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Medicine Buddha Puja 
Tib. Sangye Menla
Skt. Bhaisajya Guru Buddha

Medicine Buddha is the Buddha of Healing. He is depicted with a deep blue body and holds a begging bowl with medicinal substances on his left hand and an arura plant, an herb famous for its medicinal qualities, on his right hand - to show his healing powers. Devotion and prayers to the Medicine Buddha will help prevent diseases from pervading our minds and our bodies. For those who are sick, he uses his healing powers to help them recover from the illnesses faster. He also helps destroy our ignorance and our self-cherishing mind. Hence, practice to the Medicine Buddha brings health, long-life as well as clarity of mind.

Green Tara Puja 
Tib. Drolma
Skt. Tara

Green Tara is the essence of the holy minds (dharmakaya) of all the buddhas. She is the Mother from whom all the past, present and future buddhas have been born. Her name means "the Swift Liberator" indicating her powers to hastily release and free us from the causes of samsaric suffering, eight fears or dangers (ignorance, hatred, attachment, pride, jealousy, wrong view, doubt and miserliness) and physical as well as mental diseases. It is said that through devotion and practice to the powerful Tara, one may be freed from suffering, liberate sentient beings and ultimately, achieve enlightenment.

Guru Rinpoche Prayer 
Skt. Guru Padmasambhava

His name means Precious Master in Tibetan. He was born out of a lotus flower amid miraculous events. Through his great powers in subduing all forces, he succeeded in bringing and spreading Buddhism in Tibet. Guru Rinpoche is regarded as the second Buddha in the Vajrayana path. It is said that even spiritual masters frequently call upon him for help when faced with a serious crisis or problem. He once said, "I will come and remove sufferings of the people in the world on the tenth day of every moon." Hence, a puja is offered to Guru Rinpoche on the 10th day of the Tibetan Lunar calendar.

History of the Birth of Buddha 

It has been a tradition during the time of the Buddha’s birth that a woman should give birth in her hometown. Thus, when Queen Maya, the Buddha’s mother, was about to give birth, she travelled to her hometown in Kapilavastu, India. On the full moon day of VESAK month, 625B.C., while on the way to her hometown, She felt her birth pangs and decided to give birth in the nearby Lumbini, Nepal under an asoka tree. Immediately after being born, he walked seven steps, and in each step emerged a lotus. With one hand pointing to the heavens and the other down to the earth, He said, “In all universe, only realizing our own Buddha nature is the most noble and supreme.” After so, the earth shook in six different ways. Many other auspicious signs were seen throughout the world.

Subsequently, the Four Heavenly Kings and nine dragons rained down fragrant water and Indra and Brahma bathed the baby Siddhartha.

Hence, Buddhists have a “Bathing the Buddha Ceremony” to commemorate this event.


 

Things to Consider While Bathing the Buddha 

In bathing the Buddha statue, we should sincerely pray for purification of our defilements of greed, hatred, envy, anger, and so on. We should at the same time pray for peace and harmony within the microcosm of home, society and ultimately throughout the whole universe so that violence, deceit, and all negative in this world will be eradicated. We should wish that our troubled world would transform into a pure land and that all our minds are guided into the Bodhi path.

Thus is the true meaning of the bathing the Buddha ceremony.


The Benefits of Bathing the Buddha 

In the Benefits of Bathing the Buddha Sutra, the benefits are as follows:

  1. Wealth and happiness, good health and longevity
  2. All wishes (with the right motivation) are fulfilled
  3. Peace and harmony for family, relatives, friends, country and world.
  4. Never to face the Eight Obstacles of learning the Dharma
  5. No sickness or suffering
  6. Achieve Enlightenment

In bathing the Buddha, one should:

  1. Have faith and be joyful in the merit of bathing the Buddha. In pouring the fragrant water, we are also cleansing our own minds.
  2. Have sincerity. We should take as if the Buddha is present in front of us and we have cultivated the premiere merit in the world. We should transfer this merit to all sentient beings to enhance their wisdom, and to create infinity with the Buddhas.
  3. Be righteous. We wish to rid of our karmic obstructions and purify our minds. We pray for peace and happiness for all humanity.


Buddha's Enlightenment 

After experiencing the sufferings of birth, sickness, old age and death, the Buddha decided to seek for the truth. He cut his hair, became an ascetic and asked the advice of many learned masters. After doing so, he still could not find the truth. So he decided to meditate along with other ascetics in the woods. They followed a strict lifestyle – eating only a grain of rice a day and drinking only a drop of water. This self-mortification continued until He became so thin that His bones showed prominently.

While meditating, he heard a teacher teaching a student how to play a sire (string instrument). The teacher said, “When the strings are too loose, it would not produce any sound. If the string is too tight, it breaks. When the strings are neither too loose nor too tight, the music produced is beautiful.” Upon hearing so, He realized that a loose string means a life of pleasure and a tight string means a life of self-torture. Thus, He realized the Middle Way. So he decided to give up self-torture.

While seeking the truth, He proceeded to Bodhgaya, India and under the Bodhi tree, he sat down and meditated, never to stop until he achieves Buddhahood.

After overcoming the temptations of Mara, He touched the earth (as witness) and realized the Four Noble Truths i.e. suffering, the cause of suffering (desire), the possibility of not suffering and finally the way to end suffering (Eightfold Path).

At the dawn of the full moon day of Vesak month, 588 B.C., He attained Buddhahood and proclaimed, “Profound peace, natural simplicity, uncompounded luminosity, I have found a nectar-like dharma.”


NAMGYALMA (SKT. USHNISHA VIJAYA) 

Deity of long life and purification. Her mantra has infinite benefits. It is said to be so powerful that anybody who hears it will never again be born from the womb. Therefore, if animals hear it, they will never again be reborn in the lower realms.

There is a story from the time Guru Shakyamuni Buddha was on earth concerning a deva called Paripu Denpa. Due to karma, when devas start experiencing the signs of death, they spontaneously remember their previous lives and see their future lives; they perceive that they are about to be reborn in the lower realms and so forth. Since their realm has unbelievable enjoyments thousands of times better than those of the richest country on earth they realize that they are about to leave a life of such pleasure and be reborn where there is incredible suffering, their minds suffer greatly.

Thus, as he was dying, the deva Denpa saw that he was about to be reborn as an animal for six lives. Very worried, he went to see the Buddha, as per King Indra’s instruction. Buddha manifested as the deity Namgyalma and gave him the mantra. Denpa recited it six times daily and in seven days completely changed his karma so that he did not have to be reborn as an animal. The Namgyalma mantra is unbelievably powerful for purification. Its benefits are said to be immense that people who have cancer and other diseases can be healed with pure devotion to her practice.

The kind, compassionate Guru Shakyamuni Buddha taught the benefits of reciting the Namgyalma mantra to the Four Guardian Kings. Saying that if you are in danger of dying because the karma that determines your life-span is running out, you wash your body, wear clean clothes and, abide in the eight precepts, and recite the Namgyalma mantra one thousand times, you can increase your life-span, purify your obscurations and free yourself from disease.

If you recite the Namgyalma mantra into the ear of an animal, you ensure that this is its last animal rebirth. If somebody suffering from a heavy disease that doctors cannot diagnose does the practice Lord Buddha taught to the deva Denpa, he or she will be liberated from that disease, bring to an end all future rebirths in the lower realms, and after death be reborn in a blissful pure land. For humans, the present life will be their last rebirth from the womb.

If you recite this mantra twenty-one times, blow upon mustard seeds and throw them onto the bones of even extremely evil beings who have created many heavy negative karmas, those beings will immediately be liberated from the lower realms and be reborn in a higher realm, such as that of a deva. Throwing seeds blessed by the Namgyalma mantra onto the bones or body of a dead being purifies that being’s consciousness, and even though that being may have been reborn in hell or any other lower realm, that being can be reborn in a deva realm.

If you put this mantra in a stupa or on a banner inside your house or above the roof, whoever is touched by even the shadow of that stupa or banner will not be reborn in the lower realms. Also, any being touched by a breeze that has first touched a stupa, banner or statue containing this mantra is purified of the karma to be reborn in the lower realms. What need is there to mention, therefore, how great the purification experienced by those who recite this mantra or keep it on their body.



King Gesar of Ling 

King Gesar of Ling is the body emanation of Manjushri Bodhisattva (Wisdom), the speech emanation of Avalokiteshvara Bodhisattva (Compassion) and the mind emanation of Vajrapani Bodhisattva (Skillful Means) combining into Guru Rinpoche and through His blessing, manifest as the activity, compassion and merit of Guru Rinpoche himself.

Being in charge of the wealth, power and luck of all sentient beings, Gesar is a powerful deity that protects the Dharma, as well as all beings. He does not only destroys all obstacles in our practice, but also makes sure that practitioners have enough material wealth. Gesar is also famous in helping monks achieve their needs to spread the Buddha Dharma.

King Gesar is also known as the “Lion Wish-Fulfilling Jewel.” He is the manifestation of Guru Rinpoche intended to aid all beings achieve material wealth in this Dharma ending age. The difference of King Gesar with other wealth deities is that aside from wealth, He also bestows long life. If one prays fervently to him, along with practicing generosity, one will immediately have power, wealth, and longevity.


Smoke Puja 

Sang Puja, also called Mountain of Smoke Puja, is a ritual that involves reciting prayers and the making of a large smoke offering by burning food (oatmeal, beans, cookies, candies, rice, sugar), drinks (wine, juice, milk), pieces of colorful cloth, flowers, medicinal herbs, and incense.

In this kind of Smoke Puja, the smoke or its essence is being offered to four (4) groups of beings: Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, and all the other deities; the dharma protectors; all sentient beings; the nagas and spirits to whom we may owe a karmic debt. For the first two groups, the Smoke is presented as offerings while for the other two, it is given as gifts. In offering these precious substances to the enlightened beings, we gain merits while Dharma Protectors offer us protection and wealth.

It is said that sentient beings take in the offerings by inhaling the Smoke. Beings in the hot hells feel cool and are contended. Similarly, beings in cold hells feel warm and are satisfied. Pretas or hungry ghosts are also happy to experience relief from their unquenchable thirst and hunger. Humans are also satisfied because their aspirations are granted.

Through our numerous past lives, it is a certainty that one must have at one time or another caused harm to the nagas, spirits, local deities, earthly gods and other beings - either intentionally or unintentionally. Perhaps, we climbed a mountain or bathed in a river and destroyed their homes in the process. Because of our harmful actions, we have formed a karmic debt between these beings and ourselves. As a result of this karmic debt, they bring sickness, obstacles and other obscurations upon us to make us "pay" for our harmful actions. In doing a Sang Puja, we are paying off all our karmic debts so that these beings will stop harming us.

Before throwing our plate or cup of offering into the fire, one must not think that the offering is just a plate of food or a cup of drink. Instead, one must visualize that the offering is a vast ocean of precious substances offered to the four beings mentioned above and that all of them are extremely pleased when they receive our offerings and gifts.


Buddha's Parinirvana 

After forty-five years of teaching, the Buddha has reached the age of 80. All his actions were towards the benefit of others. He delivered more than 300 sermons and taught countless beings on how to end suffering.

Although He could have overcome death, He had to pass into nirvana so as to show that all things are impermanent, life included.

While on their way to Kushinagara, someone offered him for lunch some spoiled meat but the Buddha still ate it so that the one who offered would receive merits. And while in a forest grove in Kushinagara, He lay down on His right side, with His head to the north, between two big sala trees, and He gave His final advice.

“Do not grieve. If I live longer, I still have to die. There is no such thing as no separation nor parting. Benefit oneself and others. My teachings are complete. My living longer is of no use. Between heaven and earth, those that I can teach I’ve already done so, those who aren’t taught yet, I have already helped them plant the cause for them to be taught.”

“From now on, whatever truths I have taught you, study them and put them into practice, so that my spiritual wisdom life may last long for the good and benefit of the many. My teachings are your teacher now. Follow them and you will be true to me. Everything is subject to change. Remember to practice the teachings earnestly. With the clarity of wisdom, wipe out the darkness of ignorance. Strive with your whole being to achieve perfection.”




Sam Bar Gesar Puja 

Sampa Lhundrup

Sampa Lhundrup (Wish Fulfilling Prayer) is a powerful protection prayer written by Guru Rinpoche. This practice is said to be effective in helping one achieve good fortune and protection from calamities. It also effective in helping one attain their wishes quickly and also, overcome all kinds of obstacles on their path to enlightenment.

Barched Lamsel

Through this special prayer, we pay homage to Guru Rinpoche and His eight different manifestations and invoke his powers to help dispel all obstacles - inner, outer and secret - of all sentient beings.

Gesar Ritual

King Gesar of Ling is reknowned throughout Tibet and central Asia as a legendary epic warrior. He represents the ideal warrior - having succeeded in conquering all the enemies and evil forces of four directions. This practice is said to help one accomplish their deeds with success and confidence. He is also said to be an emanation of Guru Rinpoche.

Thirty-Five Confessional Buddhas Prayer 

This Practice of reciting the names of the Thirty-Five Buddhas while bringing to mind past negative karma and confessing all bad actions done is said to be a very effective way of purifying all past karma to help one achieve a good rebirth in the next life.

This prayer is usually done with Medicine Buddha, Sakyamuni Buddha Pujas and during auspicious days.

Dakini Puja 

Dakinis are powerful goddesses who are often taken as personal meditation deities (yidams) by practitioners. They can appear either in peaceful or wrathful forms. In their wrathful forms, they are often portrayed as a naked figure in a dancing posture, often holding a skull cup with blood in one hand and a drigug (knife) in the other. She may be adorned with a garland of human skulls around her neck and on her hair. She may also be depicted as trampling over a human corpse, which represents her complete dominance over ego and ignorance. Her nakedness symbolizes our natural mind or rigpa stripped of all obscurations and defilements. Her dance pose also signifies the great movement, force and energy required to sever the deep roots of ego and ignorance from which all our delusions arise.

Despite their sometimes terrifying imagery, Dakinis are images of wisdom or insight into the understanding of shunyata (emptiness). They are particularly powerful in helping practitioners overcome obstacles in their aspirations for spiritual progress. The Dakini Puja is held every 25th of the Tibetan Lunar Calendar.

Black Dzambala Water Offering 

Dzambala is the god of Wealth. This practice brings material and spiritual wealth to its devotees to help alleviate poverty as well as to give them the opportunity to practice generosity. Dzambala also brings us spiritual wealth and personal growth. He is said to possess remarkable power to free sentient beings and guide them towards ultimate enlightenment.

In this puja, devotees pour milk on Dzambala's head to signify the nectar that was once poured by Chenrezig on Dzambala's head.

  

21 Dzambalas (Deities of Wealth Wish Full-filling Gem) 

Dzambhala is the god of wealth. Though it is a worldly god, it is said that He is close to achieving enlightenment. The Dzambhala practice will help practitioners attract material (financial) and spiritual wealth. Practitioners must use their wealth to do more charitable works and accumulate merits in the process. Without being distracted by financial worries, it is easier for the mind to cultivate compassion and also wisdom. Ultimately, it is our accumulated merits and wisdom that will help practitioners achieve liberation from Samsara and attain Buddhahood.

Chenrezig Puja 
Skt. Avalokiteshvara

Avalokiteshvara Bodhisattva is the Bodhisattva Compassion. He took a vow to save all sentient beings from suffering and delayed his own buddhahood to accomplish this vow. He manifests himself in several forms - two arms, four arms, thousand eyes, thousand arms, eleven heads, etc. His boundless compassion and altruism inspire many devotees. Through prayers and practice to Chenrezig, we aspire to transform our negative qualities into selfless motivation to help others.

It is also said that the benefits attributed to reciting his mantra "Om Mani Padme Hung" are immeasurable.

Lungta or Wind horse 

Lungta, usually in the form of colorful paper or flags, have block-printed prayers, mantras, animals and other auspicious symbols imprinted on them. "Lung" means wind or space signifying universal foundation and omni pervasiveness. "Ta" refers to the greatest speed at which the horse can travel. Together, Lungta connotes the swift delivery of messages and blessings to all sentient beings vis-à-vis the incredible strength of the horse and force of the wind.

The more prevalent symbols in a Lungta include 5 animals. The precious horse, adorned with a flaming wish-fulfilling jewel on its back, represents the air element and the swiftness in which one's misfortune can change and aspirations fulfilled. The Garuda or the great bird, depicted with flaming horns soaring high in the sky, represents the fire element. The dragon who is said to live under the sea represents the water element. The lion that roams the mountains symbolizes earth while the tiger, a wild animal in the forest, symbolizes the wood element.

The flag as a whole is also a representation of the body, speech and mind of the Buddha. The flag itself as the Buddha body, the mantras/ prayers printed as the Buddha speech and the meaning of the prayers as the Buddha mind.

The practice of releasing lungta began with an Indian King who caught a mysterious disease. He consulted several doctors but none of them were able to cure him. Finally, he approached Buddha for his advice. Buddha saw that the king's condition was a result of the obstacles given to him by other sentient beings (as differentiated from obstacles that one acquires because of one's own negative actions). Buddha advised that the only cure was for the king to go to the top of a mountain and with full faith, release 100,000 lungtas. There are sentient beings who do not encounter the Dharma (Buddha's teachings) because they do not have the karma (fate/destiny) to hear or read the Dharma. So in releasing these prayer lungta, one creates the karma for others to know and be in the Dharma. The merits accumulated from this positive action is attributed to the person who released the lungtas.

The benefits of releasing lungta include the following:

  • get rid of curses put upon us by others
  • protection from a lawsuit
  • eradicate bad dreams, bad thoughts, bad actions
  • good health
  • power over other beings
  • wealth
  • peace within
  • luck and longevity
  • success and fulfillment of all aspirations
  • purify our bad karma

Before releasing the lungta, a smoke puja/ritual is done in the morning to invite mountain, land spirits, local gods, nagas. After the smoke puja, the lungta is dispersed from the top of a mountain, sea or any clean high place with wind blowing so that the prayer flaglets could fly high and spread wide. As the lungta is scattered by the winds, blessings upon blessings are shared with all sentient beings.

LUD (Chi Lhu) RITUAL 

The Ritual of Lud Tangma is performed to eradicate untimely death due to obstacles caused by evil spirits and other negativities. These include bad karma, poor health, financial problems and all other mental, spiritual and emotional sufferings such as fear, confusion, pain and doubts. During the ritual, participants will place cut nails, hair, unwashed worn clothing, leng chag ( a type of mold used for rubbing on unwell body parts) into a receptacle(LUD) containing a human figurine. The figurine, the leng chag, hair, nails and worn clothes all represent the negativities and obstacles of the participants. Food and other offerings are also placed into the Lud to pacify the evil spirits and keep them away from us. At the end of the ritual, the Lud is thrown away and left at a crossroad thus eliminating all causes of untimely death.

Manjushri (Boddhisattva of Wisdom)  

Manjushri Bodhisattva is the embodiment of all the Buddha’s wisdom. The word manju means “charming, beautiful, pleasing” while Shri means “glory or brilliance”. This Bodhisattva is regarded as the crown prince of Buddhist teachings, or the one who can best explain the Buddhist wisdom. Of which this wisdom is able to extinguish afflictions and bring about enlightenment. Manjushri has this title because eons ago, he was the instructor for seven different buddhas, the last being Sakyamuni Buddha.

Manjushri is often depicted with his right hand holding a double-edged flaming vajra sword and his left hand holding a lotus flower on which rests the Prajnaparamita (Great Wisdom) Sutra. He is sometimes seen riding a lion. The Prajnaparamita Sutra on the lotus flower symbolizes the wisdom (pure as a lotus) that He can bestow on one that supplicates Him. The sword represents the sharpness of wisdom that cuts through illusion and ignorance. The lion is often considered the king of animals, and in this symbolism, it represents the stern majesty of wisdom and its powerful growl, the mighty sound emitted by the Buddha Dharma.


  
Vesak or Vaishakha Day
(Tib: Saga Dawa Duechen)

Vesak (Vaishakha) Day is celebrated on the 15th of the 4th lunar month. This Buddhist holiday commemorates the three important events in Buddha Shakyamuni's life: Buddha was born in Lumbini (Nepal), became enlightened in Bodhaya (India) and entered paranirvana ("passed away") in Kushinagar (India). On this auspicious day, merits/demerits gained over positive/negative actions are said to multiply million times. Buddhists are encouraged to practice vegetarianism on this day and to participate in life release.


Bathing of Baby Buddha on Vesak Day 

On Shakyamuni Buddha's Birthday, most Buddhists follow the tradition of bathing Baby Buddha with water. According to Buddhist legend, when Buddha was born, he pointed his right hand up and left hand down to announce that he will unite heaven and earth. Hence, a standing Baby Buddha figure with the same mudra is placed on the altar for the ceremonial bathing. As we pour water over Baby Buddha, we pray fervently that our body, mind and speech be purified and that all our defilements and impurities be cleansed so that all sentient beings may advance in their spiritual development.


Shakyamuni Buddha Puja 
Skt: Siddhattha Gotama
Tib: Shakya Thupa

Siddhartha Gautama, also known as Sakyamuni or Shakyamuni ("sage of the Shakyas"), is regarded as the Supreme Buddha of this era. There are four major Tibetan Buddhist Holidays that celebrate the significant events in His life: Birth, Enlightenment and Mahaparinirvana (Saga Dawa Duechen), First Turning of the Wheel of Dharma (Choekhor Duechen), Descent from Tushita Heaven (Lhabab Duechen) and Display of Miracles (Chotrul Duechen). The benefit of any virtuous action, including the recitation of mantras, is believed to increase 10 million times when performed on these auspicious days.


 

Nyernga Lhabab Dechen  
Descending Day of Lord Buddha

One of the four major Tibetan Buddhist holidays. We celebrate Shakyamuni Buddha’s compassion to go to heaven to teach his deceased mother and then, to descend back to earth to continue teaching in the human realm. On this day, merits are multiplied million times.


Amitayus Buddha  

Amitayus is the Buddha of Long Life. He is the sambhogakaya aspect of Amitabha Buddha, the Buddha of Limitless Light and Life. Amitayus is depicted as cradling a vase that contains the precious nectar of immortality, amrita, which confers longevity and the leaves of the ashoka tree, which symbolize long life without misery (shoka) of disease. Sincere practice and devotion to Amitayus is said to help eliminate all obstacles to long life such as sickness and pain. The Amitayus practice is important because longevity is said to be a contributing condition that will allow us more time and opportunity to practice the Dharma, so we can ultimately achieve our goal – liberation from Samsara.

 

Choekhor Duechen - First Teaching of Buddha 


Vajrasattva Puja  

Vajrasattva is the Buddha of Purification. He is depicted here with his consort, Vajragharvi His right hand holds a vajra at his heart, symbolizing his skilful means, while his left hand holds a bell, signifying wisdom. It is said that proper meditation and practice of Vajrasattva’s sadhana/prayer and recitation of his mantra at least twenty-one times a day can help to eliminate and purify inconceivable eons of negative karma, in particular, the violation of sacred samayas or broken vows. Purification takes place only when one confesses sincerely by first arousing bodhicitta – that is, generating pure motivation to help other beings attain enlightenment first, generates true feelings of remorse for negative actions, resolves never to commit them again and furthermore, offsets those negative acts by committing as many positive actions as possible.

 

Vajrakilaya Ritual  

Vajrakilaya is one of the most powerful deities in Tibetan Buddhism. Vajrakilaya embodies the enlightened activity of all the Buddhas, manifesting in an intensely wrathful yet compassionate form in order to subjugate the delusions and negativities that can arise as obstacles to the practice of Dharma. Vajrakilaya is a wrathful manifestation of the already wrathful Vajrapani- thus the title “King of Wrath.” Vajrapani is the essence of the wisdom of Buddhas of three times and ten directions, thus possessing great power and skillful means. In this age of moral degeneration, sentient beings are in the great disturbance of mental defilements. An ordinary manifestation of Buddha or Bodhisattva in a peaceful form is difficult to subdue beings with such defilements. Therefore, Vajrapani, the holder of the vajra, manifests in a wrathful form to subdue such beings. The Tibetan name of Vajrakilaya is Dorje Shonnu. Dorje means unmoving and unchanging. Shonnu means forever youth, no aging and no sickness.

In Tibetan monasteries all over the world, the Vajrakilaya Gutör or year-end grand puja is usually conducted for 6 to 7 days before the Tibetan New Year or Losar. It is especially important to conduct the ritual on the 12th month and 29th day of the year - when it is said that all obscurations, obstacles, curses and destructive forces are in full force on that particular day. The Vajrakilaya Gutör will help eliminate these and ensure that they do not carry over to the New Year.

Life Release (Tib: Tse Tar)  

Life Release is the Buddhist practice of saving the lives of animals who are destined to be killed. Life is the most precious gift one could give to any living being. As Shakyamuni Buddha had taught us: "Cherish all living beings with a boundless heart. Radiate kindness over the entire world". We must therefore treat all sentient beings, including animals, equally and with compassion. We must transform our selfish attitudes and start to cultivate compassion for the welfare and lives of all other animals, especially those who are about to be killed.

It is also said that due to countless births and rebirths, we have had many parents, relatives, friends and enemies. They, because of their karma, may have been reborn into the animal realm. Through Life Release, we are paying back whatever karmic debts we may have with these beings.

Life release is…

…saving lives …paying back debts …helping an emergency …compassion ...realizing awareness …practice …accumulating merits …convenient ...changing one's destiny …removing bad karmic relationships …removing ill fortune ...healing sicknesses …saving family and relatives …extending one's life ...a blessing ….helping one be born in Buddha Pureland.

According to the Sutra of Ksitigarbha, the innumerable benefits of Life Release includes the following:
(1) Long life (2) Self-arising compassion (3) Good spirits befriending you (4) One feels at home and happy with animals (5) Innumerable merits (6) Respect from peers (7) No sickness and troubles (8) Happiness and luck (9) Belief in the Buddha path for all of one's life (10) One will not be separated from the Triple Gem (11) Eventual attainment of Bodhi (12) Long life of one's guru and wishing one's best to one's guru (13) Birth in a Buddha Pureland.


42 Peaceful Dieties


58 Wrathful Dieties

HUNDRED DEITIES PRAYER ("Jang Chöd") FOR   THE DECEASED

Legend has it that the Hundred Deities text first descended on the rooftop of the Indian King Ja's palace. Realizing its importance, the King practiced the Hundred Deities text for six months. Then, the golden body of Vajrapani, measuring one inch tall, appeared and bestowed blessings upon the King allowing him to have full understanding of the text. It was King Ja who transmitted the Hundred Deities' teachings to our beloved Guru Padmasambhava. While on his way to West South of Roksha, Guru Padmasambhava also transmitted the Hundred Deities' teachings to his disciples. Lady Yeshe Tshogyal used golden ink to inscribe the teachings on a piece of paper and concealed it in a cave for the benefit of future generations. The teachings were later revealed by Karma Lingpa, who transmitted it to his disciple, Orthon Jiangpon and all the way down to our Palyul lineage master, His Holiness Penor Rinpoche.

Whoever sees, hears or touches the text of the Hundred Deities will be blessed. If one is able to receive the Hundred Deities Empowerment, practice it and abide by the samaya (precepts). The devoted practitioner will gain realization, be cleared of all obstacles for this lifetime and also have all their wishes come true. Then in their next life, they will be able to realize the nature of the Hundred Deities within them.

During the Ceremony, we call upon the Hundred Deities and make offerings to them. The merits accumulated from these offerings are dedicated to the deceased to help them in their karma purification and liberation. The prayer will also help awaken the consciousness and eliminate the desire of the souls in the Bardo (intermediate period between death and rebirth) so that they may be liberated and may take rebirth in Amitabha Buddha's Pure Land instead of the six realms of Samsara (wheel of existence).

At the end of the ritual, the paper tablets with the names of the deceased are burnt. The fire symbolizes the wisdom of the Hundred Deities and the act of burning represents the cutting of the attachment of the deceased from the notion of "ego" or "self" (which is the cause of one's sufferings). It is said that through this ceremony, the consciousness of the deceased are merged together with the wisdom of the Hundred Deities bringing the deceased to their liberation.

For those who participate and make offerings in the Hundred Deities Prayer ceremony, it is said that they will also accumulate immeasurable merits and also extinguish bad or negative karmic connections with the deceased.

Lhabab Duchen  

Lhabab Duchen (Descent from the Heavens) is one of the four holy days of the Buddha. On this 22nd day of the ninth lunar month of the Tibetan calendar, we commemorate Buddha's compassionate ascent to Tushita Heaven to teach his deceased mother for her liberation from samsara and his compassionate return to Earth to continue to teach in the human realm. Buddha himself said that great merit and purification can be gained on this day. Merits are multiplied a 100 million times on this auspicious day.

Earth Treasury Bodhisattva 

Earth Treasury Bodhisattva is also known as (Sanskrit: Ksitigarbha, Tibetan: Sayi Nyingpo) “Compassion Vow Vajra”or “Vajra with Great Vow”. During degenerate times, the practice of Earth Treasury Bodhisattva is most beneficial and most accessible to sentient beings of this world. Such merit is vast as space, deep as the oceans and high as Mt. Meru. Even if all the enlightened ones from all the ten directions praise and glorify the merits accrued from practicing Earth Treasury Bodhisattva’s practice for tens of millions of eons, it still is not enough to level it.

If one fervently and one-mindedly recites or pays homage to Earth Store Bodhisattva’s holy name or mantra or practices His holy method to enlightenment, not only will he/she be spared from suffering, but also be benefited in these 28 different ways according to Chapter 13 of Earth Treasury Bodhisattva’s Sutra:

  1. They will be protected from protective deities like devas and heavenly dragons.
  2. Their ability to do good deeds will increase.
  3. Opportunities of doing good will increase.
  4. The will to attain Buddhahood will continue unfailingly.
  5. Such people will enjoy sufficiency in food and clothing.
  6. They will be free from all diseases.
  7. They will never suffer from floods or fire.
  8. They shall not fall victim to robbery and loss of goods.
  9. They will be respected and admired by people.
  10. They will be protected and assisted by spirits and devas.
  11. Females who want to be born as males will be reborn as such. (Due to the gender inequality during Buddha’s time.)
  12. Females will become daughters of kings and noble families.
  13. They will be reborn with good appearance and complexion.
  14. They will be reborn in the heavens for many lives.
  15. They will be reborn as kings or rulers of countries.
  16. They will have the wisdom to recollect their previous lives.
  17. Their aspirations will all be fulfilled.
  18. Their family relationships will improve and be happy.
  19. They will be free from all disasters.
  20. Their negative karma will be wiped out forever.
  21. They will be safe wherever they will be.
  22. They will always have peaceful and happy dreams.
  23. Their deceased relatives will be free from all kinds of suffering.
  24. They will be reborn in a happy state.
  25. They will be praised by divine beings.
  26. They will have wisdom, be intelligent and skillful. 
  27. They will have compassion for others.
  28. They will finally attain ultimate enlightenment – Buddhahood.

Importance and Reasons for Excellence of this empowerment:

Excellence of Timing:

During these degenerate times, demerit and unvirtuous acts are on the rise, while merit and virtuous acts are declining. This causes the rise in natural disasters so this empowerment is very timing in a way to pray for removal of impending ill fortunes and imploring of blessings, as well as to plant the seeds of Earth Treasury Bodhisattva’s practice.

Excellence of Tradition:

Such empowerment is under Nyingma Palyul’s  Namchö (Sky Treasure) Tradition, as revealed by the great terton (treasure revealer)  Migyur Dorje some 300 years ago and continuously practiced and passed on by all throne holders of the Palyul Lineage. Thus, such lineage is complete, pure and blessed. In this light, the Philippine Palyul Dharma Center is humbly offering this empowerment to all students in our fervent wish that students will be introduced to this auspicious practice and be blessed by the mercy and compassion of Earth Treasury Bodhisattva.
 

Grand Mahakala Protector Puja 

According to Lunar and Tibetan calendars, every start of the year signals a new beginning and the wish to leave the bad behind while welcoming the new and the good continues to be practiced in many cultures. With this in mind, a grand Mahakala Protector Puja will be performed by the Philippine Palyul Dharma Center on March 22, 2015 at 9:30am with His Eminence Mugsang Kuchen Tulku Rinpoche as the main presider. As the spiritual son of His Holiness Pema Norbu Rinpoche and the reincarnation of Migyur Dorje, his leading of this puja is very much special and exceptional.

Benefits of joining this Puja:

  1. Dispel misfortunes and pray for blessings and protection
  2. For the stability and strength of the country and the peace of all its citizens
  3. For the harmonious relationship among the family members
  4. For the fulfillment of one’s own aspirations and wishes 
  5. Dispel black magic and curses made by evil practitioners
  6. Clear astrological harm caused by unlucky stars
  7. Eliminate any amount of obstacle or obstruction caused by demons
  8. Lessens the probability of earthquakes, floods, typhoons, fires and many other disasters
  9. Averts lawsuits from wrong accusations
  10. Minimize disputes caused by bad-mouthing
  11. Stops the spread of diseases plagues and epidemics
  12. Prevent wars and instabilities
  13. Hinders the spread of agricultural catastrophes 
  14. Decreases the probability of theft and robbery
  15. Stops hindrances caused by ghosts and evil spirits
  16. Impedes problems caused by bad fengshui in ancestor’s graves
  17. Dispels obstacles brought about by the new year
  18. Averts mental illnesses and worries
  19. Stabilizes work and career
  20. Protects one from poisons and other harms
  21. Dispels all obstacles and negativities
  22. Repays karmic debts
  23. Subdue the inner poisons – desire/ attachment, anger/ aggression, delusion/ ignorance, pride, jealousy 
  24. Open up wisdom
  25. Overall success and without obstructions

Benefits of Offering Torma for the Grand Mahakala Puja

There are many elaborately detailed records on Torma, expressing its purposes, definitions, and representations. Different kinds of Torma are found in various texts and Dharma practice manuals. Doing an elaborate practice requires a separate characteristic Torma for each and every deity of the three roots (Lama, Yidam, Khandro) or Dharma Protectors like Mahakala.

The benefit of the torma is to be used as an essential support to fulfill the accomplishment of both enlightened wisdom and worldly deities.

Guru Rinpoche has said, “It has both temporary and ultimate benefit. It accomplishes longevity without sickness, increases wealth and prosperity and increases all the good qualities you and your family possess. The temporary benefit is the fulfillment of all your wishes without any obstacles. The ultimate benefit is purifying obscuring defilements, accumulating perfect merit, and arriving at the surpassable stage of Enlightenment.” He also says, “All spiritual attainments can be accomplished through torma. Both meritorious deeds and wisdom are intensified through torma.” To higher beings, he emphasizes that “by making torma offerings, you can perfect your wisdom mind.” And to lower beings, he advises, “you can increase your merit.”

In short, there are so many purposes of torma, which not only bring benefit in this life but cause attainment of the enlightened wisdom mind. Having heard this, you can act accordingly, with full devotional faith and confidence and motivate yourself to appropriate meritorious actions.

--- Excerpt from a teaching by
H.H. Paltrul Thubten Palzangpo Rinpoche

 

Life Release 

Life Release is the Buddhist practice of saving the lives of animals who are destined to be killed. Life is the most precious gift one could give to any living being. Shakyamuni Buddha taught us: “Cherish All Living Beings With a Boundless Heart. Radiate Kindness Over the Entire World”. All life is precious. Humans (and other beings in samsara) are spending most if not all of their time taking care of themselves. We must transform this selfish attitude and start to cultivate compassion for other beings’ lives. As Shakyamuni Buddha has taught us, one must treat all sentient beings, including animals, equally and with compassion. Life is the most precious gift one could give to anyone and Life Release is giving life and freedom to animals.

It is also said that due to countless births and rebirths, we have had many parents, relatives, friends and enemies. They, because of their karma, may have been reborn into the animal realm. Through Life Release, we are paying back whatever karmic debts we may have with these beings.

The Sutra of Ksitigarbha said that the merits of Life Release include:

  1. Long life
  2. Self-arising compassion
  3. Good spirits befriending you
  4. One feels at home and happy with animals
  5. Innumerable merits
  6. Respect from peers
  7. No sickness and troubles
  8. Happiness and luck
  9. Belief in the Buddha path for all of one’s life
  10. One will not be separated from the Triple Gem
  11. Eventual attainment of Bodhi
  12. Long life of one’s master (guru) and wishing one’s best to one’s guru
  13. Birth in a Buddha Pureland.

 

Sang Puja or Mountain of Smoke Puja 

Sang Puja, also called Mountain of Smoke Puja, is conducted once every two months at the Palyul Nyingma Center. The ritual involves reciting prayers and the making of a large smoke offering by burning food (oatmeal, beans, cookies, candies, rice, sugar), drinks (wine, juice, milk), pieces of colorful cloth, flowers and incense.

In this kind of Smoke Puja, the smoke or its essence is being offered to four (4) groups of beings: Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, and all the other deities; the dharma protectors; all sentient beings; the nagas and spirits to whom we may owe a karmic debt. For the first two groups, the Smoke is presented as offerings while for the other two, it is given as gifts.

It is said that sentient beings take in the offerings by inhaling the Smoke. Beings in the hot hells feel cool and are contended. Similarly, beings in cold hells feel warm and are satisfied. Pretas or hungry ghosts are also happy to experience relief from their unquenchable thirst and hunger. Humans are also satisfied because their aspirations are granted.

Through our numerous past lives, it is a certainty that one must have at one time or another caused harm to the nagas, spirits, local deities, earthly gods and other beings - either intentionally or unintentionally. Perhaps, we climbed a mountain or bathed in a river and destroyed their homes in the process. Because of our harmful actions, we have formed a karmic debt between these beings and ourselves. As a result of this karmic debt, they bring sickness, obstacles and other obscurations upon us to make us "pay" for our harmful actions. In doing a Sang Puja, we are paying off all our karmic debts so that these beings will stop harming us.

Before throwing our plate or cup of offering into the fire, one must not think that the offering is just a plate of food or a cup of drink. Instead, one must visualize that the offering is a vast ocean of precious substances offered to the four beings mentioned above and that all of them are extremely pleased when they receive our offerings and gifts.


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