Dance of the Stag and the Hounds (Shawa Shachi)

This dance represents the conversion of a hunter named Gonpo Dorji to Buddhism by the great saint Jetsun Milarepa (1040-1123).

Long ago, when Jetsun Milarepa was meditating on the border between Nepal and Tibet, he heard a man shouting and a man barking. He went out of his cave and saw a red-haired trembling and sweating stag. To allay its fears, he sang a soothing song. The stag thus knelt close to him. Next, a hound came running full of fiery wrath but Milarepa again sang the song and the hound sat next to him pacified. At last, a hunter came to the scene. He was surprised at the scene and warning Milarepa of dire consequences shot an arrow at him but the arrow broke into pieces and the bowstring was cut. Gonpo Dorji, the hunter thus repented of his sins and gained realization.