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Recently Rinpoche advised the IMI Sangha to help others more by performing pujas for them. In Tibetan society it is common for lay people to request the monastic communities to perform certain pujas and practices when they are experiencing obstacles in their life (health problems, financial difficulties, spirit harm, etc.). Offering this service is a way for a sangha community to receive support from the lay community. It is one of the reasons why we are ordained; it’s a type of social service.

Rinpoche advised that we should learn how to do the following pujas and make this service a part of our tradition. In this way, when local students are sick, suffering from spirit harm, life obstacles, and so forth, we will know what to do and will be able to perform the necessary rituals for them.

Rinpoche said that the IMI Sangha should already be familiar with common pujas such as those of the Medicine Buddha (both the extensive and middle length) and Tara, and with the recitation of sutras, etc. In addition, it would be very good if the IMI Sangha communities were to become familiar with and perform five other pujas. Four of these pujas are quite short and easy to do, but at the same time are very powerful and highly effective:

1. The ritual called “Three Parts” – Cha Sum
2. Torma Offering to the Interferers – Gegtor
3. A Very Concise Method of Engaging in the Protection-Granting Ritual – Gago
4. The Four Elements Torma Offering – Jinsu Torma

The fifth practice that Rinpoche wants to make widely available in the FPMT is that of White Umbrella. All the IMI Sangha communities should be able to do this practice for people who are experiencing obstacles (recently Rinpoche advised this practice be done for protection from fire, disease, radiation, and spirit harm).

The Medicine Buddha and Tara pujas can be done to eliminate sickness and general obstacles, as well as to achieve success, etc. The other four pujas can be done to eliminate any type of obstacle including spirit harm. However, Rinpoche says that since all of these pujas can be performed for any purpose, the sangha should learn how to do all of them. Then, if one does not work, another one can be done. With time we will come to know which puja to do for which specific purpose.

Lastly, Rinpoche said that all the sangha should have and be doing the practice: “The Dharani Called ‘Possessing the Limbs of All the Buddhas’ Protecting from the Fears of Aging, Sickness, Debilitation, and Death.” Rinpoche advised that it should be done NOW in order to prevent cancer, rather than doing it only after we have been diagnosed with cancer.

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Ven. Roger: “The following advice from Rinpoche is quite important because it will mean that the Sangha become more useful and beneficial since it gives them more ways to help others. I think it is quite certain that there will be further advice to this effect from Rinpoche as time goes by.”