Offering for the DeadThe principal guests of this offering are known as Spirits, those beings who have died suddenly, committed suicide or have been killed or died from illness or natural causes, and are wandering in the intermediate bardo state. At this time they are not in a form to take concrete food, thus they are constantly in search of smells, their only source of nourishment. This sur is therefore an offering of smells, prepared from a mixture of toasted barley flour and butter, and burned in a clay pot. This offering to the spirits relieves their hunger temporarily and also relieves one's karmic debts to them. It is said that one may experience distress and bad circumstances due to the suffering of the bardo beings around one. Because of one's karmic indebtedness to these beings, one is sensitive to their suffering, so the performance of this ritual is said to help both oneself and others. Traditionally in Tibet, when someone dies their family members perform this ritual after sunset 49 days, with the hope to help the deceased while in the intermediate state. This is also for people who have died long ago, whether reborn or not.
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Offering for the DeadVisualizing oneself in the form of Avalokitesvara, light emanates from the heart inviting the respected guests (the Guru and Three Jewels) the guest of wholesome qualities (Dharma Protectors) the guests of compassion (the living beings of the six realms) and the guests to whom we are karmically indebted. The guests sit on their desired seats.
Everything becomes empty. Out of emptiness from the syllable BHRUM comes a vast precious vessel, huge and spacious, inside of which the three syllables OM AH HUM dissolve into light and transform into an excellent aroma having the five desirable qualities, filling the whole space and ground.
OM AH HUM
PADYAM, PUSHPE, DHUPE ALOKE, GANDHE, NAIVIDYE, SHABTA, PRATITSA SVAHA
I prostrate to the Bhagava Tathagata, the Victorious Many
I offer and dedicate this excellent aroma, this undefiled offering of the sur, endowed with the five desired qualities, to the Gurus, Meditational Deities, Three Jewels, Dakini, and Protectors to the Joyous One, King of the Spirits and to the whole assembly of spirits, to all the other living beings of the six realms of life, to the assembly of the country and local gods, to those who seek with a grudge to revenge, to those to whom we are karmically indebted, and especially to those who between yesterday and today have been killed or committed suicide or have died, having abandoned the previous life form and not yet having found the next life form. To those bardo beings, whoever are there I offer and dedicate this offering
All the guests are satisfied with the rain of this wish-fulfilling offering and thereby all one's obstacles are pacified, bringing about long life, free from illness, and increase of wealth, obtaining the power to bring all the three worlds under one's control.
Please fulfill all the purposes according to my own wishes May all the sentient beings in the bardo state be free from all types of fears and sufferings. May they be able to remember the instructions of the Gurus and be able to take rebirth in Sukhavati by having repaid all debts, may all beings be endowed with happiness, may all the country and local spirits never forget to give their assistance and support. At the time when I depart from this life may I be free from all types of suffering and pains and take rebirth in the pure land of Buddha and thereby be able to give benefit and happiness to all living beings as soon as the appearance of the bardo comes may I be guided by the eight Bodhisattvas of the Buddhas who show the correct path. May I take rebirth in Sukhavati and with my own manifestations, may the beings of the lower migrations be liberated without having to struggle or to harm others may everyone enjoy perfect freedom as soon as I meet the next life may I take miraculous birth from the corolla of the lotus flower in the pure land of Sukhavati.
Colophon: If one performs this sur it temporarily clears all obstacles, both religious and temporal and ultimately leads to the attainment of the four bodies of the Buddha
Written by Panchen Losang Chokyi Gyalsten
Copyright 1994 Daka's Buddhist Astrology, All Rights Reserved