Friday, August 16, 2019

Rabne (རབ་གནས) — Consecration of Statues

Every Buddhist family has an altar and inside statues are placed. These statues are initially purchased without Zung. Before placing statue at the Altar, Zung are installed inside with the help of lama or Zung master.

The lama follows certain Zung filling process. There are different mantras that need to be placed on different part of the statue internally. So there are head mantras, neck mantras, Torso mantras etc.. At the approximate location of the heart of the statue, specific mantra of a particular statue is placed. For example if the statue is of Guru Rinpoche, Baza Guru mantra is consigned.
Nowadays you get ready-made mantra for any type of statue from KMT Press. After buying mantra sheets, each mantra is cut out so that there is no white space remaining. The next step is to roll the mantra sheets very tightly, overlapping the ends of the small strips upon each other around a tiny incense stick. This incense stick shall resemble the backbone of the statue, if the statue is small.  For bigger statue special Zungshing made from Juniper tree is used. After the rolls are completed, they are rolled in brocade silk and affixed with a mark indicating the direction of the mantra.
After that Statues are filled from head to lotus throne. To begin, the lama places a pearl at the top of the head, signifying the brain. Next, head mantras are placed then neck mantras and the beginning of the torso mantras continuing in the same method. Special mantras individual to the specific statue (deity) are placed in the heart area, followed by the remainder of torso mantras.
The lotus throne at the bottom is treated as a treasure house. It is filled with lotus throne mantras. The remaining space is filled with good quality incense, special herbs, sacred earth, medicine pills/rilbus, and any other precious items and relics. In larger statues precious stones are also added. In the treasure house to represent the male and female forms of the lord of wealth and the eight auspicious symbols the lama places paper disks. Finally the bottom plate is fixed permanently. If a double Vajra is not engraved on the bottom of a statue, the monks affix a paper one. During the entire process of installing Zhung, Lama will chant mantras as they work.

Rabne Consecration Ceremony
During a Rabne consecration, the lama direct his prayers and focus his meditation, employing visualization and mantras, in order to invoke the blessings of all the Buddhas and enlightened masters, so that they are drawn irresistibly through the force of their compassion, and merge inseparably with all the sacred objects.
As they infuse them with their blessings, we consider that the statues are empowered, and blaze with even greater splendor and magnificence.
Then we pray, again and again, that the Buddhas may remain one with them forever, bringing benefit to beings for as long as the elements of earth, water, fire and wind endure, and always radiating auspiciousness and wellbeing, so that whoever encounters them may enjoy good health, long life and prosperity, and ultimately gain complete spiritual awakening. 
It is also to be noted    that it is considered extremely inauspicious to leave statues open at the bottom. It is believed that wandering spirits can take up residence in unconsecrated and unsealed statues making the object unfit for ritual worship.
Statues can be blessed any number of times by many different lamas.

Temples, stupa are often consecrated after construction through elaborate rituals involving sand mandalas. The rituals can take several days to perform.

The following prayer can be used for Rabne.

༄༅། །རྟེན་གསུམ་རབ་ཏུ་གནས་པའི་ཆོ་ག་སྙིང་པོར་དྲིལ་བ་བཞུགས་སོ། 
A Brief Consecration Ritual for Representations of Enlightened Body, Speech and Mind
by Dodrupchen Jikmé Tenpé Nyima
Begin with refuge and bodhicitta. Then:
rang nyi ké chik gi pal heruké kur gyur
In an instant, I transform into the glorious heruka.
lhakpar népé choga la bar du chöpé lok dren gek kyi rik tamché dir ma khöpar shyen du deng shik
All you obstacle makers and disruptive influences who seek to obstruct this ritual of consecration do not remain here, but go elsewhere!
Recite the mantra of the four hūṃs.
bendza raksha raksha hung
teng ok chok tsam tamché dorjéi rawa dang gur khang gi tsam ché par gyur
The space above, below and in all directions is now enclosed within a fence of vajras and a protective tent.
om maha shunyata jnana penza svabhava atma ko ham
tongpa nyi kyi ngang lé gyuma tabüi yeshé kyi tsal nang dakpa rabjam ten yöi khorlor chir yang charwé damtsik gi ten nam chomden dé dorjé chang ku dok ngönpo dorjé dang drilbu dzin ching longchö dzokpé chö kyi gyenpa shyap dorjéi kyil trung du shyukpé né sum yigé sum gyi tsenpa lé özer trö omin gyi shying né yeshé sempé tsok bendza samaya dza
Out of the state of emptiness, as the dynamic expression of illusion-like wisdom arises the infinite purity of the environment and beings manifest as the supports of our samaya in the form of the transcendent conqueror Vajradhara, blue in colour and holding a vajra and bell. He is adorned with all the marks of a saṃbhogakāya buddha, and is seated in the vajra posture. At his three centres are the three syllables oṃ, āḥ and hūṃ, from which there emanate rays of light to invoke the wisdom deities of the buddha field of Akaniṣṭha. Vajra samaya jaḥ!
Make offerings with:
om benza argham padam pupé dhupé aloké gendhé nevidé shabta pratitsaya soha
Then offer praise with:
töpar öpa tamché la
With bodies as numerous as atoms in the universe,
shying dul kun gyi drang nyé kyi
And with the most intense devotion,
lü tüpa yi nam kun tu
We offer homage and prostrations
chok tu dépé chak tsal tö
To all those who are worthy of praise.
dza hung bam ho
dam yé yermé du gyurpé tukka né özer trö wang gi lha rik nga khor ché chen drang
From the heart of the indivisible union of samayasattva and jñānasattva there emanate rays of light, which invoke the empowerment deities of the five families together with their retinues, who then bestow empowerment with:
om sarwa tathagata abhishekaté samayé shriyé hung
ku gang drima dak chüi lhakma yar lüpa lé rik ngé chöpen gyi u gyenpar gyur
All impurities of the body are purified. The remaining water gathers to create the crown of the five families adorning the head.
om tsakshu tsakshu samanta tsakshu bishodhani soha
om ah hung
3 times
gompé lha nam ö du shyuwa lé ten so söi nampar gyur
The visualized deities melt into light and transform their appearance into that of the various representations [of enlightened body, speech and mind].
The Request to Remain
chok chu na shyukpé sangyé dang chang chub sempa tamché dak la gong su sol
All you buddhas and bodhisattvas who dwell throughout the ten directions, think of us!
ji si namkhé ta dang nyampé semchen tamché mi népé nya ngen lé dépé sa la ma shyak gi bar du gyalwa nam nya ngen lé mi dawar tenpar shyuk su sol
Until all beings, as infinite as space itself, are brought to the state of perfect nirvāṇa beyond extremes, may you victorious ones remain here constantly, without passing into nirvāṇa!
khyepar du yang ku sung tuk kyi ten di nam ji si jungwa shyi’i nöpé ma shyik gi bar du tenpar shyuk su sol
In particular, may you remain here until these representations of enlightened body, speech and mind are destroyed by the four elements.
tenpar shyuk né kyang dak dang sem chen tamché la chok dang tün mong gi ngö drup ma lü pa tsal du sol
And, as you remain here, may you grant us and all other beings all the supreme and ordinary siddhis!
Recite the vowel and consonant mantras and the essence of dependent origination as many times as possible. Then:
dir ni zuk dang lhen chik tu
Remain here, one with these images and objects,
khorwa si du shyuk né kyang
Until samsara comes to an end;
né mé tsé dang wangchuk dang
Grant us freedom from illness, long life, power and prosperity, and
chok nam lekpar tsal du sol
Make everything supremely auspicious: we pray!
om supratishta bendzayé soha
To conclude, recite verses of auspiciousness.
ཞེས་པའང་རིགས་ཀྱི་གཅུང་པོ་འཛམ་གླིང་དབང་རྒྱལ་གྱི་གསུང་ངོར་འཇིགས་མེད་བསྟན་པའི་ཉི་མས་སྐད་ཅིག་གིས་ཤར་མར་བྲིས།། །།
In response to a request from Dzamling Wangyal,1 the elder brother of my family, Jikmé Tenpé Nyima instantly wrote down whatever came to mind.

| Translated by Adam Pearcey, 2007.

1.      Khyentse Tulku Dzamling Wangyal (1868-1907), a tulku of Do Khyentse. He was the eldest of Dodrupchen Rinpoche’s seven younger brothers.

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:...