Mandala- a Buddhist Ritual
by Manpreet Kaur
(Navi Mumbai, Maharastra, India)
The Tibetan Temple - THEKCHEN CHOELING, DHARAMSHALA (HIMACHAL PRADESH)
The Buddha Sakyamuni is the principle image placed at the center of the cathedral. He is the fourth savior among the thousand Buddhas who have appeared in this decadent period. The image of the Buddha is over nine feet high from the lotus seat, and is made of gilded bronze, built in accordance with the lineal measurement. All sentiment beings including humans wish for happiness and wish to avoid pain. Pleasure and pain arise from causes and conditions.
The teachings of lord Buddha, with their limitless scope, are in perfect harmony with reason and logic in all their aspect of “base, path and result”. In order to accomplish such teachings, one must know the path, which leads to Buddha, stupas and publishes the rare scriptural teaching, etc. these things will leave new positive imprints on many sentient beings who will see, remember, hear and touch. They will also instill a person with virtuous motives, awaken positive dispositions and act as conditions towards remembering the past virtuous deeds. All these are preliminary methods for a correct understanding of the path to Buddhahood.
The image of Avalokiteshvara, Bodhistattva of compassion, who is the patron deity of Tibet. In 1966, the image of Avalokiteshvara was disfigured, removed and thrown to the streets. Unmindful of the risks involved, Tibetan people were able to smuggle out to Tibet one wrathful and one peaceful form of the Avalokiteshvara’s facial image.
Later on, in 1968, another wrathful facial image of Avalokiteshvara and one face of Ammitacha were able to reach India through Nepal under similar circumstances. It is unfortunate and a pity that we are deprived of seeing the self-evolved image of Avalokiteshvara with our bare eyes, which was built by king Song Tsen Gampo so many hundred years ago. However, the newly built image of Avalokiteshvara which contains the original contents of the images brought from Tibet, and which has its originally consecrated formula intact is a good substitute for the original image, the idea of building a new image of Lord Avalokiteshvara was conceived primarily with resolute intention as an auspicious omen for the meritorious conditions and the temporal and ultimate welfare of the people of Tibet.
This white-silver image of Avalokiteshvara built in accordance with the white palmo tradition has eleven faces, a thousand hands and a thousand eyes. It is thirteen feet high from the lotus seat was built in the year 1970, corresponding to Iron Dog year of Tibetan calendar.
THE GURU PADMA SAMBHAVA
This is the image of Guru Padma Sambhava, a great Indian sidda, who came to Tibet in the 8th century. He helped king Trisong Deutsen in building the cathedral of samye by subduing all the enemies of the dharma. Guru Padma Sambhava also gave tantric teaching in Tibet.
The cool, solace-providing image of Padma Sambhava measures over 12 feet high from the lotus seat and is made of gilded bronze polished with gold. Located on the western side of the cathedral, the image is seen facing towards Tibet.
THE HOLY SAFFRON WATER
Real saffron slowly turns the water yellow. This holy water is kept in front of dieties and it is said that power of god and positive energies lives in water. The use of holy water as a sacramental for protection against evil.
THE GREEN TARA MAA
Green Tara Maa is one of the Buddhist deity, helps to remove practitioner obstacles. Immeasurable eons ago, there was a world name “Collective Light” and a princess named “Paramita Light” who revered the three jewels—Buddha, Dharma and Sangha. She made the following great vow:
From the present world to the destruction of this world and the destruction of the void realm, I will take on female form to deliver the teachings to all sentiment beings until I attain the Buddhahood.
That is why she is called “Tara” (meaning the mother of salvation) the name is heard throughout the ten directions, and it is given by the Buddhas.
It documented that the Guan Yin Avalokiteshvara Bodhisattava tried to deliver the teachings to benefit the sentient beings but the beings were still confused and did not understand, sinking into the sea of suffering and death, the cycle of Samsara. The Guan Yin Avalokiteshvara Bodhisattva shed tears out of compassion for sentient beings, and the tears turned into lotus flowers and then transformed into the Green Tara and White Tara. Green Tara said to Avalokiteshvara, “don’t be worried and troubled. I have vowed to be your helper. Although the sentient beings are immeasurable, my vow is also immeasurable.”
This is the origin of the name of ‘Green Tara.’ Chanting Green Tara Mantra -‘OM TAARE TU TAARE TURE SOHA’ for wealth, beauty, love, attraction and prosperity.
BODH GAYA MANDIR (Bihar)
Bodh Gaya is a religious site and place of pilgrimage associated with the Mahabodhi Temple Complex in Gaya district in the Indian state of Bihar. It is famous as it is the place where Gautama Buddha is said to have attained Enlightenment (Pali: bodhi) under what became known as the Bodhi Tree (tree of awakening). Since antiquity, Bodh Gaya has remained the object of pilgrimage and veneration both for Hindus and Buddhists. The English term enlightenment is the Western translation of various Buddhist terms, most notably bodhi and vimutti. Moksha also called vimoksha, vimukti and mukti is a term Buddhism.
THE KALACHAKRA MANDALA
Kalachakra (literally ‘the wheel of time’) is one of the most important aspects of th aspects of the Vajrayana Buddhism of Tibet today. It is a comprehensive philosophical system and meditative practice embracing the complete esoteric forms of spiritual training. A central feature of the practice is a correlation between inner (subtle) elements and outer elements that is effected at a profound level, which involves essentially a process of awakening the potencies that are latent in us all.
According to the tradition, Kalachakra- the esoteric teachings related to the meditative practices of Kalachakra deity- were taught by the Buddha while manifesting as the principal deity of the Kalachakra Mandala.
In 1992, a new temple with a complete mural depiction of the mandala Kalachakra was built. It is also used for public teachings given by the Dalai Lama, and as a venue for religious activities like construction of various sand mandalas and performance of rituals.*****