Sacred Buddhist Dance of Nepal: Foundations

Three Part Course (12 Video Lessons) with Prajwal Vajracharya

This course is a twelve lesson training in Charya Nritya Dance, a unique Newari Buddhist Nepali tradition dating back over a thousand years that uses the physical body as a vehicle for liberating the mind. By uniting movement, visualization, and awareness, one learns to emulate and then fully embody the qualities of the variety of Buddhist deities — male and female, peaceful and wrathful — and to genuinely express those enlightened qualities through one’s own body, speech, mind, and activities. 

This course lays the groundwork for all the deity dances of the Charya Nritya dance tradition and is recommended for all who wish to study this unique lineage, as well as to those who practice other forms of Vajrayana Buddhism.


Part One of this course lays the groundwork for all continued studies in the tradition of Sacred Buddhist Dance of Nepal. We will learn the history of this ancient practice, and train our bodies in the movements, exercises, hand and foot mudras, and techniques that are the foundations of Charya dance and practice the Refuge and the 16 Offering Goddess dances.


In Part Two of this course we will learn the dance of Avalokiteshvara, the Buddha of Compassion, and practice the art of embodying and expressing his enlightened qualities through our gestures, facial expressions, and physical movements, paired with focused awareness. 

PART THREE: TARA (Four Classes)

In Part Three of this course we will learn the dance of Tara, the female Buddha of Liberating Activities, and practice how to embody and express her all-pervasive enlightened qualities through body, energy, and mind.


  • Twelve Video Lessons (90 + Minutes)
  • Audio Files of Charya Dance Songs
  • Articles on the history and tradition of Charya Dance
  • Additional Resources

A Certificate of Completion will be issued to those who complete the content included in this course.

Course curriculum

  • 1

    Welcome to the course!

    • Course Overview

    • Online Classroom Etiquette & Technical Requirements

    • Navigating this Learning Platform (Video)

    • Navigating this Learning Platform (PDF)

  • 2


    • Articles about the Charya Nritya Dance Tradition of Nepal

    • Charya Dance Songs Used in this Course (Audio MP3)

    • Sadhanas/ Prayers Used in this Course

    • Additional Resources

  • 3


    • Foundations: Class One

    • Foundations: Class Two

    • Foundations: Class Three

    • Foundations: Class Four

  • 4


    • Avalokiteshvara: Class One

    • Avalokiteshvara: Class Two

    • Avalokiteshvara: Class Three

    • Avalokiteshvara: Class Four

  • 5


    • Tara: Class One

    • Tara: Class Two

    • Tara: Class Three

    • Tara: Class Four


Prajwal Ratna Vajracharya

Prajwal is a 35th generation Tantric Buddhist priest from Nepal and a ritual master both of the Charya Nritya dance tradition and other ritual forms performed by the Newar Vajracharya lineage. Prajwal began his training in Charya Nritya, the dance aspect of Newar Buddhism, from the age of eight, receiving formal instruction from his father, the Buddhist scholar and ritual master Ratna Kaji Vajracharya. Prajwal Vajracharya is now the premier teacher, practitioner, and performer of the tradition and is a veteran of several world tours with beginning and advanced students around the globe. He founded Dance Mandal: Foundation for Sacred Buddhist Arts of Nepal to preserve and expand this rare art form and its related traditions. With the survival of this sacred ritual dance threatened by modernization, Prajwal, at his father’s wishes, has dedicated his life to bringing this unique Buddhist heritage from the temples of Nepal to the world, while adhering to its original purpose as a profound spiritual practice.