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Gana Chakra, Descent of the Dakinis

They came,
laughing their wild laugh,
singing and dancing,
sky walking sisters of rainbow light,
gold and green ones,
red ones, blue ones,
black and raucous.
"Join the feast," the Lamas solemnly intone,
deep and sonorous calling
with bell and little drum,
horns and cymbals clashing,
thunderous, come.
The mandala piled high with delicious offerings,
"Ladies of the sky, be satisfied."
They swarmed about the mandala,
savoring the colors, the smells,
the heartfelt wishes
humanity longing for freedom.
The cavernous pillared hall
painted and hung with precious silks
and pious paintings of teachers and power beings,
the marbled floor, front filled with monks in red,
a gaggle of foreign faces jostling for prime views in the center,
the rear pulsing with local folk,
Bhutanese in bright woven robes,
Tibetan families, children and ancient crones squirming restless,
hysterically seething forward for blessings,
this vast assembly puny before the outrageous dancing sisters
filling the air with song and movement.
And at the center,
the prince, the vajra master,
eyes glittering half lotuses gazing on unseen worlds.
"Come join the feast," he calls.
They cannot resist this one so young, so pure, so masterful,
so of their world.
Their queen arrives stately, she approaches his throne,
The chanting changes color.
She stands facing him on the mandala side of the throne,
the essence of dignity, his equal.
She offers her own invitation and yet...
she releases him in the same instant,
their united compassion soaring over the assembly.
What job is this?
The ragtag devotees resting their outrageous demands,
crazed in their untamed humanity.
The air fills, rustling and roaring
the dakinis surge about the hall.
Where is his protection my heart calls,
and there huge behind the throne
The Lady Mother Tara Goddess, green rainbow radiant,
and behind Her, looming White, Long Life Tara
and behind dancing red Tara, Kurukulla, drawing her bow,
and behind fierce Black Tara menacing all foes,
and walking with grace to the side golden Lady Tara of Abundance
spilling jewels and radiance, he is protected.
Satiated, drunk with the bliss nectar devotion offering,
the solemn song of departure intones,
a rustling cloud of sisters spirals up through the very top of the building
bowing to some special energy of His Holiness the Karmapa resting there.
The walls of the prayer hall crackle, radiantly absorbing the energy,
the noble protectors of the hall assume their places in the upper corners
of the room melting into place satisfied.
The last of the sisters depart.
With longing my heart follows them —
take me with you to dance the wisdom waltz,
to laugh dangerously shaking the worlds...
Oh, take me with you to sing wisdom songs stamping and leaping...
Good-bye, my sisters.
I will walk this path with courage knowing some day
you will take me with you.

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