What is the Guru Padmasambhava Tsok?
The Rigdzin Dupa Sadhana is the text that the Padma Rigdzin Ling Buddhist Temple practices every 10th of the full moon in the Tibetan Lunar calendar for Feast Offering to Padmasambhava (Guru Tsok). This is a powerful practice that helps generate vast amounts of merit and helps one heavily purify themselves through their two obscurations (negative emotions and obscurations of wisdom). It can pacify sickness and help people heal and help with obstacles related to breakages in samaya (loyalty), harmful spirits and negative forces.
- Concise Benefits of Festival of the Tenth Day (The Benefits of Monthly Tsok Offering)
- The Invocation of Padmasambhava on the Tenth Day of the Tibetan Lunar Calendar (Padmasambhava Guru Tsok)
From the depth of Rinpoche’s warm-hearted compassion, he requests that everyone try to join any upcoming Guru Rinpoche Ceremonies. All the problems we have in our lives is due to lack of merits, so Rinpoche requests wholeheartedly to all his students to join the ceremony and create more merit so that you may fulfill your wishes and overcome your obstacles.
Padmasambhava was the great Indian tantric master who played a major role in bringing Buddhism from India to Tibet in the eighth century. Every month in the Tibetan calendar there is a day that is dedicated to him where we do food offerings and prayers.
The main purpose of the Guru Tsok practice is to help purify yourself and to remove obstacles/problems due to lack of merits (positive karma).
The Tsok helps us accumulate wisdom merit and virtue merits. These merits help us overcome the two obscurations which are:
1. Afflicting emotions
2. Understanding wisdom and to help know emptiness
The practice of Tsok is very important for accumulating the two kinds of merit (wisdom and common). In the six paramitas there is the perfection of giving in which one can accumulate common merit, but you cannot gain wisdom merit from this. However in the Tsok ceremony through the practice of the Rigdzin Dupa Sadhana, you will gain both wisdom and common merit. This makes the practice of Tsok in this degenerate age very important in order to benefit others and yourself.
In general it is very important to make effort to gather more merit. Every once a month according to Vajrayana Buddhism we do a Tsog ceremony to accumulate merits, if we do this Tsog ceremony according to the authentic tradition of Vajrayana we need many conditions. These conditions include things like empowerments and many recitations of mantras during retreat. However, if the master is someone who is realized and accomplished then it is maybe okay for the students to do without an empowerment.
Tsog means to have different kinds of foods and snacks or things that bring pleasure to your five senses (sight, taste, touching, hearing, smell). We also need ingredients for the ceremony like the five kinds of meats and the five kinds of nectars. If you don’t have the five kinds of meats or nectars then you must have meat and alcohol, the two are indispensable. The ceremony must be done with devotion and pure samaya (loyalty).
This is the way of the Vajrayana which can help us accumulate common and wisdom merits. Once these two merits are accomplished it can free ourselves from the two obscurations (the obscuration of negative thoughts and the obscuration of wisdom). If the two obscurations are purified then you can achieve the two kinds of bodies of the Buddha (Nirmanakaya and the Dharmakaya). This can be used to benefit yourself and others and to overcome daily problems. If we achieve this level of enlightenment than samsaric problems (the cycle of birth and rebirth) become effortless to overcome.
As such we need all these conditions to achieve such merit, there are people out there who claim to do the authentic way of Vajrayana Tsog offering without meat and alcohol, however this is completely fake and wrong. These Lamas or Khenpos that do not use meat or alcohol in the moment of the Tsog offering are lacking the ingredients and are fooling ordinary people who do not know.
Eating meat and drinking alcohol has nothing to do with being addicted to meat and alcohol, this all depends on yourself and your thinking. In ceremony we have contentment when we use the two, the way to use it is without attachment, through this we can enjoy the meat and alcohol. During the Tsog ceremony you do not have to follow the Lama because he is eating or drinking, but you must consume a very small portion of meat and alcohol for the sake and rules of the ceremony. Monks generally take their ring finger and dab it in their mouth and grab a little amount of meat with their thumb and index.
For Vajrayana it is important to have such ingredients, Kriya Upa Yoga is Kriya Upa Yoga, Maha Anu Ati Yoga is Maha Anu Ati Yoga, they all have their own way and traditions of practice.
This is a short talk about Tsog from Lama Jigme Rinpoche on March 16, 2019 translated by Tenzin Wangden from Switzerland and written by Jacob Ewers from Las Vegas.
From His Holiness the Dalai Lama:
From the beginning, pure and unborn nature, spontaneously reflects its ultimate view. Through devotion to Lama Jigme Namgyal Rinpoche, one shall be blessed in attaining this realization.
I take refuge in the Guru.
I take refuge in the Buddha.
I take refuge in the Dharma.
I take refuge in the Sangha.