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The Great Offering Ceremony of Bodhicitta

Every year, on the anniversary of the day the Buddha first taught the Dharma, the Great Offering Ceremony of Bodhichitta is held in Dzogchen Pema Tung Retreat Centre. The annual ceremony was originally started in Dzogchen by the great master Patrul Rinpoche to celebrate teaching the famous text ‘Way of the Bodhisattva’ for the twentieth time. His teachings on Bodhichitta were so special that flowers grew throughout the Dzogchen valley with fifty, eighty or one-hundred petals, and were known as the ‘way of the Bodhisattva flowers’. Kyabje Pema Kalsang Rinpoche reintroduced this ceremony in 2005 with three amazing days of ceremonies and empowerments.

Bodhicitta Ceremony Offerings in Pema Tung

The celebration begins with a full day ceremony, and hundreds of monks and nuns attend. The beautiful offerings of flowers, lights, saffron water, gems, music and incense completely fill the temple and surrounding courtyard.

On the following two days Kyabje Rinpoche gives empowerments of Avalokiteshvara and Sukhavati, pure land of Amitabha, together with two amazing empowerments of unique holy objects.

Kyabje Rinpoche Sounding the Conch

These holy objects are treasures which survived destruction and were gathered and hidden by Kyabje Rinpoche at great personal risk. Some of the most noted treasures include:

  • The skull-cup of one of the eighty Mahasiddhas on which can be seen the spontaneously occurring forms of sixteen Buddhas, including Shakyamuni Buddha, Avalokiteshvara, Manjushri, Tara and Vajra Varahi.
  • A Guru Rinpoche treasure conch filled with Dharma medicine which he concealed in Dzogchen, and revealed by the fourth incarnation of Shenpen Tharye in Pema Tung.
  • A statue consecrated by the Buddha himself named ‘Tubpa Drongcherma’.
  • A thanka painted by Jigme Lingpa himself.
  • Patrul Rinpoche’s original hand-written text of ‘Words of My Perfect Teacher’.
  • The wisdom knife of Manjushri which fell as a treasure onto Dho Khyentse’s tent when he was born.
  • Dho Khyentse’s personal statue. This statue was together with twenty-five similar ones, all representing the master. Dho Khyentse asked ‘Which one looks like me?’ This statue replied ‘I look like you!’
  • Jigme Lingpa’s personal kila named ‘Purbadrup’ which is referred to in his nine volumes of collected writings.
  • A blessed conch that turns to the right. According to the sutras the Buddha in a previous life prayed that anyone who heard the sound of a right-turning conch will not fall down to the lower realms.
  • Plus many more holy relics.

These sacred and unique treasures can only be viewed once a year during the Great Offering  Ceremony of Bodhichitta. Their blessing power ensures that anyone who sees them will not fall down to the lower realms. Thousands of people flock to Dzogchen Pema Tung to witness this holy celebration.

Read about visiting Dzogchen Pema Tung

 

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