Showing posts with label Community Projects. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Community Projects. Show all posts

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Your Donation Help Us Growth.

Thank you for visiting us! You are one of an increasing number of readers looking up Tibetan Buddhism and culture for analyses and learning and sharing the Buddhist Dharma. 

We strive to keep these articles free for reading. We indeed had been providing free reading and circulation of our posts throughout the last 10 years. We want to keep our posts and journals as open as we can. So you can see why we need to ask for your help. 

Our blog administrative takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce. But we do it because we believe our perspective matters – because it might well be your perspective, too.

If everyone who reads our posts, who likes it, helps to support it, our future would be much more secure. In any case, we do need funds to continue the struggle for Justice, Freedom and Solidarity of the critically endangered Tibetan culture and heritage. 


To maintain these, we do require and acknowledge subsidizing and sponsoring from public. Contribute however much you want or choose one of our structured fundraising initiatives. 

Whatever the amount, a donation to Tibetan Buddhism does not go without a lot of appreciation and thanks.  Please know that every single cent that you donate to us, goes towards a very good cause. A cause that brings peace to people's body, mind and spirit.

Do you earnestly cherish our devoted work? Assuming this is the case, would you consider making a donation for our Buddhist research and development. We need you to help secure the future of scholarly interaction with Buddhism. 

Your generosity will certainly help us improve our works and to achieve for a better and brighter prospect to come. 



Thank you in advance for your support.

Sincerely,
Thubten Choayang Maxwell
Administrative 

Monday, September 25, 2017

A Spiritual Journey To Our Holy Land - Tibet

A spiritual journey to our holy land - Tibet . Tibet is our holy land and heaven on earth.

Tibet is one of the most beautiful, standout and purest places on the planet,, Tibet is otherwise called  “The roof of the world” because of its tallness that is around 4000 meters over the sea level. 

Tibet’s tourism is presently counted in the most popular tourisms on the planet as not just the people from neighboring countries seem to visit Tibet, but from everywhere throughout the world, hundreds of thousands of visitors come to this region that has the highest plateau on the earth’s surface.

Lhasa, The Potala Palace 
There are a number of amazing places that come in the list of “must visit places in Tibet”, the ideal trip that covers most of the places is from Lhasa to Kailash via EBC (Everest base camp) that generally takes 16 to 18 days to complete the tour. 
Typically the most of the Tibet tours start from Lhasa, the capital of the Tibet self-governing region. Here, in Lhasa, many remarkable palaces and temples are there that are amazingly great and worth-visiting on a Tibet tour. 

Lhasa is more than 1300 years old and lies on the northern slopes of the Himalaya Mountains, that makes this place more celebrated. This city is extremely influential in spiritual aspects, not just because of the pure, natural and magnificent beauty but also because of the Tibet’s old culture and sacred atmosphere.
The Holy Mount Kailash 
Another iconic place of the Himalayas is the Mount Kailash that is honored as one of the most sacred places in the world and is situated around 22,000 ft above sea level. In Hindu mythology, it is believed that the Mount Kailash is the home of Lord Shiva. 

A number of monasteries and great places fall along the route to Mt Kailash. The Mansarovar lake which is 18 miles from the Mount Kailash, is one of the greatest lakes in the world, its holy water provides spiritual benefits, but it takes a willingness to take a dip in the ice-cold water of the lake. 
Samye Monastery - First Monastery Built In Tibet
Located in the quiet piedmont area of the Shannan Region, the Samye Monastery is the first monastery built in Tibet and the first complete with the three Buddhist jewels of Buddha, Dharma and Sangha. With these unique features, this splendid monastery has become an attraction for visitors from near and far.

The monastery was built by the Trisong Detsen (reigned 742-798) of the Tubo Kingdom and was presided over by the Buddhist master Padmasambhava. The Detsen contributed a lot to the project. First, it was said the name (meaning surprise in Tibetan) originated from an exclamation he made. 

When the monastery was completed, Detsen took part in the foundation ceremony and then ordained seven descendants of blue blood to cultivate in the monastery. They became the first group of monks to live at the monastery and later the so-called 'Seven Enlighten Disciples of Samye'. Since then, Buddhism had become widespread within Tibet and forms a branch of splendid culture. Now, the monastery is listed as one of the cultural relics of national importance under the protection of the state.
Yamdrok Lake
Yamdrok lake is one of the three largest sacred lakes in Tibet. It is over 72 km (45 miles) long. The lake is surrounded by many snow-capped mountains and is fed by numerous small streams. The lake does have an outlet stream at its far western end. Around 90km to the west of the lake lies the Tibetan town of Gyantse and Lhasa is a hundred km to the northwest. According to local mythology, Yamdrok Lake is the transformation of a goddess.

Yamdrok Lake, has a power station that was completed and dedicated in 1996 near the small village of Pai-Ti at the lake western end. This power station is the largest in Tibet. The lake with an area of 621 square kilometers and the unknown depth is fan-shaped, spreading to the South but narrowing up to the North. 

The mountainous lake has a dozen of islands, the largest of which is about 3,000 square kilometer. The lake freezes up in winter. Like mountains, lakes are considered sacrosanct by the Tibetan people, the principle being that they are the dwelling places of protective deities and therefore invested with special spiritual powers.

There are shoals of fish living in Yamdrok Yumtso lake, which are commercially exploited by local population. From April to October, fish caught from this lake are sold at markets in Lhasa. Besides, the lake's islands serve as rich pasture land to local herdmen.
North Everest Base Camp
North Base Camp is in Tibet at 5,150 metres (16,900 ft)These camps are rudimentary campsites on Mount Everest that are used by mountain climbers during their ascent and descent. South Base Camp is used when climbing via the southeast ridge, while North Base Camp is used when climbing via the northeast ridge.

The North Base Camp has vehicle access (at least in the summer months). Climbers typically rest at base camp for several days for acclimatization to reduce the risks and severity of altitude sickness.

Thank you for reading, may you find peace and great bliss. With your support it helps to spread the Buddha’s precious teachings and turning the Dharma wheels in the world.

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 migratory from the ocean of existence.
With its stormy waves of birth, old age, sickness and death.

*Note
I do not own or infringe any copyright of the picture(s).
Picture(s) courtesy and credit to the rightful distributors and or studios.
Picture(s) is/are intended for editorial use only.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

A New Tibet Comes With A Price

A few facts of Tibet Nowadays 

Modernization poses a new challenge for a new Tibet and herecomes with a price and the causes and effects of Urbanization and modernization of Tibet under People's Republic of China. 

Tibet in recent decades is transformed beyond recognition. Modern Face of Tibet is in fact, modernization poses a new challenge for a new Tibet and herecomes with a price.  What can we find true or real face of Tibet?

Pollution into the environment with new high rise apartment buildings, new highways, new railroads, new airports, new malls, business hotels, pubs and lounges, underground disco, KTV , alcohols, drug abuses , crime rate on the rise and diseases that easily find a place in Tibetan Soil.
STD and AIDS in Tibet autonomous region (TAR)
Tibet, one of the latest places in the world to be exposed to human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), is now becoming a place of high prevalence rate, according to some studies that have been kept low key where the first case was diagnosed in 2002. 

While the number of HIV-positive Tibetans are going up yearly, many residents of major Tibetan regions in Gansu, Qinghai, Suchuan and Yunnan Provinces and the Tibet Autonomous Region do now know what AIDS is or realize it is fatal, said Chupal Sangpo, deputy director of an NGO in Sichuan dedicated in educating Tibetans about HIV.

At the end of 2015, new HIV cases in Tibet went down, while 77,000 people diagnosed as HIV-positive received treatment in the past 12 months.
Tibetan Buddhism is a religion in exile, forced from its homeland when Tibet was conquered by the Chinese. At one time it was thought that 1 in 6 Tibetan men were Buddhist monks. The best known face of Tibetan Buddhism is the Dalai Lama, who has lived in exile in India since he fled the Chinese occupation of his country in 1959.

Tibetan Buddhism combines the essential teachings of the Theravada and Mahayana Buddhism with Tantric and Shamanic, and material from an ancient Tibetan religion called Bon. Although Tibetan Buddhism is often thought to be identical with Vajrayana Buddhism, they are not identical - Vajrayana is taught in Tibetan Buddhism together with the other vehicles.
History
Buddhism became a major presence in Tibet towards the end of the 8th century CE. It was brought from India at the invitation of the Tibetan king, Trisong Detsen, who invited two Buddhist masters to Tibet and had important Buddhist texts translated into Tibetan.

First to come was Shantarakshita, abbot of Nalanda in India, who built the first monastery in Tibet. He was followed by Guru Rinpoche Padmasambhava, who came to use his wisdom and power to overcome "spiritual" forces that were stopping work on the new monastery.
The Groups within Tibetan Buddhism
1) Nyingmapa: Founded by Guru Rinpoche, Padmasambhava, this is oldest sect, noted in the West for the teachings of the Tibetan Book of the Dead.

2) Kagyupa: Founded by Tilopa (988-1069), the Kagyupa tradition is headed by the Karmapa Lama. Important Kagyupa teachers include Naropa, Marpa, and Milarepa.

3) Sakyapa: Created by Gonchok Gyelpo (1034-1102) and his son Gunga Nyingpo (1092-1158).

4) Gelugpa: (The Virtuous School) Founded by Tsong Khapa Lobsang Drakpa (also called Je Rinpoche) (1357 - 1419), this tradition is headed by the Dalai Lama.

In addition, Tibetan is widespread as a liturgical language throughout the Tibetan Buddhist cultural area. Tibetan culture and language are today under strong pressure. Tibet has today the status of an autonomous region (TAR) in the People’s Republic of China. The number of Tibetans living in China is disputed. According to official Chinese statistics, the number is between 4 to 5 million, and under half of these live in the TAR, while the rest are found in other Chinese provinces.

Somewhat more than 100,000 Tibetans live in South Asia, primarily in India, and in the West. According to the Tibetan Government in Exile, the total number of Tibetans is approximately 5 - 6 million. Tibetan Buddhism is a strong and living religious tradition in Tibetan areas in China and parts of neighboring countries. 
Together with Zen Buddhism, Tibetan Buddhism is the Buddhist movement which has spread more widely in the West.  Buddhism came to Tibet in the 7th century A.D., first and foremost from India. It assimilated local religious traditions and became what we call Tibetan Buddhism. The Tibetans adopted an Indian alphabet in order to translate Buddhist texts and for practical purposes in the country's administration, and is still used today.

Buddhism was transmitted into Tibet mainly during the 7th to 10th centuries. Notable early teachers were the illustrious 8th-century Tantric master Padmasambhava and the more orthodox Mahayana teacher Shantirakshita. With the arrival from India in 1042 of the great teacher Atisha, a reform movement was initiated, and within a century the major sects of Tibetan Buddhism had emerged. 
The Dge-lugs-pa, or One of the Virtuous System, commonly known as the Yellow Hats ( The Gelupa lineage ) the order of the Dalai and the Panchen Lamas, was the politically predominant Tibetan sect from the 17th century until 1959, when the hierocratic government of the Dalai Lama was abolished by the People’s Republic of China.

Much of the Buddhist literature that was lost in India exists today in Tibetan translations, and Tibetan is therefore one of the important languages in the study of Buddhism. Since the 11th century, Tibetans have also composed their own Buddhist literature, which consists of historical, biographical and liturgical texts, commentaries, meditational texts, poetry, grammar and philosophy and, since the twentieth century, also secular literature, which comprises poetry, novels and short stories. 
In the second half of the 20th century Tibetan Buddhism spread to the West, particularly after the subjugation of Tibet to Chinese Communist rule sent many refugees, including highly regarded “reincarnated lamas,” or tulkus, out of their homeland. Tibetan religious groups in the West include both communities of refugees and those consisting largely of Westerners drawn to the Tibetan tradition.

Thank you for reading, may you find peace and great bliss. With your support it helps to spread the Buddha’s precious teachings and turning the Dharma wheels in the world.

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 migratory from the ocean of existence.
With its stormy waves of birth, old age, sickness and death.

*Note
I do not own or infringe any copyright of the picture(s).
Picture(s) courtesy and credit to the rightful distributors and or studios.
Picture(s) is/are intended for editorial use only.

Friday, March 31, 2017

The Smiling Of The Buddhas


Why the Buddhas and His Holiness The 14th Dalai Lama always smiling?

When we look at a statue of the Buddha or the image of great enlightened beings with their serene smiles, it’s easy to say that these enlightened beings do not or never experienced the same reactive emotions or negative thoughts that swirl around in our mind.

The answer it would be incorrect.
The Buddhas and sages faced the same reactive emotions and negative thoughts that you face today. Fear. Anger. Sorrow. Doubt. Overwhelm…all of those and more if we could name all of these negativities. The Buddhas and enlightened beings faced them and through persistent compassionate facing and meditation discovered something remarkable.

The Buddhas and sages  discovered that every emotion & thought no matter how challenging can be transformed, healed, and expressed as life-giving energy. They discovered how to experience freedom not by suppressing, defeating, or avoiding emotions, but by transforming them. They discovered that freedom can be realized in the midst of life’s inevitable ups and downs.
The Buddhas and Bodhisattvas and other enlightened beings developed a method we can use to realize how to be free in life. This method is based tapping into the life sources or forces  that underlying all emotions.

What is the sources or forces that underlies all emotions?
The sages traced emotions back to their original sources or nature of the sources, to their original form and found that reactive emotions are simply life energy running wild.

There’s power, juice, creativity, and aliveness in that wildness. But there’s also destruction, chaos, confusion and suffering. If you suppress the emotion—you suppress your life. But if you let it run wild, it destroys your well-being and happiness.
So what to do? 
The Buddhas discovered that at the heart of every emotion and every thought is an essential wisdom quality; at the still, radiant center of every emotion is a pure creative impulse. When you lose your connection with that pure creative impulse, your life gets tangled up in reactive emotions and conflicting thoughts.

When you reconnect to that essential quality, to that pure creative impulse, reactive emotions and negative thoughts are transformed into wisdom, creativity and bliss. The sages realized that the secret of transformation lies in attuning to the nature of the sources.
They called the underlying nature of forces and the answer is the six syllables Mantra: Om Mani Padme Hum Hri

There are many others life-enriching mantras. The Buddha once say that the mantras and the Dharma teachings are many as 48,000 pulsing at the heart of every emotion; there is a wisdom-bearing mantra resonating at the still center of every thought.

Mantra meditation attunes your mind to the original source that lies at the heart of every emotion and every thought. Through the practice of mantra meditation, you untangle your consciousness from the reactive patterns that create confusion and chaos in your life.

That’s why the Buddha and the sages are smiling. Not because they never experience reactivity, but because they know how to transform emotion into wisdom and blissful stage.

Thank you for reading, may you find peace and great bliss. With your support it helps to spread the Buddha’s precious teachings and turning the Dharma wheels in the world.

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 migratory from the ocean of existence.
With its stormy waves of birth, old age, sickness and death.

*Note
I do not own or infringe any copyright of the picture(s).
Picture(s) courtesy and credit to the rightful distributors and or studios.
Picture(s) is/are intended for editorial use only.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

The Golden Drink Offerings - Serkyem

What is the golden drink Serkyem Offering?

The Serkyem offering set is used for making ritual offerings to Dharma-protectors and guardians. Literally, serkyem means “golden-drink.” Often serkyems are filled with black-tea and various grains such as hulled barley, rice, or wheat. Other offerings might include fruits, cookies, breads, and alcohol.

Serkyem, in Tibetan " Ser" literally  means golden and "Kyem" means beverage. Despite the existence of Serkyem-offering liturgies composed by High Lamas to certain Yidams, it remains largely a unique aspect of the Dharma Protector practice.

In the ancient times, the lamas developed this practice as an extended offering to the Dharma Protector to request for swift assistance. Hence, the Serkyem offering has become extremely popular among modern practitioners who seek assistance especially in times of dire need.
The Serkyem offering is traditionally offered by pouring the beverage into a two-tiered vessel, which consists of a taller vessel placed into a lower bowl. Naturally, the Serkyem offering is offered from a jug or a suitable pot.

During the offering, the beverage is poured into the taller vessel to the point where the liquid overflows down into the lower bowl. In Buddhism, the symbolism of the overflowing liquid is highly auspicious because it represents an abundant flow of merits, virtues, material resources and conditions that are conducive for one’s Dharma practice.

The beverage can either be poured fully into the vessel prior to the recitation of the Serkyem verses, or it can be poured a little at a time during the recitation of relevant passages throughout the liturgy. 
The Serkyem vessel can be of any material such as gold, silver, copper, brass or even glass. Offering vessels that are made of precious materials are considered highly propitious, especially for lay practitioners who want to create tremendous merits and establish the closest affinity with the Protector.

In addition, the traditional Serkyem vessel that is made up of a taller central vessel and lower bowl is optional although the overflowing symbolism is an auspicious offering to the Protector. In some cases practitioners even use a tall wine glass placed inside a glass bowl as a Serkyem vessel.
Tea is traditionally offered as Serkyem because in ancient times, it was considered a precious beverage and a valuable commodity that the Tibetans imported from China. Due to its exquisite taste, it is usually offered to the Lamas, Yidams and Dharma Protectors and its golden color reflects the meaning of Serkyem. When tea is offered, it is traditionally offered piping hot as a direct request to the Dharma Protector for the swiftest assistance, heat being symbolic of rapidity.

Besides tea, Tibetan beer or alcohol can also be offered because of the Tantric meaning behind such substances. During a Tsog offering that the Tantrikas perform, a little bit of consecrated alcohol and meat is partaken to symbolize the psychic winds and bodily elements used in Tantric meditation. Hence, beer or alcohol represents Tantric attainments and is offered to the Dharma Protector as a direct request to overcome all obstacles that obstruct spiritual attainments and to bring about beneficial conditions swiftly.

Other suitable beverages that can be offered as Serkyem include milk, which symbolizes spiritual nourishment and also various types of fizzy drinks such as Coca-Cola.
The actual Serkyem offering ritual begins with the pouring of a little of the beverage into the vessel so it’s not empty (if its not already poured in full) along with a few grains of rice. The Serkyem is consecrated with three repetitions of the mantra Om Ah Hum, while purifying with incense. Then, the Serkyem liturgy is recited with each stanza describing an offering of the Serkyem to a particular being or a class of beings that play a defined role in our spiritual practice.

During the offering, the Serkyem is visualized to be divine nectar that expands to fill an entire ocean. This ocean is made out of not just the beverage that the practitioner offered but of all the desirable things in the world that excite and please the 5 senses.

This vast ocean is offered to the Protector and to the other special beings mentioned in the liturgy. In addition, the request or what the practitioner wants to achieve is visualized to come into fruition with the assistance of the Protector.
A brief explanation of the Serkyem liturgy:-
To the lineage Guru - The first stanza is an offering to the root lama whose blessings and teachings guide us along the path of attaining Compassion (Bodhichitta) and realization of Emptiness (Shunyata), the two main qualities of a Buddha.

To the Yidam - Offered to the Yidam that has been received as a practice from our Master.  Examples of yidams include, Manjushri, Vajrayogini, or Guru Rinpoche, Arya Tara and Avalokestesvara. Through the yidam’s sadhana practice, we can achieve ordinary (health, wealth, clairvoyance and so forth) and extraordinary attainments (wisdom and compassion).

To the Enlightened Dakas and Dakinis - The offering of Serkyem continues by making offerings to the enlightened Dakas and Dakinis, the celestial enlightened beings that play a significant role in higher Tantric practices. This is to rouse them to come to our aid especially to make our practice successful.

To the Wisdom Dharmapalas - We offer Serkyem to the various Dharmapala Protectors like Mahakala, Palden Lhamo, Vaishravana, and so forth to create the merit to receive protection. 

Thank you for reading, may you find peace and great bliss. With your support it helps to spread the Buddha’s precious teachings and turning the Dharma wheels in the world.

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 migratory from the ocean of existence.
With its stormy waves of birth, old age, sickness and death.

*Note
I do not own or infringe any copyright of these pictures.
Pictures courtesy and credit to the rightful distributors and or studios.
Pictures are intended for editorial use only.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Nurturing compassion - Releasing and saving lives

Actually, you are the Buddha. Not such an effective Buddha, perhaps, but... a Buddha, a small Buddha... We need to nurture our inner Buddha, our child Buddha.” 
Nurturing Compassion Book - His Holiness The 17th Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje

It is said that in the past in India, there lived a king named Trichen, who enjoyed eating meat so fresh that the blood was still warm, and he has killed ten thousand animals for his craved.  Through the karmic ripening of these actions, the king Trichen was reborn in Vajra Hell, one of the eighteen hell realms, where the extent of his sufferings such that the King died a hundred times and each time he fell back into hell as he revived.
The venerable Ananda saw the sufferings of him and asked the Buddha about it. The Buddha replied, This is the karmic ripening of a man who enjoyed killing and eating fresh meat and who enjoyed killing animals. Ananda asked the Buddha Shakyamuni , is there any way to liberate the "king" ? Buddha replied, "if you want to liberate this man from hell, save the lives  of animals in the worldly realms and he will be freed, so, Ananda saved many lives for the king's benefit, and the king was liberated from Vajra Hell. 


What is lives releasing ?
Generally, there is no difference in the size or species of any animals to be saved. However, buying and liberating animals that were certainly destined to be killed by butchers in a slaughterhouse naturally brings the greatest benefits.
Life release is a Buddhist tradition of saving lives of animals that are destined to be killed. Although every life is precious, the fact of being alive inevitably causes taking lives of other beings. We cannot completely prevent this situation because as long as we walk, breath, eat, and so forth, we cause the deaths of many creatures. However,  we can cultivate mindfulness, and try to reduce taking lives to the best of our ability. We can also offer a gift of life and protection through the practice of life release.

No matter what our lifestyle, we can do this practice. It benefits those who offer the gift of life as well as those who receive it. Regardless of what religion, we practice, its result will be strengthened if the practice is concluded with an aspiration that all beings without exception enjoy happiness and a life free from any harm.

If we are Buddhists, we dedicate the merit from the practice of life release for the benefit of all beings, to the long life of Buddhist teachers and to His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama and His Holiness 17th Gyalwa Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje in particular, we dedicate the practice to His Holiness long life, and to the flourishing of his activity in the world.
His Holiness the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje said that the meaning of life release is broad, that the practice can be done in a variety of ways, and that we should use our intelligence in deciding what way is most suitable in our particular circumstance. His Holiness has also encouraged His students to engage in saving lives through abstaining (at least periodically) from eating meat and in his address about protecting the environment, His Holiness the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa encouraged the Sangha to engage in planting trees as a form of activity that accords with the spirit of life release.

How to do the practice? The practice has two aspects:-
1. The act of saving lives, 
2. The blessing of the prayers that accompany life release. 
When releasing animals such as animals, fish, bait fish, insects, earthworms, please make sure that the species you are releasing the native to your locations. Invasive species are plants or animals that do not belong where humans have intentionally or accidentally brought them and the effects are immense, insidious, irreversible.

IUCN, the World Conservation Union, states that the impacts of alien invasive species are immense, insidious, and usually irreversible. They may be as damaging to native species and ecosystems on a global scale as the loss and degradation of habitats. Hundreds of extinctions have been caused by invasive alien species. The ecological cost is the irretrievable loss of native species and ecosystems.
At the time of saving a life, Lamas or Rinpoches and so forth will cleanse the animals by wafting the smoke of burning incense over them and burning juniper, throw charmed mustard seeds and so on in order to expel obstructing spirits, and perform ablution rituals. The Lamas will then recite the ritual chant such as the Long Life Amitayus Buddha's sutra or Dharani and aspire that the animals may enjoy long lives. They will then remove the halters from their heads, the saddles from their back and so on, and vow never again to make use of these animals, and then send them off.
When is the right time to save "lives" ?
Every day should be a good and meaningful day for practising and saving lives. If according to the Tibetan traditions,  the main days of the Tibetan lunar calendar for releasing animals are (-)
  1. 8th  ( Medicine Buddha and Arya Taras day ) 
  2. 10th ( Guru Rinpoche day )
  3. 15th ( Amitabha Buddha and full moon day )
  4. 25th ( Dakini day )
  5. 29th ( Dharmapala day )
  6. 30th and 1st ( Shakyamuni day )
  7. The Four Great Miracle Buddha's Days 
  8. Any Buddhist festivals
This is because if one free animals on these days, the resulting virtue is hundred, thousand, ten millions times greater  than other days. If one who is unable to attend for releasing lives on such auspicious days, it is advised that you should have observed or practised for  a full vegetarian diet - including no onion, garlic, egg
His Holiness The 17th Gyalwang Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje himself a pure vegetarian, then turned to his own life as an example. “When I spoke about this, I was primarily thinking about the way I lead my own life. I can’t really do anything about how other people lead their lives, but in terms of thinking about myself there are some reasons for this.” 

He then explained two key reasons that he personally does not eat meat. The first reason is the intense suffering that the animals who are killed go through. Every single day millions of animals are killed to feed us, and many are subjected to terrible conditions to provide us with food. Just a few days previously the Gyalwang Karmapa had shared a story of how, as a child in Tibet, when animals were killed for his family’s food he felt unbearable, pure compassion for them.
The second reason he doesn’t eat meat, the Gyalwang Karmapa continued, is because of his Mahayana training in seeing all sentient beings as his mothers. “We say I am going to do everything I can free sentient beings from suffering. We say I am going to do this. We make the commitment. We take the vow. Once we have taken this vow, if then, without thinking anything about it, we just go ahead and eat meat, then that is not right It is something that we need to think about very carefully.” 
Benefits of Releasing Lives.
The benefits obtained by releasing the lives of animals are similar to the benefits obtained by holding full monastic vows. By freeing a single life, a single rebirth in the lower realms is purified. Even if one has committed the harmful actions in this world, the act of saving lives  can purify  those harmful actions and obscurations.

If one releases life on behalf of someone, whose life is coming to an end, their life will be extended. At the same time, in the sutras, it is said that killing  a single liberated animal ( i.e , an animal that has been released ) is equal to killing  one hundred animals, and that such an action brings countless other negative karmic consequences. 

Thank you for reading, may you find peace and great bliss. With your support it helps to spread the Buddha’s precious teachings and turning the Dharma wheels in the world.

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.

*Note
I do not own or infringe any copyright of these pictures.
Pictures courtesy and credit to the rightful distributors and or studios.
Pictures are intended for editorial use only.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Auspicious and inauspicious numbers in Tibetan Culture.

Numbers have different meanings in different cultures, especially the Chinese, the number of 3, 6, 8, 9 are always the most favorable numbers and the Chinese had embraced it, adopted it and even applying in their daily lives. The Chinese believed these numbers have the auspicious meanings that can bring favorable results for success, prosperity, wealth and good health.

What about the Tibetan culture and belief? Is there any auspicious or inauspicious numbers that had massively influenced the Tibetan ways of life, culture and religions?  Of course, they are. For instance, 13 is a lucky and holy number for Tibetan people.

In Tibetan culture, the odd numbers are always regarded as an auspicious number by local Tibetans. "6" may well be considered as a lucky number as number that multiple of "3". Tibetans would always deal with some important matters or travel to some place far from home on odd days, while even numbers are taboo. All these instances show that the principle of adoring odd numbers and regarding even numbers as taboo is always adhered to during any activities in Tibet.
As for the Tibetan people view odd numbers as lucky ones, herdsmen will choose a date with odd numbers in the first half of every month to assemble, set off on their journeys, and hold all other important events with the hope of safety.  Horse racing and archery have been popular for over a thousand years in Tibet. In the Tibetan horse racing, only thirteen runners in the front will can get a prize.

Losar is the Tibetan new year,  it is customary or commonly practiced by the local would present gifts for their love ones, and in the monasteries, would present gifts to the Rinpoches, Tulkus and lamas. According to the Tibetan culture, If anyone is buying or presenting gifts to the Tibetan people, the gifts will or should not be in an even number, but instead it should be the odd numbers.
Odd Numbers Symbolizes In The Tibetan Culture
No. 3   - Symbolize the sun, moon and star. 
            - The universe is divided into the celestial realm, the Human realm and the Hell                            realm. 
            -  Connecting to the three Longevity Amitayus Buddha, Ushnisha Vijaya and White                      Tara.
            -  Body, speech and mind in Tibetan Buddhism.

No. 9   - Literally means everlasting or endless.
             - Is customary of the Tibetan people would always clink their glasses and drink 9                        glasses of wine once a clinking is proposed. 
                 - Only the silver bowls or dragon bowls can be used as drinking vessels in Tibet. In                     addition, ghee must be dipped on three spots in the bowls for good luck.

No.13  - Is an auspicious and holy number for the Tibetan culture. 
             -13 desireless celestial realms or pure lands to be reborn according to the Gelupa                      lineage of Vajrayana Buddhism. 
            -  Prigrims will perform kola or walk 13 clockwise rounds the Sacred Mountains of                      Tibet for purification and removing of negativity and obstacles.
            
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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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