Monday, August 19, 2019

Sojong (གསོ་སྦྱོང་) a Healing and Purification ritual.

Sojong is a practice of restoring the broken commitments, precepts and vows and also about reflecting one’s own habitual tendencies. It helps to become more mindful of one’s own behavior and habitual patterns. Through the practice of taking vows, our mindfulness increases, we become more aware of how our thoughts and actions arise from our habitual tendencies. As the mindfulness increases, so does the state of inner freedom and clarity.

Guru Rinpoche said about Sojong:


“It fully restores all positivity,
And clears away all negativity without exception,
In order to replenish virtue and purify harmful deeds,
The Tathagata has taught the practice of Sojong

The Sojong vows are eight precepts held for 24 hours for the purpose of purifying negativities and enhancing our intention to avoid harming others and to work for their benefits.

The Eight Sojong Vows are:
1.    Not to kill: this means not killing any sentient being. Therefore one also refrains from eating any meat or fish on this day.
2.    Not to steal: not to take what one has not been given; this entails theft, robbery, embezzlement etc.
3.    Not to lie: not to communicate any untruths, particularly not in relation to one’s spiritual development.
4.    To refrain completely from engaging in any sexual conduct.
5.    Not to take any intoxicating substances: this includes liquor and any other drugs.
6.    Not to eat food at the wrong time: only breakfast and lunch should be eaten. The latter around midday, i.e. to begin it at around 12.00 and to finish it at approximately 12.30 p.m. No further food should be eaten until the next morning.  However, one may drink water and tea.
7.    Not to sit on high or precious seats: one should refrain from sitting or lying on seats or beds, which are higher.
8.    Not to adorn oneself: one should not wear any jewelry, use perfume, dance or sing. 
The following is Sojong Practice:

༄༅། །གསོ་སྦྱོང་བླང་བ།
Taking the Vows of Sojong
by Śākyaśrībhadra
རྒྱ་གར་སྐད་དུ། པོ་ཤ་དྷ་ཀ་རི་ཎཱི་ཡ།
In the language of India: poṣadhakaraṇīya
བོད་སྐད་དུ། གསོ་སྦྱོང་བླང་བ།
In the language of Tibet: gso sbyong blang ba
འཕགས་པ་དོན་ཡོད་ཞགས་པ་ལ་ཕྱག་འཚལ་ལོ། 
Homage to noble Amoghapāśa!
སངས་རྒྱས་ཆོས་དང་ཚོགས་མཆོག་ལ། 
sangye chö dang tsok chok la
In the Buddha, Dharma and supreme assembly,
བྱང་ཆུབ་བར་དུ་བདག་སྐྱབས་མཆི། 
changchub bardu dak kyab chi
I take refuge until I attain awakening!
བདག་དང་གཞན་དོན་རབ་བསྒྲུབ་ཕྱིར། 
dak dang shyendön rab drub chir
In order to secure my own and others’ welfare,
བྱང་ཆུབ་སེམས་འདི་བསྐྱེད་པར་བགྱི། 
changchub sem di kyepar gyi
I generate the spirit of awakening!

སྡིག་པ་ཐམས་ཅད་བཤགས་བགྱིད་ཅིང༌། 
dikpa tamché shak gyi ching
All my misdeeds I hereby confess,
བསོད་ནམས་ལ་ཡང་རྗེས་ཡི་རང༌། 
sönam la yang jé yi rang
And I rejoice in all that is meritorious.
འཕགས་པའི་གསོ་སྦྱོང་ཡན་ལག་བརྒྱད། 
pakpé sojong yenlak gyé
The eight branches of noble sojong (healing and purification),
བསྙེན་པ་ལ་ནི་སྤྱད་པར་བགྱིའོ། 
nyenpa la ni chepar gyi’o
I now take on and uphold!

བཅོམ་ལྡན་བདག་ལ་དགོངས་སུ་གསོལ། 
chomden dak la gong su sol
Blessed one, turn your attention toward me, I pray!
བདག་མིང་འདི་ཞེས་བགྱི་བ་ནི། 
dak ming di shyé gyiwa ni
I, the one called insert your name here,
དུས་འདི་ནས་བཟུང་ཇི་སྲིད་ནས། 
dü di né zung jisi né
From this moment on,
ཉི་མའི་འོད་ནི་མ་ཤར་བར། 
nyimé ö ni mashar bar
Until the light of the sun appears,
སྲོག་ཆགས་གསོད་དང་གཞན་ནོར་འཕྲོག 
sokchak sö dang shyen nor trok
Shall wholly renounce
མི་ཚངས་སྤྱོད་དང་བདེན་མིན་སྨྲ། 
mi tsangchö dang den min ma
Taking life, stealing others’ possessions,
མྱོས་པ་བསྐྱེད་དང་བཞོན་པ་དང༌། 
nyöpa kyé dang shyönpa dang
Sexual misconduct, speaking falsity,
དུས་ནི་མ་ཡིན་པ་ཡི་ཟས། 
dü ni mayinpa yi zé
Inebriation, conveyances,
ཕྲེང་བ་ཁ་དོག་གླུ་དང་གར། 
trengwa khadok lu dang gar
Meals at improper times,
ཁྲི་སྟན་མཐོན་པོ་ལ་སོགས་པ། 
tri ten tönpo la sokpa
Colourful garlands, singing and dancing,
ཐམས་ཅད་བདག་གིས་སྤང་བགྱིད་ཅིང༌། 
tamché dak gi pang gyi ching
High seats and the like.
འཕགས་པའི་ཡོན་ཏན་བརྒྱད་སྤྱད་དང༌། 
pakpé yönten gyé ché dang
I take on the eight qualities of the noble ones
གསོ་སྦྱོང་ཁྲིམས་སྡོམ་ཡི་དམ་འདི། 
sojong trim dom yidam di
And this pledge and commitment to the rules of sojong,
སེམས་ཀྱི་རྒྱན་སེམས་ཀྱི་ཡོ་བྱད་རྣལ་འབྱོར་གྱི་ཚོགས་མཆོག་ཏུ་དོན་དམ་པའི་སངས་རྒྱས་ཉིད།
sem kyi gyen sem kyi yojé naljor gyi tsok chok tu döndampé sangye nyi
I take this as an ornament of mind, a mental requirement—through this light,
ཐོབ་པ་ལ་ནི་འོད་འདིས་རེག་གྱུར་ཅིག 
tobpa la ni ö di rek gyur chik
May I reach ultimate buddhahood in the supreme assembly of practitioners!
བྱང་ཆུབ་མཆོག་གི་སེམས་འདི་བསྐྱེད་བགྱིས་ལ། 
changchub chok gi sem di kyé gyi la
I generate this mind set upon supreme awakening,
སེམས་ཅན་ཐམས་ཅད་བདག་གིས་མགྲོན་དུ་གཉེར། 
semchen tamché dak gi drön du nyer
And invite all sentient beings as my guests.
བྱང་ཆུབ་སྤྱོད་མཆོག་ཡིད་འོང་སྤྱད་ནས་ནི། 
changchub chö chok yi ong ché né ni
Having practised supreme, delightful enlightened action,
འགྲོ་ལ་ཕན་ཕྱིར་སངས་རྒྱས་འགྲུབ་པར་ཤོག 
dro la pen chir sangye drubpar shok
May I attain enlightenment in order to benefit beings!
ཁ་ཆེའི་པཎྜི་ཏ་ཆེན་པོ་ཤཱཀྱ་ཤྲཱི་བྷ་དྲས་མཛད་པ་རྫོགས་སོ།། །།
This text, composed the great Kashmiri paṇḍita Śākyaśrībhadra, is hereby concluded.
ལོ་ཙཱ་བ་དགེ་སློང་རབ་མཆོག་དཔལ་བཟང་པོས་བསྒྱུར་བའོ།།
Translated by the lotsāwa-monk Rabchok Palzangpo.
| Translated by Adam Pearcey, 2019.

Benefits of Observing Sojong

You will stay healthier, lose extra weight, live longer, save resources by not eating dinner, and have more to share with those who have little. You will have the ability to contribute to the preservation of the environment and peace of mind and body.

In short, this is Buddha’s way of reclaiming your happiness, beauty, and a good sense of self-confidence from adopting a simple way of life.

So start practicing Sojong

Guru Rinpoche’s Day (10th day of 5th lunar month) 20th June 2021

Tomorrow is Guru Rinpoche’s Day    On the tenth day   of the fifth month   (in history) , the tīrthikas of southern India caus ed great harm...