Sangha

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All People in the Leadership Position Needs the Help of the Historical Fundamental Teacher, Buddha Sakyamuni!

Published Agosto 18, 2016 by jptan2012

Buddha-Shakyamuni-3-transparent-800x803The first time I wrote about Sakyamuni Buddha (also known as The Historical Buddha, and The Fundamental Teacher) is in a post called – BASIC BUDDHISM (2): THE THREE JEWELS – BUDDHA, DHARMA, & SANGHA – but in so many ways, it was really a short article meant to be a very basic introduction.

Writing about the life of Siddhartha Gautama (also spelled as Siddartha / Siddharta) is a very big task, because there is just simply a lot of information about Him, and I really don’t know how to write about Him in this blog.

Today is a special day because this is my 700th article, and I thought I’d write about Buddha Sakyamuni (also spelled as Shakyamuni) because in a way I have reached a milestone. However, I still don’t know how to write about his life, but instead I will write about one of the most frequent question people ask me: If Amitabha Buddha is known for protection and Medicine Buddha is known for health and wealth, what is Sakyamuni Buddha known for?

First, all Buddhas or Bodhisattvas are capable of doing all things, it’s just that they have certain vows or certain character drawn from vows or life as written in the sutra that makes them known for certain virtues.

Buddha Sakyamuni is the Historical Buddha because He is the Buddha who manifested in human form in this lifetime. Amitabha Buddha also manifested in human in a different lifetime. And in the next lifetime Bodhisattva Maitreya is the one foretold to be the Buddha who will manifest in a human form. Anyway, Buddha Sakyamuni is also called the Fundamental Teacher because all the Buddhist teachings that we know now and all the Buddhist practices that we know now came from Him. It is in this regard that Buddha Sakyamuni is said to bring about wisdom for all of us. But more than that His wisdom is especially for leaders who lead their country, city, business, or even department.

In a hostile environment, having the Vajrapani Ruel to tap into the power of Bodhisattva Vajrapani is important to give us a winning edge. But pairing the Vajrapani Ruel with the power of Buddha Sakyamuni, will help give you wisdom how to diffuse the hostile environment. Buddha Sakyamuni, when He was still in human form also managed several Sangha communities, each Sangha community consists of about 2,000 Bhiksus (monks) and several more Bhiksunis (Buddhist nuns) and most of these communities also have Upasakas (male Buddhist students – not monks) and Upasikas (female Buddhist students – not nuns). And he is able to manage all of them all of these Sangha communities without having major concerns or problems. So when we tap into the power of Sakyamuni Buddha (Shakyamuni Buddha) we are able to tap into His power of managing a community (in present life businesses, departments, etc.) in a way we are able to gain respect and love but at the same time leadership powers.

Furthermore, Sakyamuni Buddha in so many ways is also a diplomat. Politicians (Emperors, etc.) would go to Him and seek His advice, more than that He has curbed some wars and conflicts. This shows that when we tap into His power we are able to become diplomat and deal with high statesmen with confidence.

The best way to tap into the power of Sakyamuni Buddha and honor Him is by chanting His mantra, wearing His image, and more also lighting incense and making offerings in front of his image.

The mantras of Sakyamuni Buddha are:

OM MUNI MUNI MAHĀ MUNI YE SOHA

NAMO PEN SHI SHI CHIA MUNI FO

 

For questions, comments, and suggestions please email sanaakosirickylee@gmail.com

Basic Buddhism 5: The Evolution of Acquiring An Amulet

Published Disyembre 31, 2015 by jptan2012

Have you wondered why when ‘buying’ an amulet Buddhist, especially Chinese Buddhist, will always use the word ‘invite’ instead of buy?

Is it only because most Buddhists are uncomfortable with the thought of paying for an amulet?

The truth is there is a deeper explanation to this.

In the olden times, an amulet was never bought; a person can only acquire an amulet if a Buddhist monk or when a person who has it has chosen a person to receive it. For amulets that are kept in the temple and are to be given to the people, they will have to express to the Buddhist monk or to the abbot or abbess of the temple their desire to invite the said amulet. The abbot or abbess together with the senior Buddhist monks and nuns will either then do an assessment whether the person is worthy of receiving the said amulet. Usually the person will be assessed as to whether they are good member of the Sangha (community of the Buddhist society), and whether they have sincerely contributed to the temple. Contribution here is not just about money, although it may include it in form of donation to the temple, but more importantly, how much they have contributed in terms of service to temple. For example, do they volunteer in the activities of the temple, do they help clean the temple, do they make offerings of flowers, do they help cook food for the Buddhist monks or nuns or even the Sangha? Since the Buddhist monks or nuns are familiar with the members of the Sangha they are able to make the assessment base on quality of the offering and not quantity, meaning, they are able to assess appropriately. They are not judging base on the quantity of the offering but rather quality.

Allow me to explain the last few statements further. Buddhist Student A and Buddhist Student B are members of a temple. Buddhist Student A, goes to the temple every afternoon and cleans the temple for 3 hours. Buddhist Student B, goes to the temple every afternoon and helps do chores for 30 minutes. But Buddhist Student A is a rich person who doesn’t do anything and Buddhist Student B is a poor peasant who has to work for 10 hours a day. So off hand, you’ll see that Buddhist Student B has so much more ‘quality’ in his/her service offering. Of course, Buddhist monks and nuns takes into consideration a lot more factors, but off hand as an example, I hope what I illustrated is clear.

So it doesn’t mean that when a person donated 10 gold coins, he will get the amulet. He may have only donated 1 silver coin, but taking into consideration all the other factors he might be so much worth it.

Sometimes, the process is done through a divination. This is especially true if there is only a single or limited amulet and several people have expressed interest to invite the amulet, and after an assessment several people were proven to be worthy. I remember, several years back, I was still a young boy then, there’s a special amulet that is to be given to a member of the Sangha. The temple has pre – selected possible recipient, and my mom was one of them. They were asked to go to the temple at a certain date and time, and there was a ritual that was made to whom should the amulet be given. My mom got it.

I have to repeat, when I said quality it doesn’t mean also which one has given nicer things, but what is being assessed is sincerity and capability of the person.

Surangama Mantra Amulet N

Pure Land Buddhists believes that when you wear a Surangama Mantra Amulet, heavenly beings that has an affinity with you will hover over you.

As time goes – by, and the world has become more urbanized, this kind of process slowly changed, because the norm now is that every adult goes to work. The world has been interconnected and it has also become extremely competitive. We are all so busy earning a living. And so, acquiring an amulet has change also. Now, especially, in the last 15 to 20 years, inviting an amulet by way of paying for it has become acceptable provided there is some guideline.

The money is used as a donation for the consumerable materials used. Not the materials that are holy. For example, in the case of the Vajrapani Ruel (1) or Surangama Mantra Amulet (1), what were factored in the ‘price’ are the materials that can be paid for and not the holy materials like relics, etc.

The amount reflects the cost of transportation. A stipulated amount to be used for donation either to a temple or monastery, like in the case of the Surangama Mantra Amulet (2), the amount is used to build a temple. Or as an offering of an image of a Buddha, which is the case for the Vajrapani Ruel (2) and now the Illness Suppression Amulet. People are having easier access now to these amulets, but because they no longer serve the Sangha or community of Buddhist students or followers, they are requested to give a stipulated amount in return.

Illness Suppression Amulet3

The Illness Suppression Amulet or Illness Protection Amulet is a special highly consecrated amulet made by my Guru Lama as a cure for the Illness Star a star that also causes accidents. It has the energies of the Medicine Buddha, Namgyalma Buddha, Amitayus Buddha and White Umbrella Goddess. Furthermore, the small black thing you see at the bottom of the glass amulet holder is a Dharma Pill, which is made from a second – class relic of a confirmed holy lama. It also has a small amount of ash from the last Medicine Buddha holy initiation conducted by my Guru Lama, and aside from individual special consecration, the whole amulet was further consecrated under the Tooth Relic of Shakyamuni Buddha.

In some cases, some of these amulets are still distributed the old way and that would largely depend on the decision of the Buddhist monk in charge of the said amulet. For example, the Vajrapani Ruel (3) is not available thru a donation in Tibet and Nepal, no matter how much money you have you won’t be able to acquire it. You will have to be an active member of the Sangha and has made contribution either of food or service before you are even considered to possibly have it. The first few months when I wrote about the Vajrapani Ruel (4), I was not allowed by my Guru Lama to invite the Vajrapani Ruel (5) even if I was willing to give the stipulated amount for the cost of inviting it. It was only after several months that he decided to give one to me for free, as part of my service, but I still opted to give the stipulated amount for the cost of inviting the Vajrapani Ruel (6).

The Illness Suppression Amulet, which was specially made by my Guru Lama for the ruling Illness Star this year, is the same, the amount stipulated for its invitation will be partially donated to feeding of some monks, and making an image of a small Buddha or part of a bigger Buddha.

But a lot of the Buddhist monks still prioritized those who have sincerely contributed to the Buddhist community over those who can just simply pay for it. My Guru Lama although forced to accept the stipulated amount of donation for the invitation of some amulets like the Vajrapani Ruel (7) and Illness Suppression Amulet, he still follows the age – old tradition of distributing amulets, especially when said amulets are extremely limited.

For questions, comments, and suggestions, please email sanaakosirickylee@gmail.com

 

Sutra & Mantra Retreat and Vajrapani Empowerment Ritual!

Published Nobyembre 4, 2015 by jptan2012

I have always believe in the power of chanting mantras and reciting / reading sutras. When people get in touch with me asking for the Vajrapani Ruel and because they can’t afford it or its not available at the time of request, I always tell them to chant some mantras or recite some sutras because these are very powerful tools or rituals that can help us surpass our problems. In fact, regular readers of this blog will see some personal testimonies of readers who simply chanted some mantras and were able to get their wishes.

That is why I’m very happy to announce that my Guru Lama is coming to the Philippines early next year to do a two – day Sutra and Mantra retreat and one day Vajrapani Empowerment Ritual. What’s even better is that the retreat and the Vajrapani Empowerment Ritual are going to be absolutely free!

I can’t clearly express as to what are the benefits of chanting a mantra and reciting a sutra because the wonderful blessings that one can get from them if properly done is simply enormous. It has the power to heal the sick, turn bad luck into good luck, create some wealth and financial luck. If these things are done for our recently departed relatives, it may give them a chance to be reborn with a good life.

The Sutra and Mantra retreat is going to be for 2 days from 6:30AM to 2:30AM straight! It seems quite tiring, but the truth is it’s not and if one is in the middle of it you’ll feel that 8 hours is simply nothing. Nevertheless, we’ll have 5 minutes bathroom break every hour or every hour ninety minutes, depending on the mantra and sutra being chanted or recited. On the first two days, which is the Sutra and Mantra retreat, we will be chanting and reciting different mantras and sutra for 8 hours each day straight! Well…almost straight!

On the third day, my Guru Lama is going to conduct a Vajrapani Empowerment Ritual or Puja.

What is an empowerment ritual or puja?

An empowerment ritual or puja is a ritual that is headed by a certified Lama that invokes the power of a Buddha or Bodhisattva or Deity. This is to request blessings and protection from the Buddha or Bodhisattva or Deity being invocated. This kind of ritual is rarely done in the Philippines and one needs a highly ordained monk or lama to be able to do this. For this particular empowerment ritual, we are invocating Vajrapani Bodhisattva, to get to know more about Vajrapani Bodhisattva please read my post called – THE WORLD’S MOST POWERFUL AMULET IN THE BUDDHIST PANTHEON CALLED VAJRAPANI RUEL.

Vajrapani Bodhisattva is primarily a protective bodhisattva but as you see in the various testimonials of people who has requested for the Vajrapani Ruel, a lot of these involve other things which is other than simply protection. For you to know more about these miracles you read some of the stories you can find below.

I will announce the exact date and time and location of the Sutra and Mantra Retreat and the Vajrapani Empowerment Ritual once we have finalized the details but this is confirmed and will happen soon after Chinese New Year of 2016.

As mentioned these events are absolutely free of charge. A reader who has experienced a Vajrapani Ruel miracle has committed to sponsor the vegetarian lunch (although it is going to be served after the retreat which is after 2:30pm). The vegetarian lunch is going to be cooked by Buddhist nun and volunteers of the host temple. Please note that although this is free we encourage you to bring some fruits as an offering to the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. We will also encourage you to give a Sangha Offering, which is customary for every Buddhist ritual. A Sangha Offering is done by giving you a red envelope and you can put any amount inside the envelope, which you will then offer on the altar. The money inside can be as low as twenty – five centavos and nobody will know the amount that you will put because it will be then passed on to the host temple without being opened. We do this because the host temple will have some expenses by hosting us that goes to electricity, water, incense, and manpower.

As early as now I will also like to say that during these events no late comers will be allowed to join, and we will start promptly using the Philippine Standard Time as our official time. Should you feel that the even is taxing and tedious we suggest you leave during one of the bathroom breaks, but once you leave you will not be allowed to enter again. This is because in events like this we have to be very conscious that you don’t disturb the presiding lama and the participant. Phones are also going to be collected for safekeeping. No phones and/or any gadgets are allowed inside the ceremony hall to preserve the solemnity of the hall and the retreat or ritual.

I’m sure a lot of you will be asking as to what are the Sutras and Mantras that we are going to recite and chant. Please see the list below in no particular order.

For the Sutras:

  1. Medicine Buddha Sutra
  2. The Buddha Speaks of Amitabha Sutra
  3. The Sutra of the Past Vows of Earth Store Bodhisattva (Ksitigarbha Sutra)
  4. The Universal Gateway of Kuan Yin Bodhisattva Sutra
  5. The Vows of Bodhisattva Samantabhadra (Samanthabadra) Sutra
  6. The Buddha Speaks of the 8 Realizations of Great Beings Sutra
  7. The Heart of Prajna Paramita Sutra
  8. The Diamond Cutter Sutra

For the Mantras:

  1. Amitabha Mantra (Namo Amituofo & Om Ami Dewa Hrih)
  2. Sakyamuni Sutra (Namo Pen Shi Shi Chia Mo Ni Fo & Om Muni Muni Mahay Muni Yeh Soha)
  3. Medicine Buddha Mantra (Namo Xiao Tsai Yen Sho Yao Shi Lio Li Kuan Dru Lay & Tadyatha Om Bhekandzye Bhekandzye Maha Bhekandzye Radza Samugate Soha & Nán Mó Bó Qié Fá Di     Pì Shä Shè     Jù Lû Bì Liú Lí     Bó Là Pó Hê Là Shé Yê   Dân Tä Jiê Duō Yê     Ä Là Hë Dì     Sãn Mîâo Sân Pó Tuó Yë     Dân Zhî Tâ     Ân     Pí Shâ Shì     Pí Shâ Shì      Pí Shä Shè     Sân Mò Jiê Dì     Suō Hê)
  4. Kuan Yin Mantra (Namo Kuan Shi In Pusa & Om Mani Padme Hum & Tadyatha Om Gate Gate Paragate Parasamgate Bodhi Soha)
  5. Ksitigarbha Mantra (Namo Di Zhang Wang Pusa & Om Ah Ksitigarbha Thaleng Hum & Om Pra Mani Dani Soha)
  6. Samantabhadra Mantra (Namo Ta Xing Pu Xian Pusa)
  7. Majushri Mantra (Namo Da Zhi Wun Shu Shi Li Pusa & Om A Ra Pa Cha Na Dhi)
  8. Kuan Kong Mantra (Namo Qie Lan Sheng Chong Pusa)
  9. Maitreya Buddha Mantra (Namo Dang Lay Xia Sheng Mi Lo Tsun Fo & Namo Maitri Mahay Maitri Maitreya Soha)
  10. Goddess Tara Mantra (Om Tare Tuttare Ture Soha)
  11. Wei Tuo /Skanda Mantra (Namo Wei Tuo Pusa)
  12. Yellow Dzambhala Mantra (Om Dzambha Dzalin Draye Soha)
  13. White Dzambhala Mantra (Om Padmo Kroda Arya Dzambhala Dzalin Draye Soha)
  14. Wish Fulfilling and Karma Cleansing Mantra (Om Padmo Ushnisha Vimale Hum Phat & On Hanu Pasha Bhara Heye Soha)
  15. Short Negative Karma Cleansing Mantra (Om Ah Hum)
  16. Vasudhara Mantra (Om Hsri Vasudhara Ratna Ni Hadna Kashetri Soha)
  17. Namgyalma Mantra (Om Bhrum Soha Om Amarita Aryu Daday Soha)
  18. Guru Rinpoche Mantra (Om Ah Hum Vajra Guru Padma Sidhi Hum)
  19. Vajrasattva Manta (Om Vajrasattva Hum)
  20. Wealth Granting Tara Mantra (Om Tare Tuttare Ture Danam Medada Soha)
  21. Kalachakra Mantra (Om Ah Hum Ho Ham Kshamala Varaya Hum Phat)
  22. Vajrapani Mantra (Om Vajrapani Hum)

I know these seem a lot but we have a total of 16 hours to do all these.

I expect that a lot of people will want to join so this will be on simply by reservation basis. You have to register.

For the Vajrapani Empowerment Ritual, it will be open to all people who has the Vajrapani Ruel and their friends and family. Again reservation is required. You will be ask to bring your Vajrapani Ruel so that my Guru Lama can further empower it. This is also a great opportunity for those who requested the Vajrapani Ruel to meet other readers who requested it also.

On top of it, according to my Guru Lama everybody who attends will be given a Four Dharmakaya Relic Mantra or Lama Atisha Amulet. You can also bring your Buddhist pendants or amulets for additional blessings of Guru Lama.

You can also read the following posts about the Vajrapani Ruel:

For questions, comments and suggestions please email sanaakosirickylee@gmail.com

Basic Buddhism 2: The Three Jewels – Buddha, Dharma, Sangha

Published Abril 21, 2015 by jptan2012

three jewelsThe word buddha means ‘The Awakened One’, this refers to being awakened to the ultimate reality, to the true nature of the mind; being one who understands the world and all sentient beings without delusion, one who is perfect in wisdom and compassion. The Buddha is also sometimes called as the ‘Thus Come One’ or Tathagata, or the ‘World – Honored One’ or Bhagavat.

The Buddha is a historical being, and enjoys more evidence and historical facts than Jesus Christ that he actually existed. He is a Indian prince whose given name is Siddhartha. I will try to write more about Buddha extensively in future posts, but allow me to share briefly some of the highlights of his life now.

After years of diligent practice, Siddhartha, sitting under a Bodhi tree reach supreme enlightenment. Please note that the Bodhi tree was not called Bodhi tree then, it came after. When Siddhartha reached enlightenment, it is said that his very first words are, “Wonder of wonders! All sentient beings are inherently complete and perfect! But they do not realize it because of their delusions and cravings.”

When he reached enlightenment, he became known as Sakyamuni or Gautama Buddha. Gautama is from his name Siddharta Gautama, he then also embarked on an endless but untiring journey to teach living beings how to see the reality, how to gain true wisdom, and how to free themselves and attain true peace and joy.

Sakyamuni Buddha’s teachings are called Dharma.

Sakyamuni Buddha also gained several followers who renounced their home life to devote their lives to the practice of  Dharma, and to teach other sentient beings. They formed the ordained community of Buddhist monks and nuns and is called as the Sangha.

Sangha means ‘harmony’ or ‘harmonious assembly’. They are responsible for preserving and propagating the Dharma.

Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha are collectively called as the Three Jewels, because they are considered as the true treasures of the World.

Almost Directly Receiving a Gift from the Buddhas by Receiving a Stupa: Another Wonderful Gift from a Reader

Published Pebrero 2, 2015 by jptan2012

Several posts ago entitled – AURALITE: A GIFT OF LIGHT FROM A READER – I talked about how one reader, Atty. B, gave me a wonderful that I also need at that the time the gift was given to me. In that particular post, I mentioned that another reader has given me a very wonderful gift. The gift that was given to me is a Stupa!

AC contacted me because she wanted to get the WISH FULFILLING AND BUDDHA’S BLESSING MANTRA PENDANT, this led to a series of email conversations and she really did give me an impression of being a very kind person. In one of her emails she inquired about getting a Stupa as somebody in the temple that she attends to offered this to her. I told her owning a stupa is such a wonderful blessing, especially if this was blessed by a high-ranking lama like Lama Zopa Rinpoche. She ended up acquiring the Stupa and what’s more her very kind heart and generosity prompted her to get one more for me to be given as a gift!!!!!

As mentioned before, receiving amulets or holy objects as a gift does not make it holier or more powerful, but the act of receiving a gift makes the object comes with an auspicious chi brought about by the giver’s generosity.

Even if I put her generosity aside simply having a Stupa is such a wonderful blessing, and words won’t be able to convey how happy and blessed I feel to have receive that gift from AC. I can’t imagine how much blessings I’ll receive because of the Stupa. In fact, I’m sure even my friend and reader, DU, who was the middle person to get the Stupa from AC and to give it to me will definitely have received some blessing simply because she held it and having it in her possession.

This is the stupa that AC gave me.

This is the stupa that AC gave me.

I thought I’d show my gratitude to AC by asking my Guru Lama whether I can invite a Vajrapani Ruel(1), which is considered as one of the most powerful if not the most powerful amulet in Buddhism, in behalf of AC and I’m really happy that my Guru Lama agreed and told me to go ahead with it. AC herself has expressed gratitude in advance for the Vajrapani Ruel(2), which has had enjoyed some personal testimonies already.

But why am I so excited about the Stupa? Not only because it was a gift from a reader but also because it is a Stupa!!! I think I should make myself clearer. Allow me to tell you first what is a Stupa and what are the blessings that it can bestow.

A stupa, which is pronounced with long U sound, is almost similar to a pagoda but is more mound – like and/or hemispheric structure that contains one or more Buddhist relics. A big stupa will usually contain a relic from a high-ranking Buddhist monk, usually a green, or red, or white, or yellow pearl – like object produced by high-ranking lamas when they are cremated. Surprisingly, people who are holy only produce these pearl – like objects. A layperson may produce this also and becomes an indication of the goodness of the person’s heart.

It is believed that Shakyamuni or the Historical Buddha’s body was cremated and the ashes were divided into equal parts and which was put inside 8 different stupas. Two additional stupas were further made for the temporary casket that was made for the Buddha and for the left over embers. However, these stupas were not identified.

All stupas represent the Buddha with his crown of enlightenment and in meditative lotus seat position.

The ubiquitous Five Element Pagoda, which is a very famous and effective cure for the Five Yellow Killing Star or the #5 Flying Star is actually patterned after a stupa and not a pagoda. Pagoda was used to make it more familiar with the majority, because a stupa is somewhat limited to Buddhists. The difference between a stupa and a pagoda is that a stupa houses relics and is considered a very holy structure. A pagoda may or may not be a religious or spiritual structure, and while it may house holy images, it doesn’t have relics.

Building a stupa is not an easy matter. Obviously, in modern times you’ll need the skill of an architect and an engineer, but it is impossible to build a stupa without the leadership of a monk who is familiar with building one. There are a lot of empowerment ceremonies, Buddhist texts transmissions and ceremonies for one to build a stupa. And the most important component is the presence of a relic. In the absence of a physical relic, the Four Dharmakaya Relic Mantras, which are considered as a first class relic because it is said that it was the Buddha himself of wrote those particular mantra are put inside the stupa. All small and multiple – produced stupas, like AC’s gift for me, will have the Four Dharmakaya Relic Mantras. It is highly considered immoral to own a physical relic for oneself. Because it should always be shared thus it is always put inside a stupa or hidden in temples. Most Buddhist temples will also have the stupa easily accessible so people can circumambulate around it, if space is of a concern, thee stupa is put on top of the structure so that everyone who passes under it will be blessed.

The different kinds of stupa are:

  • Relic Stupa, and it is the relics of the Buddha, or human Bodhisattvas (like monks) are interred here. These relics are considered first class relics. 
  • Object Stupa, where in the relics that are interred are the things used by the Buddha or monks. For example, their prayer wheels, mala, clothes, shoes, etc. These items are considered second-class relics. 
  • Symbolic Stupa, these kinds of stupas are built to symbolize various Buddhist aspects. For these kinds of stupas, the Four Dharmakaya Relic Mantras are interred. 

In Tibetan Buddhism, these different kinds of Stupas are further, sub – categorizes into the 8 different types, which is called the Eight Great Deeds Stupas, which are base on the different events in Shakyamuni Buddha’s life.

The Eight Great Deeds Stupas are the following:

  1. LOTUS BLOSSOM STUPA, which is also known as the BIRTH STUPA, or STUPA OF HEAPED LOTUS, or BIRTH OF THE SUGATA STUPA.
  2. ENHLIGHTENMENT STUPA, which is also called as the STUPA OF THE CONQUEST OF MARA.
  3. STUPA OF DESCENT FROM TUSHITA HEAVEN, which is also called as the STUPA OF DESCENT FROM THE GOD REALM.
  4. STUPA OF GREAT MIRACLES, and is also known as the MIRACLE STUPA, or STUPA OF CONQUEST OF THE TIRTHIKAS.
  5. STUPA OF RECONCILIATION OF THE SANGHA, which is also known as the STUPA OF RECONCILIATION.
  6. STUPA OF COMPLETE VICTORY, which is also VICTORY STUPA.
  7. STUPA OF MANY DOORS, which is also called as the STUPA OF MANY GATES or STUPA OF TURNING OF WHEEL.
  8. STUPA OF NIRVANA, which is also called as the STUPA OF PARINIRVANA.

Much later, another kind of Stupa came out of Tibetan Buddhism, which is the Kalachakra Stupa. It has nothing to do with the Buddha’s life as represented by the other Stupas, but rather it is a symbolism of the tantric practice of Kalachakra. This particular stupa is said to be able to double the protective energies of the other Stupas as enhanced by a Kalachakra symbol.

The image below will show the images of the different Stupas, but it has to be noted that these are just the basic image, for example as Lotus Blossom Stupa may look a little different from one another. The stupa that AC gave me is a Stupa of Nirvana.Stupas 8stupas 8b

A sample of a Kalachakra Stupa

A sample of a Kalachakra Stupa

Simply seeing, being around or owning a stupa will give you a lot of blessings, more so if one circumambulate or prostate around it. Allow me to share some of them here:

  • Blessing of happiness.
  • Karma Cleansing or Purification of Defilements.
  • Gift of Dharma Blessing. (My own journey in learning the Dharma started when I came across a Stupa. After that I was granted the blessing of having access to the Dharma and studying it. Dharma is basically deeper Buddhist teachings.)
  • Eradication of Sufferings.
  • Purification of the Mind.
  • Gift of a Better Next Life.

More than the above mentioned benefits it also helps establish peace and harmony.

It is said that when a wind touches or passes through a stupa it temporarily becomes a holy wind, and has the ability to give blessing those who are ‘touched’ by the wind, even if they don’t believe in Buddhism.

Simply receiving a stupa as gift brings you numerous wonderful blessings, and giving it as a gift earns you not just numerous wonderful blessings but also a lot of good karma merits!

I took the liberty of copy – pasting below the text from a talk given by Lama Zopa Rinpoche about the stupa. But before that I again would like to thank AC for the wonderful gift and for the wonderful blessings that comes with it! It’s more than just a Buddhist gift; it’s a gift of good life!!!!

 

How Many Incense Should We Really Light?

Published Enero 24, 2015 by jptan2012

burning-incensePeople often asks me as to how much incense stick to use when lighting it as an offering to the Buddhas or Bodhisattvas or Deities or Taoist Gods.

Traditionally speaking people do really light three incense sticks and when one is petitioning for something, it is sometimes advised to use nine incense sticks, if what you are petitioning for concerns about an immediate physical danger, then seven incense sticks are used.

However, times have changed. People are now more conscious about Global Warming, and globally Buddhist temples are becoming more aware as to how much they or we are contributing to global warming. Our incense sticks these days are no longer as environmentally friendly as what they used in the old days, which is very organic and much harder to do. In fact, in Malaysia alone, there is now only one family who makes an organic and environmentally friendlier incense stick, and it is said that they won’t last much long because their price is much higher than a commercially made incense stick. But the problem is the incense stick that we used these days contributes a lot to global warming and to answer this concern, a lot of Buddhist Temples around the world has now started encouraging people to simply light one incense stick. ONE HEART, ONE INCENSE. Some temples even encourage that ONE HEART, ONE FAMILY, ONE INCENSE. Meaning, it is the head of the family who is encouraged to light the incense for the whole family.

The truth is I find it hard to transfer from three to one. Because three for me always represents, OM AH HUM or Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha. But if you look at Buddhist scriptures, there are really nowhere in them that say we needed to light three incense sticks. And if you look at the number of incense sticks being ‘unnecessarily’ burned everyday, and the damage it is doing to the environment, it is really more Buddhist to simply light one incense stick.

Again ONE HEART, ONE INCENSE and ONE HEART, ONE FAMILY, ONE INCENSE!

For comments, suggestions, and questions please email sanaakosirickylee@gmail.com

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