, Bengal and other places, it is thriving in Nepal. From   the ordinary festive occasions to religious activities and from the ritual activities of  everyday life to rituals of worship activities, chacha is surviving in Nepal. This is a good thing.

            In this age of scientific and technological development marked by the progress of materialism, the charyageet, culture of initiation and observance of religious ceremonies like Sinhayamata, Ahoratra, Chhatisamata,  etc, the history of which is dated back to 12th or 13th century, are  continuing in Nepal. If our ancestors have not adopted that tradition, the culture of Nepal would be deprived of very importaut branch of knowledge.

Although the teaching as well as the learning process of the charyageet and the practice of the chacha dance  is not  strictly followed in the traditional line,  changes brought in the chacha and charya culture to suit the test of time is a welcome development. Discussion about the development as well as problems of charya and chacha  culture had taken place in Kathmandu some 15 years ago. As a result of this discussion, steps have been  taken to revive the chacha and charya culture. Training on this subject has already been started. Such training was conducted in three cities of the Kathmandu Valley.

            The development of charyageet, which is the rich cultural heritage of Nepal, is possible only through the efforts of individuals in their private capacity. These initiatives have not been supported by the government or any potential organisation. It is only the faith,  devotion and religious spirit  of some people which has kept alive this culture. There is enough room for its improvement. It is time steps are taken for  improving it. The suggestions are the following :

 

1.         The art of charyageet must be preserved in a gracious manner. Distortions have appeared in this art. This will destroy the image of charyageet.

 

2.         Chacha  which is used in tantric worship is disappearing because of the lack of interest and knowledge about it. The interest must be revived to keep it alive.

 

3.            Materials on chacha have mixed  with other such literature. As such, chachas have been misinterpreted or misunderstood. Therefore, chachas  have to be  preserved in writing giving their meaning.

 

4.         In order to improve the art of chacha, to develop the traditional cultural heritage  and to attract the youths towards it, competitions should be held.

 

5.         The status of charyageet and charya dance is poorer than the status of stage dramas. This degenerating trend has to be stopped. Charyageet and chacha dance must not be treated as a readymade material. It is a symbol of national culture.

 

6.            Nowadays, the practice of taking initiation is declining. Tantric worships are also declining. As those  who have not undergone initiation are not allowed to

            enter Agma,  the place of secret Tantric  worship, others are deprived of learning about it. Knowledge of Tantric  worship has to be given to the worthy people. Out-dated   beliefs have to discarded and  new spirit  has to be instilled into the minds of Newars in order to preserve Newa culture.

 

 

 

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