Guru Rinpoche is believed to be the second Buddha and to have been born from lotus petals. He is the most revered in the Eastern Himalayas because he is thought to have brought the teachings to the region. One of his powers was to manifest into different beings in order to carry out his religious duties. The main duty was forcing demons out of the villages and converting those who were poisoning the people with their disbelief.
One of these deities is known as Mahakala and he is called upon for protection. He may appear in different colors depending on the task and who has invoked him. The large dance contains up to 8 representations of Mahakala as he performs dances to drum beats and drives out demons. All the colors are represented during the performance and the wooden masks are carved with faces in a grimace and a skull crown.
My “favorite” is the blue form of the deity. He is painted at the entrance of almost all the dzongs and is depicted standing on two demons. He is called upon to stamp out ignorance and negativity at the beginning of one’s journey, whether it be literal or figurative.
If one speaks and acts with a pure mind void of negativity and ignorance, then happiness follows as one’s shadow that never leaves.