This gallery offers a rare look at Tibetan monks consecrating Buddhist statues. We shot the images at the Tibetan Community Center in Richmond, California in the weeks leading up to the February 2014 visit of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama. Gen Dhonyo from the local Gyuto Foundation led a small group of monks and lay people in preparing and consecrating the statues, which had been donated and purchased in preparation for His Holiness’ visit. His Holiness conferred the final blessing during his visit.
Click on any image below to get a larger view, or to start a slideshow with captions.
The process of consecrating Buddhist statues is fascinating. You may not have ever realized that the statues of the Buddha Shakyamuni, Tara or Manjushri on the shrines you might have seen are stuffed full of precious objects, such as rolled scrolls of mantras, precious stones, incense and/or cedar chips, and precious pills. After being filled, the statues are sealed with a metal base that is glued in.
The process is very elaborate and meaningful, and we would like to write in detail on the meaning of the various stages. For today, we’re happy just to give you a glimpse into consecrating the statues which you may not have seen.
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Yeshe Drolma says
I have a statue that needs to be consecrated. Any idea how I can obtain some tisang?
Hi Yeshe Drolma,
Normally Tibetans would get this in India, but we don’t know where to get it outside of India (or even where in India to get it these days).
Victoria Roig says
These are wonderful to see, an opportunity to view the work from early stages…the results are amazing.
Is there a special blessing that I could perform to honor the presence of a Medicine Buddha statue I recently bought for my altar?
It’s placed in the center on a 12″ rise which is covered in a traditional brocade fabric.
Thank you, Victoria
I have a question about inside body of statue, before filling the mantra rolls and others precious goods, can body in of statue paint with red colour ? what the meaning paint red colour at inside body ?
kindly help. Thank you.
Hi. The red is not actually paint but is red coloring called tisang, which is used to make the inside pretty but also to clean it. Hope this helps!
Harriet Rowland says
Hi Yolanda and Lobsang!
Just a quick note to say that those photos were truly fascinating…I only have one statue of that “type” which is of White Tara and was a gift from some monks and nuns I knew at one point in my life! She means the world to me and whilst I did know that there were mantras inside her, I had no idea of what else might be in there too….hopefully helping me to be more compassionate……!!
Will you be back with the newsletter soon? I do look on facebook, of course, but so love opening my mail in the morning and finding you there, as I never know which day it will be…way too scatty!!
Looking forward to finding out all about the new course!
Meanwhile, thanks again for the great pics!
Dharma with you both!
Hat in Andalusia x
Thanks again Hat for all your kindness and support! We try to get a newsletter out every six weeks to two months but have been working hard on the Practical Guide for Tibetan Buddhism so may have been failing at the normal schedule!
Best to you!