Smoke Offering

"The Smoke Offering" is also known as "The Pure Offering". It was developed in the period of Sakyamunni, and was introduced by Guru Rinpoche (Padmasambhava) to Tibet. At that time, The Smoke Offering got rid of many different kinds of evil that bothered Tibetans. The Smoke Offering helped Buddhism prosper, so the people were able to live happily and healthily.

The fundamental principle of Vajrayana practice is to integrate compassion (Karuna) and enlightened wisdom (Paramita) in order to liberate all sentient beings from suffering. Every Dharma practice in Vajrayana always follows these two principles. The "Smoke Offering" was also introduced based on the above teaching. The basic essential spiritual power of The Smoke Offering is based on the Dharma prayers' truly pure heart of compassion. Then extend the true heart of the prayers, to realize the suffering and needs of the sentient beings from the Six Realms who would like to demolish all of their sins. Also, to help liberate the bardos (those souls who are shapes of an inter-median state) depart from this world and be re-born in The Pure Land, or as a higher level being in order to reach enlightenment. As a result of very strong vows of compassion from the contributors of the offering and the dharma prayers, all of the Buddhas, Bodhisattva, Dharma protectors, Gods, and attained beings around the whole universe will automatically bless, support, protect and help you.

Besides grain, five colored beans, five colored clothes, fresh leaves from the pine tree, fruits, flowers, wheat, cookies and honey, the materials for "the Smoke Offering" also include hundred of precious herbs. The purified offerings are burned to smoke and contributed to all of the Buddha, Bodhisattva, Deities (Yiddams or Lineage masters), and Dharma Protectors. The offering cloud and sweet dew (Nectar) transformed from the respect for the Buddha and supported by the Guru Rinpoche and Dharma protectors, and blessed by the Buddha, will satisfy 1080 kinds of evil beings, all kinds of sentient beings or dragons that bring illness to people. The offerings will also be given to all the beings in the world including their relatives and enemies. After getting the smoke offering, all of the beings who received the offerings are liberated from suffering and pain, and reach the state of happiness and satisfaction, or reach to enlightenment. The contributors of the offerings and prayers extended their truly pure heart of compassion to give the smoke offering, and as a result the beings who were blessed by the offering, will have their disasters and obstacles either eliminated or turned into luck, peace or wealth. Many human diseases will be alleviated or cured, sins will be spiritually purified, disputes with foes will be eliminated, bad luck or sadness will turn to good fortune or peace, and all of ones undertakings or wishes will be supported and realized. One should practice the "The Smoke Offering" frequently when you moving into a new house, or suffer any form of disaster, disease, unruly kids, lack of harmony in the family, trouble on the job, poor mental condition, or a wish to run away from misfortune, and have the desire to be good or better, or confess sins and pray for fortune, wisdom, etc. The Smoke Offering will benefit not only ones self, but also others and bring boundless merits.

The following are notes in preparation for the Center's Smoke Offering:

· Please eat meatless food only before practicing the Smoke Offering.

· All the offerings must be vegetarian and washed properly; please feel free to contact the Center for details on how to prepare the offering as needed, and what ingredients could be used.

· Contributors are welcome to either prepare all the offerings, or make a donation to the center, or the center will provide help.

RigzinPhodrang Vajrayana Buddhism Center

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The Ransom and Release of Animals

Chardra Sangye Dorje Rinpoche

To the Spiritual Master, Buddha of Infinite Life, Amitayus,
And to this bodhisatta disciples, I bow.
I will now briefly explain the benefits
Of ransoming and releasing animals.

To ransom and release animals
Constitutes a flawless practive
To be done with pure motivation and applied
By all of Shakyamuni’s followers.

The benefits of this practive have been described extensively
In many sutras, tantras and treatises.
Oceanlike gatherings of learned and accomplished master of India and Tibet
Have considered this an important way to aid beings.

For those of the Hinayana,
This practice represents the abandoning of harming others;
For those who have entered the mind of awakening of the Mahayana,
It represents the training itself;
And for practitioners of the Secret Mantra,
It represents the principal tantric commitment of the Jewel Buddha family.

The reason for this is that in the world,
Nothing is more precious than life itself
And no negative act more serious than taking life.
Therefore, among composite forms of the roots of virtue,
None has greater benefit
Than the ransom and release of animals.
If you wish for happiness and good fortune,
Be diligent on this supreme path.

The authenticity of this practice is proven
By the authority of scripture and by logic.
It is a path without obstacle or error.
Thinking of your own body as an example,
Through this practice, give up harming others.

Don’t take life.
Instead, release birds, fish, wild animals,
Farm animals doomed to be slaughtered
And also small creatures such as ants and bees.
Be diligent in giving them refuge from fear.

The benefits of this are inconceivable:
It is the supreme practice for longevity,
And there is no higher practice for nurturing good health
Or for dedicating virtue to the dead.
It is my main practice to help beings.

It clears away misfortune that arises due to outer and inner obstacles
And creates harmonious circumstances effortlessly and spontaneously.
When it is guided by positive motivation
And concluded with pure dedication and aspirations,
Its effect is that you will reach perfect enlightenment
And accomplish the two goals-benefit for yourself and for others.
Have no doubt of this!

Those who are endowed with merit and a virtuous attitude
Should prevent the practice of hunting in mountains and valleys.
In particular, during autumn and spring,
When flocks of cranes and other birds
Are compelled by their karma to fly south or north,
They must move their wings with great effort
And soar through space.
Yet sometimes they must come to earth
With anxiety, fear and an uneasy mind.

Don’t hit such beings with stones or weapons.
Don’t kill or harm them.
Protect them and help them continue their migration in comfort.

“To help with loving-kindness
Destitute beings without protection
Has merit equal to that of
Meditating on the essence of compassion and emptiness.”
Thus said the glorious master Atisha.

Lamas, masters, monks, nuns and lay people, both women and men,
Should each in your own domain
Energetically perform as much ransom and release of animals as you are able.
And encourage others to do the same.

By doing so,
You will pacify sickness and disaster
Among humans and farm animals in your region.
Harvests will be plentiful, crops will increase, life will be long
And perfect happiness will dawn.
The time of death will be free of pain and confusion.
In the next life, you will attain an excellent body in a pleasant awakening.
Have no doubt of this!

I, the one known as Chadral Sangye Dorje,
Am always devoted to the activity of ransoming and releasing life.

By the virtue of these words,
May all beings enter the way of the bodhisattva.

Mama Koling Samanta.

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