Author Topic: Substances  (Read 11190 times)

DharmaDefender

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 988
Substances
« on: March 18, 2011, 05:42:44 PM »
Not sure where this goes, if its here or on the other side...

Commitment, fulfillment, reliance and appropriate substances - what are they?

Thanks in advance.

G

Roberto

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 75
Re: Substances
« Reply #1 on: March 23, 2011, 10:39:15 PM »
******    Bump     ******

Possibly a question for the admin?

Big Uncle

  • Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1995
Re: Substances
« Reply #2 on: March 24, 2011, 04:13:15 AM »
Isn't that related to the Commitment offerings of beer, tea, yoghurt, milk and oats(tsampa/barley flour). I also think that our Dharma practice is visualized as a sort of fulfillment offering as well. I am just guessing here. Anybody of authority can confirm or correct this?

Damian.D

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 46
Re: Substances
« Reply #3 on: June 04, 2011, 02:10:53 PM »
I understand that we make offerings to collect merits, but why yogurt, oats, milk, tea, beer?

Whats the significance of such offerings? Its said that they were difficult to come by in the past thats why they were so special. To a non buddhist it may just look like voodoo or black magic.

Positive Change

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1008
Re: Substances
« Reply #4 on: June 11, 2011, 06:16:08 PM »
Quote
I understand that we make offerings to collect merits, but why yogurt, oats, milk, tea, beer?

Whats the significance of such offerings? Its said that they were difficult to come by in the past thats why they were so special. To a non buddhist it may just look like voodoo or black magic.

Why indeed does one use these substances and what is the significance of this? In my limited knowledge these i know signify the 5 commitment offerings but what I do not understand is if offerings come from the heart (or the mind - as in visualization) so to speak, why can't we just offer whatever we deem special instead? I have been told we can 'substitute' these offerings with water and visualize it as the specific offerings. Would certainly be helpful if someone could give an insight into this.

triesa

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 609
Re: Substances
« Reply #5 on: June 20, 2011, 09:19:00 AM »
Quote
I understand that we make offerings to collect merits, but why yogurt, oats, milk, tea, beer?

Whats the significance of such offerings? Its said that they were difficult to come by in the past thats why they were so special. To a non buddhist it may just look like voodoo or black magic.

Why indeed does one use these substances and what is the significance of this? In my limited knowledge these i know signify the 5 commitment offerings but what I do not understand is if offerings come from the heart (or the mind - as in visualization) so to speak, why can't we just offer whatever we deem special instead? I have been told we can 'substitute' these offerings with water and visualize it as the specific offerings. Would certainly be helpful if someone could give an insight into this.

Yoghurt, oats, milk, tea and beer are considered rare, precious and hard to obtain items in Tibet. I would reckon that by offering something so rare and precious to the three jewels, it hows how much one values the dharma.  Since the offering traditions originate from Tibet, so the use of these subtances as offerings are more of a cultural influence than otherwise, in my opinion.

In the event and for whetever reasons, that one cannot get these committment substances as offerings, I believe we can substitute these with water and visualize it as the specific oferings.






Positive Change

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1008
Re: Substances
« Reply #6 on: June 21, 2011, 06:28:12 AM »
Quote
I understand that we make offerings to collect merits, but why yogurt, oats, milk, tea, beer?

Whats the significance of such offerings? Its said that they were difficult to come by in the past thats why they were so special. To a non buddhist it may just look like voodoo or black magic.

Why indeed does one use these substances and what is the significance of this? In my limited knowledge these i know signify the 5 commitment offerings but what I do not understand is if offerings come from the heart (or the mind - as in visualization) so to speak, why can't we just offer whatever we deem special instead? I have been told we can 'substitute' these offerings with water and visualize it as the specific offerings. Would certainly be helpful if someone could give an insight into this.

Yoghurt, oats, milk, tea and beer are considered rare, precious and hard to obtain items in Tibet. I would reckon that by offering something so rare and precious to the three jewels, it hows how much one values the dharma.  Since the offering traditions originate from Tibet, so the use of these subtances as offerings are more of a cultural influence than otherwise, in my opinion.

In the event and for whetever reasons, that one cannot get these committment substances as offerings, I believe we can substitute these with water and visualize it as the specific oferings.


Thank you triesa... On that same token I assume one can also use the mind to visualise almost anything in one's practice. Which brings us to the meditative aspect of higher practices in the tantras I would assume. It is incredible to have the opportunity and privilege to be in the same room as a highly attained lama and hear this spiritual guide emote and describe in detail visualizations of deities in great detail and the iconography that each nuance/gesture, implements and visage or the deities. No word comes close to describing the feeling of how awe inspiring that can be. Surely we should all strive to achieve that state of clarity and preciseness that will guide us out of our sufferings....

Jessie Fong

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 690
Re: Substances
« Reply #7 on: June 21, 2011, 03:02:17 PM »
Yes I believe substituting these 5 commitment offerings with water should not be a problem though, but we must try to always obtain the correct offerings.  This way, we make sure that we would have done our best to procure them and only when we are unable to, do we substitute and visualize.

fruven

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 659
Re: Substances
« Reply #8 on: October 10, 2012, 05:36:00 AM »
Yoghurt, oats, milk, tea and beer can be bought easily from shops in these day and age. Since it is easily available it is more important to do this offering because there is no excuse of having difficulty of getting them as opposed to living in Tibet, or rural areas. Something which is easily done should be done because the merits gained is based on our motivation. The motivation is determining factor of gaining merits or karma. For beginner it is an easy and doable practice. It helps us to practice generosity daily in front of enlightened beings.  :)

buddhalovely

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 341
    • Email
Re: Substances
« Reply #9 on: November 12, 2012, 09:46:35 AM »
A very ancient rejection of substance and essence altogether, or their equivalents in Indian philosophy, began in Buddhism. Since the approach of Buddhism to the world is to break attachments, so that one does not suffer because of relationships to things, a simple way to do that is to say, in effect, that there are no things. If nothing is substantial or has any essence, this will do that job. What we get instead are the doctrines of "momentariness," "no self nature," and "relative existence." If everything exists only momentarily, then nothing is durable, and we lose that characteristic of substances. If there is no self nature, then there is nothing in things that makes them what they are, and we lose the existence of essences. If things only exist relative to other things, then (1) nothing exists independently and we lose that characteristic of substance, and (2) nothing has its own character, so we lose that characteristic of essence. So what is actually there? Well, what we see is the "form" of things, the external appearance. Since there is no self nature and things only have relative existence, what are things in themselves when we take away everything else? Well, Emptiness. This is not nothingness (a major heresy), but neither existence nor non-existence nor both nor neither. In other words, we can't say or comprehend what is there. Later, in Mahâyâna Budddhism, we get the doctrine of the Heart Sutra that "Emptiness is Form, and Form is Emptiness."

psylotripitaka

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 616
Re: Substances
« Reply #10 on: January 27, 2013, 11:07:23 AM »
"Commitment, fulfilling, reliance, and appropriate substances..."

Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso Rinpoche gave a beautiful explanation of this line in 1995, unfortunately it is in transcript form, so I will share the essential points. It is actually very simple. He says that although generally there are specific depictions of these substances, it is not necessary to offer these. For example, I have several different pictures of thangkas of these substances for Palden Lhamo and Yakya Chamsing in which you see things such as  flowers of the five (the skullcup with eyes, tongue, ears etc), swarms of crows and bears and jackals, bloody rivers and oceans, bone palaces, the mount/clothing/and implements of the Protector....basically all the types of extensive offerings mentioned in the fulfilling section of Kangso. Rinpoche explains that we can offer everything - all worlds and enjoyments - seen as pure.

A 'commitment substance' is an offering we make to signify the fulfillment of our commitments.

A 'fulfilling substance' is an offering we make to restore our broken commitments.

A 'reliance substance' is an offering we make to signify our devotion.

An offering of 'appropriate substances' is an offering for special auspiciousness.

Rinpoche says these offerings are very important. You can see that it is simply a matter of mentally designating what our offerings signify. I find this way of breaking up the offerings very special because there are different functions and they each have there own specific effects on us. In a way it is very similar to the section in Lama Chopa of 'offering our spiritual practice' in the aspect broad 1000-petalled lotuses, scents and so forth.

Also, a very precious Yogi explained to me that it is much more powerful when we personalize our offerings, offering things that we really enjoy a great deal. When we get to the section of Kangso describing the elaborate substances like billowing clouds of smoke, strong hard armor and so forth, it is important this isn't just meaningless sound we're babbling but that we connect our intention of what these awesome things signify in terms of these 4 specific types of substances, and the more realistic the offerings are imagined the more powerful they will be. Hear the crows and fierce wild animals, smell the incense, hear the armor and swords and so on!

The most important thing I feel is to realize that we can be practicing 24/7. We need to proactively make special Dharma associations with what is appearing to us. Whenever we perceive or even think of living beings, that is an opportunity for us to increase the vibration of minds like universal love and great compassion. Whenever we enjoy beautiful objects of the senses we can be making these 4 types of substance offerings.

We should also understand that the meaning of the wrathful offerings is that because the holy beings experience everything as pure uncontaminated great bliss, we ourself are creating the cause to experience even the most intense realities as the nature of uncontaminated bliss. What a wonderful opportunity we have been given by the Gurus! Such kindness!

vajratruth

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 706
Re: Substances
« Reply #11 on: May 29, 2020, 02:54:41 PM »
I understand that we make offerings to collect merits, but why yogurt, oats, milk, tea, beer?

Whats the significance of such offerings? Its said that they were difficult to come by in the past thats why they were so special. To a non buddhist it may just look like voodoo or black magic.

Why would  anyone think of these items as having anything to do with voodoo?

Offering of the five Commitment Offerings - tea, milk, oats with a sliver of butter, yogurt and beer are simply symbolic of seeking the Protector's blessings to:

- enliven the senses towards dharma (tea);
- spiritual sustenance (milk);
- physical sustenance (oats/tsampa);
- calming damaging energies (yogurt);
- receive tantric attainments (beer).




Matibhadra

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1176
Re: Substances
« Reply #12 on: June 04, 2020, 04:15:53 AM »
[...] but why yogurt, oats, milk, tea, beer?
[...] To a non buddhist it may just look like voodoo or black magic.

A main characteristic of both voodoo and black magic is animal sacrifice, which is forbidden in Buddhism, but mandatory in Judaism, Islam, and Hinduism.

Christianity is even worse, as it is based on the human sacrifice of Jesus as a means to appease the bloodthirsty Jewish “god”.

Therefore, voodoo and black magic, with their animal sacrifices, are akin to Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, and even Christianity, but the very antithesis of Buddhism, whose very essence is non-violence.