22. juli 2010
Message on Guru Rinpoche Day
Yes I know I’m a day late. But nonetheless, I hope that you’ve all been happy and healthy. I’ve been well and on the road since our last electronic connection. At the moment I’m in Gomde Cooperstown in Upstate New York and we just finished a short program here with my uncle Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche. Last night we performed a tsok offering in union with the sangha members here at Gomde and while performing the tsok, I was thinking of what to write for this GRD. I thought perhaps it might be beneficial for many of you if I briefly write about the meaning and the benefits of performing a tsok offering.
Benefits of performing tsok offering:
Tsok offering in Sanskrit is called ganachakra, which if translated in Tibetan means tsok kyi khorlo, a wheel of accumulation.
Accumulation of merit and wisdom are the two supreme elements needed in clearing away the cloud of obscurations obscuring us from realizing our buddha nature. And the practice of performing tsok offering is one of the skillful ways of swiftly accumulating and purifying our obscurations and mending our broken samayas.
In most of Guru Rinpoche’s termas or hidden treasures, it is mentioned that performing tsok offering can generate tremendous merit. And in certain historical notes, there are even incidences of Guru Rinpoche physically appearing in person and blessing the practitioner calling upon him with unwavering devotion and granting him/her with supreme siddhis.
Though we are all engaged in different methods or practices with their distinct tsok sadhanas on the path to buddhahood, but eventually they all lead to the accumulation of wisdom and merit and the purification of obscurations. For those of you who perform tsok offerings on days like Guru Rinpoche day (10th) and Dakini day (25th) of the lunar calendar, for the purpose of tendral or for the auspiciousness of all, I would like to suggest that you all supplicate to Guru Rinpoche first by reciting the Vajra Seven Line Prayer and then start with your tsok practice. And for those of you who are not yet familiar with the practice of tsok offering, reciting the prayer at least three times on those days will be highly beneficial for your practice on the path.
In one of the terma revelations of Guru Chöwang, one of the five Terton Kings, it is stated, when praying with the seven lines,
Pray in this way, over and over again.
Create a feeling of yearning and longing
So intense that tears spring from your eyes.
If the rapture of devotion overwhelms you,
Breathe out strongly, and then leave everything as it is.
Clear and awake, focused and undistracted, look within.
The Vajra Seven Line Prayer: Supplication to Guru Rinpoche
- Invoking the Guru with unwavering devotion
ORGYEN YUL GYI NUB JANG TSAM
In the north-west of the land of Orgyen,
PEMA KESAR DONGPO LA
In the heart of a lotus flower,
YATSEN CHOK GI NGÖ DRUP NYÉ
Endowed with the most marvelous attainments,
PEMA JUNG NÉ SHYÉ SU DRAK
You are renowned as the Lotus-born,
KHOR DU KHANDRO MANGPÖ KOR
Surrounded by many hosts of dakinis.
KHYÉ KYI JÉ SU DAK DRUP KYI
Following in your footsteps
CHIN GYI LAP CHIR SHEK SU SOL
I pray to you: come and bless me with your grace!
GURU PEMA SIDDHI HUM
History of the Vajra Seven Line Prayer:
- Prayers of invitation of Guru Rinpoche to the assembly of feast offerings by Vajra Dakinis (Dorje Khandromas)
Heretical teachers who reviled the dharma once challenged Buddhist scholars at Nalanda through their scholarship in logic and different languages. Unable to refute the heretics and in desperation they called upon the vajra dakas and dakinis. And in their dreams appeared Dakini Zhiwa Chog (Supreme Peace) who prophesied, "You will not be able to defeat the heretics. If you do not invite here my elder brother, Dorje Thöthreng Tsal (Vajra Skull-Garland Power, Guru Rinpoche), who lives at the Dark Cemetery, the Dharma will be destroyed."
She then instructed the scholars to set up a grand tsok offering on the roof of the monastery and gave them the prayer of the Vajra Seven Line Prayer. The scholars recited the seven lines, and in an instant Guru Rinpoche came miraculously from the sky. He presided over the Buddhist scholars and defeated the heretics.
In the above seven-line prayer the guru is only symbolized in the outer or the physical form, his appearance in a manifested form. In terms of the inner and the secret meaning of the seven-line prayer, emptiness and co-emergent wisdom respectively are manifested.
Sealing the tsok offering with the ultimate aspiration of bodhichitta, may all sentient beings benefit tremendously from this feast offering and may the cloud of obscurations clear away and may the blazing sun shine through.