Friday, August 30, 2019

A Discourse on the Confession of Harmful Deeds

༄༅། །སྡིག་པ་བཤགས་པའི་མདོ་བཞུགས།
A Discourse on the Confession of Harmful Deeds
Spoken by Yama Dharmarāja to Karma Chakme
Oṃ. Homage to the great compassionate lord, noble Avalokiteśvara!
om benza gewa chu hung
Oṃ vajra gewa chu1 hūṃ
shik sepé dikpa dakpar shok
May the harmful deed of killing lice be purified.
om benza ya manta ka hung
Oṃ vajra yamāntaka hūṃ
mi sepé dikpa dakpar shok
May the harmful deed of killing human beings be purified.
om benza ro lakha ni tra hung
Oṃ vajra rola khana nitra hūṃ
ta sepé dikpa dakpar shok
May the harmful deed of killing horses be purified.
om benza dza hung ya hung
Oṃ vajra dza hūṃ ya hūṃ
na zöpé dikpa dakpar shok
May the harmful deed of breaking oaths be purified.
om benza sha sha bé ni hung
Oṃ vajra sha sha be ni hūṃ
riwo dang tsuklakhang dang zampa nam mé sekpé dikpa dakpar shok
May the harmful deeds of burning hills, temples and bridges be purified.
om benza bum tri hung hrih hung ka hung
Oṃ vajra bum tri hūṃ hrīḥ hūṃ ka hūṃ
tamché la duk drangpa dang migewa chu jepé dikpa dakpar shok
May the harmful deeds of poisoning others and committing the ten non-virtues be purified.
om benza ya sapa yi sapa ya ni
Oṃ vajra ya sa pa yi sa pa ya ni
bu sepé dikpa dakpar shok
May the harmful deed of killing insects be purified.
om benza si sara yé soha
Oṃ vajra si sa ra ye svāhā
go nor dang ridak dang to lé sepé dikpa dakpar shok
May the harmful deeds of killing livestock, wild animals and baby yaks be purified.
om benza sa ta hung
Oṃ vajra satva hūṃ
འཇིག་རྟེན་ཁམས་ཀྱི་མི་རྣམས་ལ་ཤོད་ལ་གཤིན་རྗེ་ཆོས་ཀྱི་རྒྱལ་པོའི་ཞལ་ནས་གསུངས་པའི་སྡིག་བཤགས་འདི། ཉིན་རེ་ཚར་གསུམ་བརྗོད་ན་འཁོར་བ་ངན་སོང་གི་སྡུག་བསྔལ་ལས་ཐར་བར་ཐེ་ཚོམ་མེད་དོ། 
If you recite this confession of harmful deeds spoken by Yama Dharmarāja (as a message to the people of the world) three times a day there is no doubt that it will bring freedom from the sufferings of the lower realms of saṃsāra.
ཡིད་བཞིན་ནོར་བུ་རིན་ཆེན་སྙིང་པོ་དང་འདྲ་བ་ཀརྨ་ཆགས་མེད་ལ་གཤིན་རྗེ་ཆོས་ཀྱི་རྒྱལ་པོའི་ཞལ་ནས་གསུངས་པའི་སྡིག་བཤགས་རྫོགས་སོ། །སརྦ་མངྒ་ལཾ།། །།
Thus concludes the wish-fulfilling jewel-like confession of harmful deeds which Yama Dharmarāja spoke to the Karma Chakme.

| Translated by Adam Pearcey, 2016.

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

SHIN RTSE (Horoscope for the death person)

You must have noticed that whenever there is death in the house, the first thing before touching dead body is to look for an astrologer to see “Shin rtse”, horoscope of a person's death. Death horoscopes serve several purposes:

·      defining the right time for disposing of the body,
·       understanding the presumed rebirth destination, and
·      revealing how the deceased’s family can improve their rebirth.

It is assumed that once a death occurs in a family, the other family mem- ber's life would also be in danger. In order to avert this misfortune, the death horoscope is religiously consulted by providing certain fees. According to horoscope, mantra  are chanted and  series of rituals lined up  and performed as a protective measure. In some cases the death due to certain timing also do harm the whole community. In this senerio, the family  member should inform the community and accordingly joint rituals are to be organized and performed.

If possible lama  must be invited  to conducts a preventative ceremony before the astrologer casts the death horoscope to prevent any of the eight classes of demonic spirits from harming the deceased. Generally, the chanting of mantras may combat the demons and ward off evil spirits, as well as help interpret the death chart.
The astrolger when making death chart the following important points are noted:
1.    On which object, the death person's mind or soul is found attached to and whether this household items must be removed or not.
2.    On which article or objects the spirit who took away the life of that person resides. If spirit still reside inside the house than fire ritual mask dance is to be performed to chase the demons  away to prevent future attacks at living family members.  This is very important.
3.    The funeral day and time of which the dead body be removed from one's house. Some time due to bad days body is to be  perserved for month also.
4.    Colour of the cloth for wrapping the dead body.
5.    Direction of the face of the dead body inside the box.
6.    Ages or Lota of persons who should not see or touch the dead body.
7.    Kind of life within the six realms which the dead person is likely to take in the next life.
8.    Indication for special performance of Rituals or making of idols required for higher birth than the present one.
9.    Indication to make statue/thangkas (scroll) of Buddhas within 49 days of his or her death which are for the betterment of the dead person.

Additionally, the horoscope may reveal the past life of the dead and whether or not the death was well-timed.

This is very important as this is done out of love, sympathy and emotion for the dead person being permanently separated from us.  The prepare a death horoscope prepared by astrologer is  faithfully and precisely followed for the good of the departed soul.

Consult any astrologer to learn more.

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Funeral practices in bhutan

In Bhutan, there are several funeral practices as mentioned below:
1.    Cremation of dead body at cremation ground or near one’s own house or on a river bank;
2.    Sky burial, where the body is placed on a mountaintop for vultures to consume;
3.    Water burial, where the body is immersed in the river and weighed down with heavy stones, or else cut into small pieces which are then scattered in the river;
4.    Ground burial, where the body is buried underground;
5.    Cave burial, where the body is deposited or hidden in caves on cliff faces; and
6.    Surface burial, where the body is buried above the ground but covered with a structure made of stones and plaster.

Cremation is the most common practice throughout the country. People prefer to cremate the body of a family member at a charnel ground, which has been prepared in accordance with the mandala of Buddha Akshobhya, and consecrated and blessed by highly attained lamas. 
The Hindus in the southern foothills cremate their dead on riverbanks so that the ashes and remaining debris are easily disposed of in the river.
People in Merak and Sakteng communities dispose of dead bodies in the river or else bury them underground,
while in places like Lingzhi the dead bodies are left on a flat stone at a higher elevation for the vultures. 

In the Lhop community, the dead body is buried above the surface of the ground within a stone mound which is plastered to make it air proof.
Where cremation is practised, dead children below the age of eight are not allowed to be cremated. In olden days, they were either taken for sky burial on high mountain tops where vultures could feed on them, or they were buried in the river, weighed down with heavy stones to prevent them from being carried downstream.
Sky burial is discouraged these days, however.
In the event of a death, it is of utmost importance to seek divination from an astrologer before disposing of the body. Based on his ruling, various religious and charitable activities are organised in the name of the deceased. 
The main purpose of such activity is to accumulate enough merit to speed up his or her next rebirth as a human. Failing to accumulate enough merit will lead the deceased to be reborn into one of the four unhappy states of existence below the human plane. 
The virtuous person will either take rebirth as a human being, or be reborn in the pure realm of a Buddha field, from which they may travel the path towards enlightenment without falling back into the lower realms.
The Buddhist tradition of funeral rite continues for 49 days after death. Aspiration prayers for the deceased are recited and rituals performed almost daily by those who can afford it, depending on the availability of monks or gomchens and nuns. 
Those who cannot afford daily rituals, must at the very least initiate the droda zhip on the 4th  day since the death, duen tshi on the 7th  day, chuzhi tshi on the 14th  day and nyishu tsachi or gewa on the 21st  day and finally zhipchu zhegu on the 49th day for performance of kangsha (prayer rituals) to the various forms of Compassionate Buddhas (mithrugpa and chenrezig), without fail. 
The family also conducts a ritual at the first anniversary after the passing away of the person, but for those who can afford it, the anniversary ritual can go on up to any number of years from the third year onwards. 
Relatives and intimate friends will try to attend all the rites including the annual rites, but people from the community will prefer to come mostly during the last two days (i.e. 21st and 49th days since the death).
Following the funeral rite, a drigo (meaning, an effigy or a photograph of the deceased) is kept in the corner of the shrine room and offered meals, butter lamps, tshog (other forms of food), fruits and drinks every day, starting with the first day of passing away, until the 21st day rite, after which the drigo is removed. 
This is because the soul of the deceased is thought to hover around the body instead of leaving to seek the path of liberation.
After cremation, any remaining fragments of bone are collected from the cremation site, then ground into powder, mixed with clean mud and made into tshatsha (mini stupas). These are laid in caves, on ledges of cliffs and at other sacred sites before the 49th day. 

One hundred and eight prayer flags printed with the Chenrezig mantra (om mani padme hum) are hoisted for the deceased, in order to benefit all sentient beings. 
Customarily, the sixsyllable mani mantra would be sung melodiously with heartfelt devotion by those present at such rituals, but the practice is slowly diminishing, either because people nowadays do not know the tradition or because it is coming to be seen as obsolete. 
Even in remoter areas of the country, the tradition is no longer very strong.

Reference: Life Cycle : Funeral Customs, ICH

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