To learn more about the use of hand mudras (chakya) in Tibetan Buddhist offering prayers, we recently attended a fascinating class by the Venerable Thupten Donyo, Founder and Director of the Gyuto Vajrayana Center in San Jose, California.
We learned that these hand mudras, in general, represent various kinds of offerings to enlightened beings.
In the video below, taken from the first part of Ven. Donyo’s longer class, you will find:
- An introduction to some of the ritual instruments used in a very common offering prayer called the Guru Puja (also called Lama Chopa)1
- How to hold and use the Bell (called tribu in Tibetan, and symbolizing wisdom), the Vajra (called dorje, and symbolizing method) and the Damaru (drum).
- How to perform the hand mudras for the Guru Puja mantras with the Vajra and Bell
- Explanation of the eight offerings (zay gye) which we visualize while performing the hand mudras
The Eight Offerings (Zay Gye) and their Mantras*
|Water (Drinking)||OM ARGHAM AH HUM|
|Water (Washing)||OM PADYAM AH HUM|
|Flower||OM PUPE AH HUM|
|Incense||OM DHUPE AH HUM|
|Light||OM ALOKE AH HUM|
|Perfume||OM GHANDE AH HUM|
|Food||OM NEUDE AH HUM|
(Not shown above)
|OM SHAPTA AH HUM|
*Information from a handout from the class
If you would like to learn more about the Gyuto Vajrayana Center, please check here for a calendar of upcoming events and classes >>
1 The Guru Puja “is a commitment for those practicing tantra to restore and reaffirm their vows and pledges. However, anyone and everyone is welcome to attend this ritual of making extensive offerings to the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, accumulating the positive energy needed to progress along the spiritual path.” (From a description of the Guru Puja on the Gyuto Vajrayana Center website)
If you found this post useful, we would really love it if you share it with your Facebook fans or Twitter followers or Google+ circles today. All it takes is a simple click on the “like,” “share,” “tweet,” or Google+ buttons to the left of the post. Thanks!
By Lobsang Wangdu