Author Topic: The 4 type of Supreme Offerings one can make  (Read 7130 times)

DS Star

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 418
The 4 type of Supreme Offerings one can make
« on: April 18, 2012, 05:08:09 AM »
From Lamrim:

"Supreme offerings are the most sublime emanations of buddhas and bodhisattvas, which they produce through their bodhicitta and prayers."

Since the above offerings are rather far-fetched for ordinary practitioners, the Lamrim stated that we can make the following offerings:

1. Upholding the Dharma (Sutra Requested by Sagaramati);
2. Developing the wish for supreme enlightenment (Sutra Requested by Sagaramati);
3. Utilizing one's studies by putting them into practice (White Lotus of Compassion);
4. One's root virtue transformed into offering materials.


On the book, these may look simple but in reality I wonder how do we make such offerings???

Any ideas?


KhedrubGyatso

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 185
    • Email
Re: The 4 type of Supreme Offerings one can make
« Reply #1 on: April 23, 2012, 04:07:49 AM »
1. Upholding the Dharma  :
We live our life in accord with the dharma. One sincere way is to keep well whatever vows we have taken. For those who have taken refuge, this would mean refraining from the 10 non virtuous actions.

2. Developing the wish for supreme enlightenment :
Our motivation when we engage in our daily life's activities should be aimed at developing the bodhi mind - the mind of enlightenment for the sake of all living beings. We should live to serve others. This will help us purify all our negativities and accumulate vast merits . If we think  only of personal material gains  and benefits , then whatever good fortune we receive will all disappear at time of death.  We will have nothing to help us ensure good future lives or to realize our full potential to become enlightened.

3. Utilizing one's studies by putting them into practice:
We should go to dharma classes to acquire knowledge,  learn, contemplate and meditate on the subjects taught  with diligence. When we have some understanding we should apply them in our daily lives wherever we are at home, office, work or in a dharma centre. This is the actual practice since as lay people , we spend lots more time outside of dharma centres than the short period inside.

4. One's root virtue transformed into offering materials.
When our mind has transformed , when we have gained  results from our practice due to putting correct effort , such as having developed affection love for others, we can visualize or transform them as the material subtances we offer to  the Buddhas.


yontenjamyang

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 733
    • Email
Re: The 4 type of Supreme Offerings one can make
« Reply #2 on: April 23, 2012, 10:01:35 AM »
Well said. This is what we should do with our life. Also dedicating to Dharma work, practice, study and working for others. We gain merits with our work and transformation of our minds (by also dedicating it to our Guru as the the highest form of Guru Devotion). We generate superior intention with our wish for supreme enlightenment We live our lives upholding our vows; whatever vows we have taken. We put what we have learned into daily practice in whatever work we are doing regardless of whether it is worldly or spiritual; then everything becomes spiritual.

Then we these practices, we offer it as mental offerings transforming it to the offerings we make "vast as the clouds and wide as the oceans" during the for example the "Offerings" part of the Seven Limbs prayers.

Pause a little after reciting the Offering verse of Ganden Lhagyama and visualise that we transform the roots merits, Dharma practice, upholding the Dharma and our aspiration to become a Buddha into offerings of water, flowers, incense, light perfume, food, music and any thing that we like. Imagine these offering is vast as the clouds and wide as the oceans and offer it up to the Buddhas on the Guru Tree and Merit Field. Feel our miserliness dissolve and be happy with it. Rejoice.

We can also offer it while making offerings during any prayers or when doing our water offerings in the morning on our altar. Before meals we can do the food offering and imagine it to be "vast as the clouds and wide as the oceans" an offer it up.

I hope everyone will do this all the time.

triesa

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 609
Re: The 4 type of Supreme Offerings one can make
« Reply #3 on: April 24, 2012, 12:18:27 AM »
This is a great post. Thank you DS star!

Khedrub Gyatso and Yontenjamyay have both explained and illustrated very well of what the 4 types of supreme offerings are and how to make these offerings.

The esscense of making these supreme offerings to the three jewels is to transform our minds and hence actions that follows, and to collect vast amount of merits to support our spiritual growth and dharma works. 

As lay persons, which I suppose most of us are, the beauty is that we can do this every day and in everything we engage in samsara; and I think it is even more effective when we can apply and incorporate this practice every single moment of our lives. I find that as long as we hold the three jewels dear and close to our hearts, it is not at all difficult to make these 4 supreme offerings daily.

L

DS Star

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 418
Re: The 4 type of Supreme Offerings one can make
« Reply #4 on: April 24, 2012, 03:42:38 AM »
Thank you all for your kind input especially to Khedrub Gyatso who has explained each point very clearly.

I gather that the most important thing in making supreme offerings is for us to develop bodhicitta and the offerings of our practice.

Though inner offering is very important, we should not use this as an excuse not to do the physical offerings. Lamrim also mentioned the important of making Mandala offerings to develop realization. The great Atisha himself was said to have "made mandala offerings everyday at three times".

I have questions:

1. what is the meaning here "at three times"? Does it simply mean three times each day or is there a specific three different time slots each day?

2. are we allowed to do the mandala offerings without receiving initiation from our Guru?