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Puja

Puja (Sanskrit & Pali: puja / Tibetan transliteration: chogka) is the expressions of "honor, worship and devotional attention."  Puja is a ritual with a particular purpose.  It might be arrange for an individual as a private practice, and most are host by the monastery and welcome public; for example, Longlife puja is for celebration, practice Medicine Buddha is for good health and practice Amitabha Buddha in general is for salvation.  A puja needs one or more Lamas to prepare and conduct. 

In general, the acts of puja include bowing, making offerings and chanting.   Puja has to add on the spiritual practices that include taking refuge, generating an altruistic heart, making offerings, reciting prayers of request, chanting the concerned mantras, meditating, repent and dedicating the merit.

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Practice (Tibetan transliteration: nyen lyn)

Practice is the act of chanting Buddhism text over and over, to make you understand its contain and improve your behavior and attitude.  Practice is kind of like homework given by Guru that you have to recite daily or on a routine base.  During the practice, we chant the text, visualization, hands gesture, meditation and in some certain stands we use the bell and vajra as well.  Through the study of the text, we will upgrade the understanding of dharma and wisdom increased.

Assembly Practice (Tibetan transliteration: tsok ba)

For a better environment and to attain the best benefit of the practice is to join the monastery daily or weekly practice.  A group of lay persons shared the way to Buddhahood, even the side-effect of this mutual encouragement, support and treasure is beyond comparison.

Regular Pujas/Activities

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Name of Pujas

Date

Introduction of Yidams

1.

Green Tara Puja Practice

Every Tuesday

8:00pm to 9:00pm

2.

Medicine Buddha Puja and
Four-Armed Kuanying Puja Practice

Every Friday

8:00pm to 9:00pm

  

3.

Vajrayana Four Foundation

Every Sunday

9:00am

4.

Tibetan Learning Class for Beginners

Every Sunday

10:00am to 11:00am

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5.

Mahakala Puja and Amitabha Puja

Once in a month

8:30am to 7:00pm

  

6.

Green Tara Retreat

Once in a month

8:30am to 7:00pm

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7.

Great Jetsun Milarepa Offering and
Blessing Wisdom Puja

Every 10th day of Chinese Lunar Calendar, 7:30pm to 9:00pm

8. Life Release ¡@

Introduction of Yidams:

      Green Tara

Green Tara embodies the female wisdom activity of the mind and is basically an emanation of the air-element(Amoghasiddhi Buddha). In some lower tantras of the fire-element (Buddha Amithaba). She is also called ¡§Mother of All Buddhas¡¨ and has many peaceful and wrathful emanation forms. Result of the Green Tara meditation are e.g. quick thinking and according wisdom-reaction, generosity, magical perfection, fearlessness and spontaneity to reach a quick karmic completion. Her attributes are light blue up ala-flowers(paeonias). She is adorned with jewels and precious cloth, sitting on a white moon-disk. Her right leg is outside the lotus flower, which symbolizes her continuous activity, alertness and her determination for quick active help. Her hands are in the gesture of granting protection and freeing from fears. Her short mantra is OM TARE TUTARE TURE SVAHA and her seed-syllable is dTAM.

Medicine Buddha

Bhaisajyaguru Vaidurya Prabhasa Tathagata, well known as the Medicine Buddha or the Buddha of Twelfth Great Vows, rules the world of pure crystal. While practicing as a Bodhisattva, he had pledged twelve great vows to grant the wishes of all sentient beings, and could have their karmic kindred eradicated. In his Buddha Land ¡V the Pure Crystal World is magnified with crystal ground, seven-treasure palaces and roads demarcated by golden ropes.

Medicine Buddha, for all sentient beings who tormented by various diseases and in full suffering, pledged twelve great vows in order to bring benefit and bliss to every being, turn their distress to healthy and wealthy. These great vows are inconceivable for those who seriously sick and in the shadow of death.

Let their families and friends assemble and request Lamas or monks to practice Medicine Buddha. During the 7 days puja, make offerings and pay homage to Buddhas, make seven images or statues of Medicine Buddha, place 7 lamps in front of each image or statue and make 5 colors banners. Within 7 or up to 49 days, make offering to Lamas and release livestock by acuminate all these merits and virtues the karmic obstructions be entirely extinguished. Then the sick one will overcome all illness and sufferings.

   Aturbhuja

Avalokiteśvara

Four Arms Avalokiteśvara

 Four Arms Avalokiteśvara (Aturbhuja Avalokiteśvara) is the manifest of the former Buddha and appears to help all beings by request.  He is considered the patron Bodhisattva of Tibet and in no doubt his practice is in all the great lineages and becomes the most popular of all Buddhist deities.  His mantra is chanted over and over, days and nights by Buddhists.  The symbolic are painted and crafted on wall, stone, large or small, everywhere uphill and near the lake.  By all means, the Tibetans cultivate for oneself and encourage those passes by. 

 Four Arms Avalokiteśvara, Mañjuśrī and Vajrapāi are represented the great compassion, the ultimate wisdom and indestructibility and power.  These practices are the most essential rituals for vajrayana.  To practice Four Arms Avalokiteśvara obtains the boundless supreme blessing.  In order to take the path of Bodhi by resolve their minds with faith and joy and chant the mantra, rebirth in the pure land.

 With the blessings and protections of Four Arms Avalokiteśvara, the six word Lamaism charm ¡§Om Mani Padme Hum¡¨ is integrated the practice and wisdom.  Hence, purify your speech, body and mind and put yourself to the track of Bodhi, remove all the obstacles while fortune and wisdom increased.  Rebirth in the realm of human or heaven, meet the triple gems with certain.  All these merits and benefits are amazingly inconceivable.

   Four Ngöndro

Four Ngöndro (Four foundational Practices)

Four Ngöndro is a ¡§prologue¡¨ of entering the path of Vajrayana practices, refers to the preliminary, preparatory or foundational 'practices' or 'disciplines' common to all four schools of Tibetan Buddhism. The Tibetan term ngöndro literally denotes meanings in the range of "something that goes before, something which precedes." All vajrayana doer have to learn and start four ngöndro as a stepping stone ahead of all other practices.

In Tibet, the tradition the Four Ngöndro, preliminary practices include prostration practice, Vajrasattva, Mandala offering and Guru Yoga; and the accumulation of large numbers of each practice.

Outer and inner preliminaries

In general the preliminary practices are divided into two sections or kinds: the first are the common or ordinary kind of preliminary practices, and the second are the special or extraordinary kind of preliminaries.

Outer preliminaries : The common or ordinary preliminaries consists of a series of deep reflections or contemplations on the following four topics:

    the freedoms and advantages of precious human rebirth

    the truth of impermanence and change

    the workings of karma

    the suffering of living beings within samsara

The above four contemplations are sometimes referred to as "the four reminders" or "the four mind-changers" or "the four thoughts which turn the mind towards Dharma."

Additional reflections may be included in the specific instructions on the outer preliminaries within different lineages, but the above four topics are the main reflections.


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MAHAKALA

MAHAKALA PUJA SADHANA:

Mahakala, ¡§Lord of the Tent¡¨, is one of the most revered Tibetan protector deities. He is worshipped as a protector of the entire realm as well as a personal tutelary deity. Well represented and revered in all orders of Tantric Tibetan Buddhism, Mahakala is especially popular with the Sakya order. In his most common form he is believed to be the fierce manifestation of the bodhisattva Avalokitesvara who plays a prominent role in Tibetan Buddhism, and was the tutelary deity of the Mongolian ruler Kublai Khan.

Mahakala is a Dharmapala, a protector of religious law. He is always depicted as an extremely fierce and terrifying deity. His purpose is to help in overcoming negative obstacles on the path to enlightenment. A compassionate wrathful deity, he appears evil, like a demon, but functions more like guard dog, or guardian angel. (Sergeant) His aggression is necessary,for it allows him to demolish obstacles and negativities one faces on the path to enlightenment. Mahakala is depicted in a variety of different ways, sometimes with six arms, other times with two. He is often brown skinned and associated in tankas with PendenLhamo.

Mahakala¡¦s role as ¡§Lord of the Tent¡¨ explains his popularity in Tibetan religion. Tibetans are historically a nomadic people and tents have always been an important form of protection and shelter,providing the basis for their way of life. Tents being essential for survival resulted in Mahakala, the ¡§Lord of the Tent¡¨, becoming one of the most important protector deities

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Amitabha Buddha

Amitabha Buddha

"Amitabha means ¡§boundless light¡¨ and ¡§boundless lifespan¡¨ and he is the principal buddha of Sukhavati, the Blissful Pure Land of the West. The pure land is outside the suffering realms of ordinary cyclic existence and all conditions there are conducive for one's eventual attainment of enlightenment." In the Pure Land there is no sickness, old age, or death. The sufferings and difficulties of this world do not exist. They receive immortal, transformed bodies, and are beyond the danger of falling back into lesser incarnations. They are in the direct presence of Amitabha Buddha and the great bodhisattvas Avalokitesvara (Kuan Shi-Yin) and Mahasthamaprapta (Da Shih-Chih), who aid in their ultimate enlightenment.

The Pure Land is described, metaphorically, as resplendent with all kinds of jewels and precious things, towers of agate, palaces of jade. There are huge trees made of various gems, covered with fruits and flowers. Giant lotuses spread their fragrance everywhere. There are pools, also made of seven jewels, and filled with the purest water. Gold covers the ground. Flowers fall from the sky day and night, and the whole sky is covered with a net made of gold and silver and pearls. The Pure Land is perfumed with beautiful scents and filled with celestial music.
Most precious of all, in the Pure Land not only the Buddha and Bodhisattvas, Amitabha and his assistants, but even the birds and the trees (as manifestations of Amitabha) are continuously expounding the Dharma, the Buddhist Teaching.
All a sentient being needs to do is to make an aspiration and chant the name of Amitabha Buddha or recite the mantra of this Buddha and he will receive the following benefits: -
1. Amitabha Buddha will always be over him, day and night, to bless him with safety and peace as well as to protect him from harm that his adversaries may want to cause him; at the time of his passing on, he will be able to take rebirth in the Blissful Pure Land of the West at will.
2. He will be able to lower his chances of meeting with calamities, reduce his bad karma, increase his prosperity and happiness, and lengthen his life.
3. He will be able to liberate those who have passed away and help them to take rebirth in the Blissful Pure Land of the West.

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Release Of life; Its Significance and its Merits 

The release of life is to set beings free, for whom are about to die or to be killed. The practitioners who often perform this activity will have their life-span prolonged, wisdom and compassion increased, and will never encounter accidental and untimely death.  Amongst the various long life practices, the release of life is the most effective and supreme one. It is said -"OF ALL THE VIRTUOUS DEEDS, THE RELEASE OF LIVES ACCUMULATE MOST MERITS."  The act of killing lives generates the most negative karma, therefore, the act of releasing lives, on the other hand, accumulates immeasurable positive merits. During the ritual of releasing lives, the motivation and aspiration of the practitioners to save lives and set free of beings manifest the ultimate level of compassion, and their prayers ensure that these beings will in the future attain Buddhahood.

Article "Merit from Releasing Live Animals"

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