How to Make Offerings to the Dharma Protectors (12 Dec 2012)

offeringsdharmaprotectors-1Gyalwai Nyugu’s teaching during morning practice session on 12th December 2012

Good morning, Tashi Delek! For those new Dharma friends who are participating in morning practice, I rejoice even more. I hope you will be able to persevere. I pray to all the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas of the ten directions that your practice will be increasingly auspicious and perfected.

In this short human life, to be able to have contact with the authentic Dharma and cultivate the heart to benefit others is not an easy matter, so it is my hope that everyone will treasure this opportunity.

These last few days, after making offerings to the Dharma protectors, some students raised some simple questions. These questions are important, so I will provide simple explanations here.

Accomplishment in the Dzogchen teachings cannot be achieved without the protection and help of the Dakinis and Dharma protectors. The Guru, Yidam (Deity) and Dakini (or Dharma protectors) are the three roots in the Vajrayana teachings, of which each one of them is indispensable. In the degenerated age, making offerings to King Gesar is especially important. This lineage was transmitted to me by Lama Rinpoche in 2004.

Making offerings to the Dharma protectors can eliminate obstacles to our Dharma practice and it can remove evil spirits, while increasing our merits, our love and compassion. Making offerings to the Dharma protectors can also increase the success and efficiency of our activities, perfecting and making them auspicious.

For making offerings to the Dharma Protectors, it is most important to have a mind of veneration and respect. Before making offerings, one should wash both hands and then arrange the offerings with a heart full of respect and joy.

Offerings should be fresh and new without using sweets, biscuits or wine that have already been partaken of. Sometimes in order to avoid the erroneous views of other people, it may be more appropriate to use tea or other beverages as a substitute for the wine. The offerings should be abundant, clean and beautifully arranged, just as one would do when entertaining important guests.

offeringsdharmaprotectors-2Prevent yourself from exhaling directly over the offerings. Avoid defiled or disrespectful actions. The offerings should be made in accordance with one’s own means and circumstances. Make the offerings as abundant as possible. The best is to offer what you yourself prefer. It is improper to offer food you yourself are not willing to eat or things that have already been used. After arranging the offerings, light a stick of incense.

Using incense and wine that contains more natural ingredients is preferred. The offerings should not contain meat, egg, onions or similar substances.

After you have finished making offerings to the Dharma protectors, leave the offerings on the altar. When you next make offerings replace the old offerings with fresh offerings. You should not personally consume the offerings you have personally made. The wine, beverage or tea can be poured out outside in a clean place where, generally, no-one walks, or in the garden. The best is to remove the wrappings of the offerings or peel them and give the remains to the family dependents of the Dharma protectors, like the ghosts and gods of the eight classes and small animals.

At present, many people wish to have a medium of direct communication with me. They may be people who wish to learn about or understand Buddhism. In order to have a convenient mode for exchanging ideas, I created a mailbox named “Heart-to-heart dialogue” (h2hadvise@gmail.com) for this purpose. You can direct all questions to this email address. I will regularly post all important questions and answers to the “Heart-to-heart dialogue” WeChat channel.

Every Wednesday we will practise the Yidam deity.

In the space above before oneself, visualise the embodiment of the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas of the three times, and Guru Padmasambhava. He is the common deity for all of us as he is the patriarch of the Dzogchen Lineage in Tibet. At normal times, you can practise your own particular deity, there is no contradiction in doing so. Just as the water in the pot is the same as the water in the bowl, all deities are mutually corresponding. There is no need to unnecessarily discriminate.

When singing (the mantra), visualise the deity at the same time. After you have finished singing, you should dissolve the deity into your heart.

Rejoice in all virtue!

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