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Kangling example.jpg

Kangling (Tibetan: རྐང་གླིང།Wylie: rkang-gling), literally translated as "leg" (kang) "flute" (ling), is the Tibetan name for a trumpet or horn made out of a human femur, used in Tibetan Buddhism for various chöd rituals as well as funerals performed by a chöpa.[1] The femur of a criminal or a person who died a violent death is preferred.[2] Alternatively, the femur of a respected teacher may be used.[3] The kangling may also be made out of wood.

The kangling should only be used in chöd rituals performed outdoors with the chöd damaru and bell.[2] In Tantric chöd practice, the practitioner, motivated by compassion, plays the kangling as a gesture of fearlessness, to summon hungry spirits and demons so that she or he may satisfy their hunger and thereby relieve their sufferings. It is also played as a way of "cutting off of the ego."[citation needed]

A minor figure from Katok Monastery, the First Chonyi Gyatso, Chopa Lugu (17th - mid-18th century), is remembered for his "nightly bellowing of bone-trumpet [kangling] and shouting of phet" on pilgrimage, much to the irritation of the business traveler who accompanied him. Chopa Lugu became renowned as "The Chod Yogi Who Split a Cliff in China (rgya nag brag bcad gcod pa)."[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Bone Kangling | DamaruWorks
  2. ^ a b O.C. Handa (2005). Buddhist Monasteries of Himachal. Indus Publishing Company. p. 320. ISBN 81-7387-170-1. 
  3. ^ Andrea Loseries-Leick (2008). Tibetan Mahayoga Tantra: An Ethno Historical Study of Skulls, Bones and Relics. B.R. Pub. Corp. p. 225. 
  4. ^ Chhosphel, Samten (December 2011). "The First Chonyi Gyatso, Chopa Lugu". The Treasury of Lives: Biographies of Himalayan Religious Masters. Retrieved 2013-10-08.