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Highest Buddha

Tibetan Chod Damaru and Case

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In the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, the Damaru is part of a collection of sacred implements and musical instrument was adopted from the tantric practices of ancient India. These reached the Himalayas from the 8th to 12th century, persisting in Tibet as the practice of Vajrayana flourished there, even as it vanished in the subcontinent of India

The pitch of the drum varies, and the tone may vary depending on conditions of dampness, temperature and so on. Played slowly, and methodically, the droning of the damaru accompanies the haunting melodies and chants of the chod ritual, as of which are accompaniments for the inner meditations and visualizations that are at the heart of this spiritual practice.

Damaru of all kinds are traditionally paired with a long sash or tail called a chopen. The chopen is attached to the end of the drum's handle so that it waves about while the drum is being played. They are most commonly made of brocade or silk using the colors of the tantric elements. On smaller damaru, the chopen is usually found without adornment, but on chod damaru, the tail will often feature several items which have been sewn onto the fabric. These adornments commonly include but are not limited to: a polished silver mirror or melong, a set of small bells, strips of tiger and/or leopard skin, one or more precious stones (i.e. dzi bead), and any number of small brass trinkets.