Recent Posts

Where is Your Heart?

Where is Your Heart?

An excerpt from a teaching called Bodhicitta by Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo

What makes you a deep practitioner? What makes you a deep practitioner is really having renounced cyclic existence. Those of you that are casual practitioners are practicing, but your mind is still a mind of distraction. You are still running hither and [...]

Share and Enjoy:
  • Print
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Twitter
  • Google Bookmarks
  • RSS
  • Suggest to Techmeme via Twitter
  • Technorati

Astrology for 7/22/2014

7/22/2014 Tuesday

Inventors unite, today is your day! Got a idea you’re itching to unleash on the public? Express it! Brilliant thinking flourishes. Be open to “out of the box” plans. Go for a run, a walk or a drive, and pay attention to everything. A call or message is exciting. Observe children and young [...]

Share and Enjoy:
  • Print
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Twitter
  • Google Bookmarks
  • RSS
  • Suggest to Techmeme via Twitter
  • Technorati
What Does Love Taste Like?

What Does Love Taste Like?

In this excerpt from a teaching called The Dharma of Technology, Jetsunma is speaking to her students who had recently received the Rinchen Terzod from His Holiness Penor Rinpoche who conferred the Rinchen Terzod at Kunzang Palyul Choling in 1988

Do you remember in the empowerments in the Rinchen Terzod we had the [...]

Share and Enjoy:
  • Print
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Twitter
  • Google Bookmarks
  • RSS
  • Suggest to Techmeme via Twitter
  • Technorati

Astrology for 7/21/2014

7/21/2014 Monday

Either an assertive person will not leave you alone, or else you are putting too many demands on yourself! There’s a risk of pushing something until it breaks: step back and wait. Ignore anyone telling you to charge into danger. Invite that person to charge, and watch the disappearing act that follows. Don’t [...]

Share and Enjoy:
  • Print
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Twitter
  • Google Bookmarks
  • RSS
  • Suggest to Techmeme via Twitter
  • Technorati

Meaning and Purpose of the 8 Auspicious Offering Bowls

The following was prepared by Ani Lucia Latimer:

At the time of the Buddha in ancient India, it was the custom of the day for devoted Buddhist households to make offerings to the Buddha and his monks and nuns as they traveled.  Typically they would be offered clean water for drinking and bathing, flowers, incense, light or a lamp, perfume or fragrance and music.  These offerings eventually became known as the 8 Auspicious Offerings and symbolize the coming forth of the Buddha’s precious teachings into the world.  These same offerings are still used today on Tibetan Buddhist altars as a way to express gratitude and respect for the Buddha.

Typically on a Tibetan Buddhist Altar there are seven offering bowls and one light.  They are arranged on the altar in a straight line close together.  The distance between each bowl is about the width of a grain of rice.  The water bowls are filled left to right and filled full but not overflowing.  The water is poured evenly and steadily with smooth, regular movement.  If the offering is poured in the correct way then it is said that beneficial outcome occurs and obscurations are dispelled. The closing of the altar is done in reverse, from right to left.

Deeper symbolic meaning and purpose has arisen for these offerings that correspond to a significant Buddhist prayer called the Seven Limb Puja or Prayer.  Below is a list of the traditional offerings and what they represent.

First Offering Bowl: WATER for drinking  “ARGHAM”


Pure, clean water offered to the Buddha for drinking and to cleanse the mouth or face.  “The purity of the water has 8 qualities:  crystal clarity, coolness, sweetness, lightness, softness, freedom from impurities.  It is soothing to the stomach and makes the throat clear and free”.  This offering symbolizes the auspicious results of all virtuous causes and conditions. In the Seven Limb Puja, it represents Homage & Prostration.

Second Offering Bowl:  WATER for bathing “PADHYAM”


Pure, clean water offered for bathing our object of Refuge, the Buddha, and our precious Teacher.  Typically the water was offered to bathe the feet and the water was scented with sandalwood or other sweet scent.  This offering symbolizes purification of our negative karma and obscurations.  In the Seven Limb Puja, it represents Offering.

Third Offering Bowl:  FLOWERS   “PUSHPE”


This offering represents all the various types of beautiful flowers in the entire universe that can be offered, as well as medicinal flowers, fruits and grains.  It symbolizes the beauty and flowering of Enlightenment and signifies the opening of one’s heart.  In the Seven Limb Puja, the flower represents Confession.

Fourth Offering Bowl:  INCENSE   “DHUPE”


Incense makes an offering of beautiful smell to the Buddha and symbolizes morality, ethics and discipline which are the basic causes and conditions from which pure enlightened qualities are cultivated.  In the Seven Limb Puja, incense represents Rejoicing in all the virtue in the world both ordinary and extraordinary.

Fifth Offering Bowl:  LIGHT   “ALOKHE”


This offering comes in the form of light that includes all natural light such as the sun, moon and stars, as well as all types of man-made forms of light such as lamps and candles.  The light symbolizes the dispelling of all darkness of the mind, all ignorance.  Ignorance here means being ignorant or unaware of one’s true inherent Buddha Nature.  Light is offered to the eyes of all the Enlightened ones who see with pristine clarity.  In the Seven Limb Puja, light represents Requesting the Buddhas to always offer Dharma teaching.

Sixth Offering Bowl:  PERFUME   “GENDHE”


This offering represents all beautiful fragrance or perfume that one can smell or put on the body.  Perfume is offered to the Buddha’s mind and symbolizes the perseverance and joyful effort that is the heart of Enlightenment. Without perseverance all the other enlightened qualities could not arise in the mind.  In the Seven Limb Puja, perfume represents Beseeching the Buddhas to remain in the world.

Seventh Offering Bowl:  CELESTIAL FOOD  “NEVIDHYA”


Excellent, delicious food of all kinds and various tastes is offered to the Three Jewels.  This offering symbolizes the clear and stable mind of Samadhi,  or meditative absorption.  In the Seven Limb Puja, food represents Dedication of all merit for the benefit of all sentient beings.

Eighth Offering Bowl:  MUSIC “SHABTA”


Musical instruments such as cymbals, bells, lutes, and string instruments that create beautiful sound is offered to the ears of the Buddha.   Sound symbolizes the Buddha’s Wisdom nature and the extraordinary Compassion that arises naturally from the Wisdom mind.

References:

The Stanzas of Offering Water from the Pure Vision, An Ocean of Blessings by Dudjom Rinpoche

The Significance of the Eight Offerings from a talk given by Khenpo Karthar in May, 1993 at Kunzang Palyul Choling

Share and Enjoy:
  • Print
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Twitter
  • Google Bookmarks
  • RSS
  • Suggest to Techmeme via Twitter
  • Technorati

4 comments to Meaning and Purpose of the 8 Auspicious Offering Bowls

Add Comment Register



Leave a Reply

  

  

  

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

My Great Web page