Wednesday, November 23, 2016

The Fire Puja Offerings

There are three different types of fire-related pujas:-
  1. Smoke Offering (Sang)
  2. Smell Offering (Sur)
  3. Fire Offering (Jinsek)
Fire puja offerings are ritual offerings of smoke, smell and flaming made Offering to the Four Guests:-
  • First, to all Buddhas and Bodhisattvas throughout the ten directions (ordinate and cardinal directions plus above and below) and the three times (past, present and future) as well as to the Yidam deities of all the Mandalas.
  • Secondly, you are offering to the Dharmapalas, the Dharma protectors , wisdom Dakinis, and very high spiritual gods who protect the Dharma.
  • The third class of guests includes all sentient beings, particularly local worldly deities and elemental worldly spirits.
  • Finally, you are offering to hungry ghosts and to beings with whom you are karmically indebted.
The major principle of fire pujas is offering. One casts onto a fire and flame a dry powder of juniper, rhododendron, and other plants, mixed with the three white [milk, yogourt and butter] and the three sweets [honey, molasses and white sugar]. You put the food and whatever ingredients in the fire. As the fire burns it, it is totally consumed and in this way it is offered.
In the "Sang" - You are offering the smoke, in the "Sur" - You are offering the smell or scent 
In the "Jinsek" - You are offering fire itself, flame itself, and burning itself.  If one is making the sang and sur offerings, consistency is important as the guests for whom the offerings are made come to anticipate the ceremony. 

However, the inability to carry out the practice daily or even weekly should not dissuade one from making the offering as often as one is able. Also, it is always possible to make donations to the lamas at the monasteries, temple to carry out the practices on the behalf of yourself or others, including whatever prayers, puja you wish.
Smoke offerings (Sang) 
Sang is mainly dedicated to what is referred to as “elemental spirits”– the gods of the mountain, the gods of the sky, the gods of the river, and the gods of all aspects– and “local deities.” Though only seen through expansive and refined sense perceptions, we can experience these classes of beings through observing signs in the natural world including animals, features of the land, and weather patterns.  In addition to these particular guests, we also offer to the aforementioned “four guests”.



Where and when is Sang best offered

Sang is generally practiced in the daylight hours (usually before noon) and offered near one’s dwelling or on the top of a mountain. It can be offered anywhere that one wishes to renew and repair the connection with the elemental constituents of the area. 


The offering and intention create the causes and conditions for harmonious internally among the beings that inhabit the place, as well as externally in the environment itself. In this way, it can be an important step in the process of purifying gross and subtle levels of environmental pollution.  



The offering can also effect change in the experience of the beings that inhabit the place, for example, healing discord in one’s family or pacifying animals and pests.


What is offered
It is very important for the Sang offering to be clean. The offering of the short morning fire Puja can be quite small, a few teaspoons of the “sangdze” (Tibetan word literally means offering substance) is sufficient, though elaborate versions can consist of 10 or more large trays of heaped offerings along with beer and wine.  We then infinitely expand the offerings by visualizing them as billowing clouds that fill the extent of space.
What substance to offer
The offering substance, consists of a mixture of “the three white” and “the three sweet”
The three whites substances are  flour, butter, yogurt.
The three sweets substances are  sugar, molasses, and honey.
Other substances are included of incense, 5 colored cloths, medicine, alcohol, and precious stones or jewels. 

What not to offer
No onion, garlic, meat, or eggs. A minor eggs ingredient that has made in some baked goods can be allowed.
Smell or scent offering (Sur)
Is mainly dedicated to the unseen beings and spirits that including the hungry ghosts that with whom you have a karmic debts.

Where and when is Sur best offered
Offered in locations similar to those of Sang.
Typically offered in the afternoon or evening. 
Offerings and prayers are given on behalf of the deceased loved ones throughout the entire 49 days that they may exist in the intermediate Bardo state. It is a common practice among Tibetan Buddhists to make personal offerings for their deceased loved ones to relieve  from attachment to their previous existence and facilitate an auspicious rebirth.  
What is offered
It is ideally consists of all kinds of food and drink that beings desire, including meat and alcohol.  Vegetarian food will be ideally and a better way of offering. In this way one can practice compassion and Bodhichita by abstaining of killing and animals scarified.

As with any practice, the merit generated is multiplied by the number of people who participate in the chanting or donation of offerings.  Everyone is welcome to assist in the preparations of the fire and offerings. This can include procuring the wood as well as purchasing the food.
Fire offering ( Jinsek )
Fire Puja, or fire offering, is a ritual practice of offering into the fire, a ritual of generously burning offerings, using the fire element to accomplish an enlightened action quickly and powerfully. 
According to the secret Vajrayana teachings include the practice of Jinsek. Every item offered in burning Pujas is good for some purpose.
What substance to offer
By offerings grains pacify sickness and to give strength.
By offerings crepe grass to gain healthy long life.
By offerings Kusha grass to purify pollutions.
By offerings butter to gain wealth.

There are various substances that are offered to the deity during the fire Puja. Each mentioned substance has the potential power to affect your life. Like this, all the substances offered are to actualize different potentials and types of success.

There are four Jinseks of fire Pujas are performed to accomplish the enlightened activities. Each Jinsek is performed by a different lama and corresponds with specific colors, directions, times of day and energies.  The benefits of performing Jinseks, or even making a connection with them, are immense, both relatively and ultimately.
The four Jinseks practices 

1) Pacifying (Zhiway Jinsek in the morning)
"Heals imbalances of physical elements that result in sickness; removes negative energy for us personally and the world in general; pacifies karmic defilements of countless lifetimes and liberates us from unwanted circumstances."
2) Wrathful (Drakpo Jinsek in the evening )
"All enemies, obstructed and those who bring harm both to worldly life and the path of enlightenment are eliminated and liberated.

3) Magnetizing (Wang-gi Jinsek in the afternoon)
"Any worldly desirable qualities and glorious qualities of the Dharma path, such as meditative experience, realization and enlightened wisdom qualities are magnetized and brought under one's control."   

4) Enriching (Gyaybay Jinsek in the morning) 
"Longevity, merit, glory, wealth, splendor, powerful influence, fame, good reputation, wisdom and all enlightened qualities are enriched and expanded."

Generally, the burning Pujas are offered at the end of great nearing retreats, three-year retreats, or short retreats of the enlightened being deities. These retreats are done with mantra recitation that brings you closer to the deity. 

The fire Puja is offered to restore parts of the practice that were left out, or mantras that have been incorrectly recited or mixed up, performed with unclear concentration. It also generally purifies defilements and negative karma.

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Aspiration For Bodhichitta
For those in whom the precious Bodhichitta has not arisen
May it arise and not decrease
But increase further and further.

Dedication of Merit
By this merit may we obtain omniscience then.
Having defeated the enemies wrong-doings.
May we liberate migrators from the ocean of existence.
With its stormy waves of birth, old age, sickness and death.

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