The 8th International Conference Buddhism & Australia
Chinese Buddhist Encyclopedia Illustrations
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Songs of realization
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Songs of realization, or "Songs of Experience'" (Tibetan: ཉམས་མགུར, Wylie: nyams mgur; Devanāgarī: दोहा; Romanized Sanskrit: Dohā; Oriya: ପଦ) are sung poetry forms characteristic of the tantric movement in both Hinduism and in Vajrayana Buddhism.
Doha is also a specific poetic form. Various forms of these songs exist, including caryagiti (Sanskrit: caryāgīti), or 'performance songs' and vajragiti (Sanskrit: vajragīti, Tibetan: rDo-rje gan-sung ),
According to Roger Jackson, caryagiti and vajragiti "differ generically from dohās because of their different context and function", the doha being primarily spiritual aphorisms expressed in the form of rhyming couplets whilst caryagiti are stand-alone performance songs and vajragiti are songs that can only be understood in the context of a ganachakra or tantric feast.
Although many of the songs of realization date from the mahasiddha of India, the tradition of composing mystical songs continued to be practiced by tantric adepts in later times and examples of spontaneously composed verses by Tibetan lamas exist up to the present day, an example being Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche.
The most famous Tibetan composer of songs of realization is Milarepa, the 11th century Tibetan yogi whose mgur bum, or 'The Hundred Thousand Songs of Milarepa' remains a source of instruction and inspiration for Tibetan Buddhists, particularly those of the kagyu school.