Saturday, January 12, 2019

Altar Room

Every Bhutanese home has an Altar and the day always begins with the offering of Sang, Incense stick, Butter lamp, Serkim (not compulsory) and Water.

Altar no doubt serves as physical representation that reminds us of the qualities that one want to develop, and it also acts as a base in the presence of which one can make offerings and do purification and so on. 

It also serves as reminders of the goal of Buddhist practice; to develop these qualities in oneself so as to be able to fully benefit all sentient beings. 

The reason for setting up an altar is not for fame, for showing off wealth, or to increase pride, but rather it is to reduce one's mental afflictions and to seek the ability to help all sentient beings. 

In maintaining an altar one is trying to cultivate the qualities of the Buddha, his enlightened body, his enlightened speech and his enlightened mind. 

By remembering these qualities and aspiring to develop them, one reduces the negative qualities of attachment, hatred and ignorance, and increases positive qualities like faith, respect, devotion and rejoicing.

It’s really blessing, in our home or wherever we are, to have a little shrine. 

Having said that the location of an altar is also very important. If possible alter should be placed in a separate dedicated room. If you don't have separate room than you can keep it in your living (sitting) room. But never place your altar in your bedroom.

For me, my altar room is a sacred place that connects me to, Buddha, Guru Rinpoche and 21 Taras through prayers and mantras recitations.

Cultivate Generous Thought and practice giving gifts to the Sanghas.

The Buddha once explained that it is a meritorious act even to throw away the water after washing one's plate with the generous thought:...