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Offerings during Annual Drukpa Council

As said or taught by His Holiness Gyalwang Drukpa, the entire practice of Buddhism is that it needs to inspire the practitioner to open their hearts so that the blessing/understanding will be there without any obstacle or difficulty.  The focus of teachings and practices such as chanting, spiritual dances, spiritual yoga, recitations, pujas, etc.. are meant to inspire our minds and make us aspire to achieve an understanding mind also known as the heart of enlightenment. 

There are three categories of Buddhist practitioners, the ‘Yogi’ who has renounces worldly things and spends their lives in retreats and meditation practice, monks and nuns who observe the precepts and are full time practitioners of the Dharma and finally lay persons who live in samsara taking care of families and friends.  For lay people there are many challenges coping with both negative and positive experiences however we can practice Buddhism to subdue the negative or afflictive emotions by participating in and organizing Dharma.

The Annual Drukpa Council aspires to create such a forum for the practitioners and those seeking the path by providing a space annually where all of the points converge by inviting great masters of the Drukpa lineage, preparing and coordinating a program that will include teachings, group practices, and a great gathering of the sangha from far and near to inspire and support those seeking the path of dharma. 

We are now in the sixth year of ensuring that the Annual Drukpa Council happens and would like to thank those who have supported us thus far.  If anyone is interested to support or continue to support our event, we welcome you.   Some of the many ways to support us either directly for the coordination efforts of the office or for any of the mini events listed below.

 1. Marme Monlam/ Butterlamp offering

Butterlamp offering in Buddhist practices symbolizes the enlightenment of Buddha  Shakyamuni and celebration of his enlightenment, dispelling the darkness of ignorance of one’s true nature of the mind. The practice of lamp offering carries the wish to attain enlightenment and the aspiration to recognize the clear light at the time of death, thereby experiencing liberation in that moment. 

2. Tsokhor / Grand Ganachakra

The practice of Ganachakra Offering is a supreme and profound act of generosity, the perfection of giving. We should offer generous quantities of all kinds of substances which represent all of the things we like and feel attached to. The merit of this offering is immense. His Holiness Gyalwang Drukpa has explained that on a first level we accumulate merit for the generous offering of substances, on a second level with the understanding of the union between male and female energies, and on a third level by keeping our state of mind as the Great Union (Mahamudra) during the entire ceremony. It is also traditional to offer tsok to symbolize one’s gratitude at the end of a teaching or retreat.

3. Mandala Offering

Mandala is a spiritual and ritual symbol representing the universe.   The mandala represents the nature of the Pure Land, Enlightened mind and a Buddha field. 

The mandala offering is symbolic of offering the entire universe to the Buddhas and one’s teacher.  Actually visualizing the continents and offering the mandala in this way is a skillful means to quickly finish the work of accumulating merit in order to generate the realizations from guru devotion up to enlightenment. The main endorsement of the extensive merit accumulated by the mandala offering practice is the story of King Ashoka—how as a child in a previous life he offered sand into Guru Shakyamuni's begging bowl while visualizing it as gold. By visualizing gold he received the merit equal to having actually offered gold. As a result in his next life he was reborn as the dharma king Ashoka and built many monasteries and made many offerings to the monks, and built one million stupas.  If you visualize one mandala, in those few seconds you will receive the merit equal to having offered the entire Mount Meru and the continents and all the other things. And if you visualize a hundred thousand or however many, in that minute you receive merit equivalent to having actually offered that many universes, even though you do not own those things. Receiving that merit does not depend on substance, it depends on the visualization, sincerity, clarity and the number of mandalas offered.

4. Jangwa/  Puja for the Deceased

This Jangwa ritual, based on the Amitabha Buddha, is beneficial for those who were recently deceased, or who had passed away several years ago.   The practice of Jangwa is a skillful practice of purification used when somebody has passed away.  Even when a person is in the intermediate state (bardo) on the way to the lower realms, the practice of jangwa can change the direction of the person's reincarnation. The practice can cause the deceased to reincarnate in a pure land (dewachen) or in human form with full faculties where there is buddha dharma.

5. Zambala Puja / Ratnasambhava puja

Through the practice and the blessings of Zambala, one can develop generosity and reduce miserliness, and have the ability to take away poverty of all sentient beings, transform jealousy to appreciation, and ultimately the realization the jewel with oneself.

6. Drolma Puja/ Green Tara Puja

Through the practice of Green Tara, one creates causes to attain enlightenment as well as avert obstacles and ensure success in worldly and spiritual affairs. Green Tara is known as a Swift Liberator, commonly believed to be born from the tears of Bodhisattva Avolokiteshvara, Tara materialized and vowed to assist Him in the battle to reverse the tides of Samsara.

7. Tshepamey Zhiwa Lhamang/ Amitayu Long life Puja

Through the practice and blessings of Amitayu one receives the power of longevity, good health, and inner content and outer prosperity. It carries the special blessings of Guru Rinpoche, acts swiftly, and strengthens the life force, removing obstacles and unfavorable influences.

 A good practitioner, through the inspiration and power of his or her practice, comes to feel psychologically, emotionally, and spiritually whole, and this is both the greatest source of healing and the strongest protection against illness.

8. Relic Viewing

There are different types of liberation, liberation by sight, sound, taste, etc… viewing of sacred relic is said to liberate us by sight.  If that does not happen due to our karma, it is said to remove obstacles and to harm that are in our way.  Further, the blessing continues even after death by easing our journey in bardo. And finally, the blessings is also said to continue into our rebirth by ensuring that we are born again in a time and place where we can encounter Buddha dharma.

9. Food & Tea Offering

The participants and practitioners can also sponsor the tea and food offered to all during the event.  The practice of generosity of sponsoring the food and beverage one can accumulate merit, by offering with pure motivation for the benefit of all sentient beings.  However, often lay practitioners dedicate their efforts and make more mundane wishes that dissolve in this lifetime.  During the ADC the sponsor’s merit will be dedicated by the monks and nuns on that day with pure motivation and will pray for the everlasting merit until enlightenment.

10. Holy 1000 Pill

The pill is called the 1000 pill as it requires 1000 monks and practitioners to bless the pill until omens such as the sun, moon, and stars appears together n the sky and a dakini hair grows from the torma. The holy pill give liberation by taste if one has the merit, if not then one receives longevity, good health and is assured never to go to lower realms.

11. Rainbow Pill/ Jatsug Rilbu

The rainbow pill is the most sacred pill of the Palden Drukpa Lineage.  It is stated in the sutras that if one consumes or wears the Jatsug Rilbu with complete devotion, one will realize the Ultimate truth of Mahamudra or Shunyata. It is also a cure for sicknesses, protection from poisons and weapons, purification of the senses and of benefit in various other ways.  Those who consume it can die peacefully and with the confidence that they will not be re-born in the lower realms.

The rainbow pills are very rare and over three hundred years old. There are just a few hundred pills available worldwide unless H.H. Gyalwang Drukpa decides to make more.