Naga vase puja, empowerments of Green and White Tara
On the morning of January 19 His Holiness joined his monks for a naga vase puja at Hong Convention and Exhibition Centre.
Before starting the recitation of the ritual text, he gave a brief explanation about the meaning and benefit of this particular puja:
The term “puja” is Sanskrit, and basically means accumulating joy. In this particular case the joy we are accumulating is related to the accumulation of wealth. In this material world in which we live material wealth is also equally important. Why? Because if and when there are kind, generous, positive intentions, then in order to convey these positive intentions, material wealth and material resources become very valuable tools.
So that’s why today we are here for this morning session in order to accumulate wealth, to basically bring harmony to the holders of wealth or the providers of wealth. To be very direct, when we do this practice it is not with the thought that when we accumulate lots of naga vases, then suddenly gold and silver will rain down upon us. What happens is that the nagas karmically own the resources, the natural resources. Just like we, as human beings, have our own resources, and animals have their own resources, similarly, the nagas also have their own resources. So therefore, through this puja or practice or meditation, we actually establish harmonious connections with them.
So we’re not saying, “Give, give, give” – we’re just establishing a good friendship.
As a result what happens is that they will keep the natural resources intact and develop them. When the providers or keepers of wealth are at peace they can develop the natural resources. As a result, we as human beings, since we are sharing the same world, we also benefit. There will be fewer droughts, fewer natural disasters, and agriculture, which is very important for sustaining our lives, will yield good crops.
Then everything will be organic. In this way, it is very very harmonious, it is understandable; there is nothing mysterious about it. The meditation that we do has a meaning, it’s not something exotic.”
On the evenings of January 19 and 20, His Holiness the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa transmitted the empowerments of Green and White Tara to a gathering of approximately 2,500 devotees.
On both occasions, hundreds of attendees took refuge in the Buddha, the dharma (the Buddha’s teaching) and the sangha (the community of realised practitioners) for the first time, and His Holiness gave profound and detailed explanations on the purpose and benefits of taking refuge in what is known as the “Three Jewels”.
During his introductory teaching about the meaning of empowerments in general and those of Green and White Tara in particular, he explained that the absolute benefit was always the same: accomplishing complete liberation, complete understanding of mind’s nature. This almost inevitably raises the question of why there are so many different practices, yidams and empowerments. Wouldn’t a single one be enough if they all serve the same ultimate purpose?
When addressing that question, His Holiness gave the example of many people wishing to travel to the same place: even though the final destination is the same for all of them, the preferred means of transport may vary greatly for each traveller: some may choose to walk, some to go by car, others yet to use a motorbike or an airplane. Of course, the ultimate goal they all share is to reach the destination, but the ways of getting there are many, with each of them having its own particular advantages and benefits.
So just like that, the variety of yidams (wisdom aspects) and practices will all lead to the same destination, but the way we go about it is different. And when we practice a certain yidam, then temporarily there will be certain related benefits and bonuses.”
His Holiness then explained that the particular temporary benefits of doing the practices of Green and White Tara, respectively, was to remove, or unbind the practitioner from the eight kinds of obstacles (the Sanskrit word “Tara” has the connotation of “unbinding”), and attaining longevity.
Naga vase Puja
White Tara empowerment
Green Tara empowerment