Mendrub: A Bonpo Ritual for the Benefit of all Living Beings and for the Empowerment of Medicine
Author: Marietta Kind
This book takes us to an ancient enclave of Tibetan culture in Nepal - the region of Dolpo in the north-west. After outlining the key geographical, historical and religious features of the region, one exemplary case among the various ritual practices of the local Bon society is placed under closer scrutiny: the Mendrub ritual. The ceremony centres on a communal blessing bestowed by means of medicinal pills that have undergone ceremonial treatment during the ten days of the ritual. The benefits that can be gained by attending the ceremony and by consuming the consecrated medicine attract a large audience from all over Dolpo. Mask dances lead up to the climax of the initiation and blessing, which is followed by the social part of the festival with songs and village dances around the fire. The study of the Mendrub ritual reveals a fascinating interplay of religious practices, ranging from popular beliefs to monastic traditions in the Bon community of Dolpo. Furthermore, this account not only describes the ritual itself, it also gives a clear insight into the daily life of the local society.