Author Topic: Black tormas?  (Read 8222 times)

DharmaDefender

  • Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 988
Black tormas?
« on: January 20, 2012, 11:17:16 AM »
Anyone seen this video on Shar Gadens Facebook page? Its extremely short but gives much hope - whatever the ban has resulted in, and however much the CTA has attempted to suppress us, its clear our rituals are alive and well in the monasteries today.

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=2778490674976&set=vb.1639429371&type=2&theater

The tormas are really nicely done too. I know red tormas are for wrathful deities like Yamantaka and whatnot, but black tormas? Whats the symbolism there?

psylotripitaka

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 616
Re: Black tormas?
« Reply #1 on: October 01, 2015, 07:53:20 PM »
Black tormas are used when the emphasis is on wrathful actions. This can be applied to other offerings as well such as during wrathful fire puja, or in general black sesame seeds, black penants, black cloth, and so on.

James Bond

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 79
Re: Black tormas?
« Reply #2 on: October 03, 2015, 04:06:51 AM »
I don't know whether i have the right answer to what black tormas are used for, but Ive read that they are used to wrathful intentions and wrathful prayers. This also does make sense to me as black does symbolise aggression and darkness. So black tormas representing wrathful intentions does make sense to me and i see it as logical.

grandmapele

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 647
Re: Black tormas?
« Reply #3 on: October 11, 2015, 10:00:43 AM »
So, when are red tormas used and when are black tormas used? Red tormas are for wrathful deities, does that mean they are offered at normal pujas to these deities? And, black tormas are offered at pujas when wrathful actions are required of these wrathful deities? Or, are black tormas only used in the fire pujas of these wrathful deities? Thank you in advance for the answers.

psylotripitaka

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 616
Re: Black tormas?
« Reply #4 on: October 11, 2015, 07:03:20 PM »
Grandmapele,

There are many different traditions of torma. Generally speaking, red tormas are typically used for Yidams, Protectors, and the retinues of both, while white are used as food offering torma in place of food items in peaceful outer offerings, as well as for local guardians and other places in certain rituals. As we can see from various sources: white, yellow, red, and black are used for the four actions being pacifying, increasing, controlling, and wrathful respectively. There is a special Ratna Shugden torma that is yellow. I've seen the tormas to Dorje Shugden 5 lineages being colored according to this. We can understand that if we were doing Protector practice with special emphasis on pacifying, that all the tormas could be white and so forth. Black tormas would be used for rituals emphasizing wrathful energy, so no, this is not exclusively for fire puja to wrathful deities.

That being said, if we make the typical tormas red and white, these are the basis of the offering. There is no reason why we can't visualize specific colored tormas being offered. Though we have traditional rituals and explanations, it has been both shown and explained by the Gurus throughout Buddhist history that these explanations are generally a skeleton and that spontaneity and a vivid imagination are important. Also, until we have strong experience of the three principal aspects and at least the generation stage, we should be quite careful about getting over-excited to offer wrathful black tormas, as if we're only doing it because it's raw and exotic. We shouldn't mistake our ill-motivated attraction to violence for being wrathful energy used with pure motivation. A clear distinction must be made. The combination of compassion and wisdom in action equals 'skillful means'. These must be the foundation of the four types of actions, especially wrathful.


kelly

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 142
Re: Black tormas?
« Reply #5 on: October 15, 2015, 08:33:13 AM »
Thank you for sharing this information , in general most of the time I only see white and red color torma, this is the first time I see black color torma.

grandmapele

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 647
Re: Black tormas?
« Reply #6 on: October 17, 2015, 08:32:33 AM »
Chokyi Dorje,
Thank you very much for the detailed explanation and guidance. It was very kind of you to share. And, yes, we have to be very careful of our motivation in making offerings especially offering tormas.

As we are unenlightened, we are unable to distinguish wrathful skill from anger. Hence, we more often than not apply anger. At the end of the day, we should just study the Three Principal Aspects of the Path and not be attracted to exotic offerings.

psylotripitaka

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 616
Re: Black tormas?
« Reply #7 on: October 17, 2015, 03:57:46 PM »
Grandmapele,

I believe it is important to offer things we find very attractive and exotic but with the right intention. Also, we need to have more confidence in our wisdom to discriminate the quality of our minds. As a father, I know the difference between being acting out of irritation and acting out of urgent concern for his safety. As a spiritual father, Marpa Lotsawa insulted Milarepa out of concern for his spiritual progress. We do not have to be enlightened or have divine pride to rely on the Protector with a wrathful puja. Please refer to the wonderful commentary by Tsem Rinpoche on Trakze, which even non-Buddhists can do to remove persistent obstacles. If, on the other hand we are enlightened or have good experience of the generation stage of a Yidam, such a puja will be that much more powerful. I also practice martial arts, and this has been a wonderful process for refining bodhichitta by distinguishing between intentions. Our ability to distinguish between minds now is what through refinement produces Buddhahood, so we should be careful not to always think we're incapable.

lotus1

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 557
Re: Black tormas?
« Reply #8 on: October 17, 2015, 10:38:44 PM »
Thank you Chokyl Dorje for the explanation and sharing.

Intention is important and we should always train our mind to have the right intention that is without the eight worldly concerns.
Even if our intention may not be 100% pure, when we conduct the wrathful puja towards a bad person, IMHO, the enlightened Protector such as Dorje Shugden will also blessed the person or give us the best results that will benefit us in the long run rather than harming the person.

grandmapele

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 647
Re: Black tormas?
« Reply #9 on: October 24, 2015, 09:18:25 AM »
Chokyi Dorje, thank you for the corrections. I stand corrected and will keep in mind your wise words to check my intentions and also not to think that I am incapable as that will create negative causes. _/|\_

christine V

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 380
    • Email
Re: Black tormas?
« Reply #10 on: October 25, 2015, 03:41:59 PM »
Thank you DharmaDefender for posting this interesting article on Torma. It got my attention on the various Torma shape, color and size.
Does anyone here know, who invented the torma? I wonder the history of the torma making. It is only Gelugpas have this traditional? How about Nigma and Kaygu or Sakya, do they have this traditional too?

psylotripitaka

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 616
Re: Black tormas?
« Reply #11 on: October 25, 2015, 05:27:02 PM »
Here's some general explanation of torma history.

Torma offerings were taught in the Vinaya Sutras and other Sutras, in Lojong teachings, and in the Tantras. Subsequently, various lineages developed and commentaries were composed by the Masters of all the traditions on their particular methods of torma making, the types of rituals that use torma offering, and the meanings of 'torma'.

Torma offering is one of the most important offerings we can make, so it is worthwhile to at least understand the meaning and uses of torma offerings and the various rituals for offering these. We can see from the history of the actual substances as well as the commentaries that in general the substances and shapes that are the basis of the torma are not as important as our intention, view, and act of offering. Any clean pure foods can be the basis. Nonetheless, there are various substances with different symbolic meanings according to the Tantras for example, but this does not mean we can't offer whatever pure substances we wish with faith, imagination, and correct view and intention.

christine V

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 380
    • Email
Re: Black tormas?
« Reply #12 on: October 26, 2015, 09:46:46 AM »
Thank you Chokyi Dorje for the brief explanation on tormas.

harrynephew

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 411
  • Love Shugden, Love all Lamas, Heal the World!
    • Email
Re: Black tormas?
« Reply #13 on: November 20, 2015, 07:36:17 AM »
These black tormas and setup from the link is from a Trakze or Karma Shugden fire puja. This particular ritual is seldom done in the monasteries unless for very urgent and dangerous situations. It is to subjugate a spirit or avert a very malicious being from harming a certain person or organization. As Karma Shugden is Dorje Shugden in his wrathful form, all offerings which are offered to him are associated with the colors dark blue or black which denotes the activity of wrath. It is very heartening that this tradition are still kept alive until today and very effective even for modern day individuals like u and I.

As far as i know, these tormas are not only colored black but also the substances mixed with the dough is not normal as well. There are certain pills and mantracised substances added into the tormas and coupled with the recitation of mantra, visualization of the deity and proper mudras, it will enact the protector to do the activity we need.
Harry Nephew

Love Shugden, Love all Lamas, Heal the World!