About Mandala Offering

Palyul Centers
Namdroling Retreat Center
The Nyingma School
The Palyul Lineage
Biography of Penor Rinpoche
Palyul Monastery
Namdroling Monastery
Ngagyur Nyingma Institute
Before you go
Mandala Offering

The Mandala offering that practitioners learn on the Ngöndro retreat with His Holiness Penor Rinpoche is a very skillful means of accumulating two types merit: ordinary merit and primordial wisdom merit. On retreat, explanations and actual practice help practitioners thoroughly understand the reasons the mandala offering accumulates merit, but here we hope to offer a simple explanation, drawn from teachings by Khenpo Tsewang Gyatso Rinpoche. Khen Rinpoche says:
We accumulate merit through the practice of mandala by cutting the root of attachment or desire. The actual practice of generosity is not having a stingy mind or a mind full of desire. When you give up all attachment to external material belongings, then that is generosity. When you have that kind of practice of generosity, then you have the accumulation of merit. If we give a little thing, we accumulate some merit. If we give more, we also accumulate merit. If we give a great, huge thing, we also accumulate merit. According to the quantity, we accumulate that much merit.

For the mandala practice, we visualize offering the whole universe to all the Buddhas and Bodhisatvas, the Dharma and the Sangha. All the wealth of the whole universe is symbolized by the rice held in your hand. You visualize the rice as every jewel and precious stone, all the wealth of the universe, and you offer it all the the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, the Dharma and the Sangha. When you really do it, when you really feel that you have made a great offering, then you accumulate lots of merit. It is a special technique. If you don't understand in a deeper way and just go through the motions of chanting and throwing rice, it is child's play. you need to understand everything you are doing. Only then can you accumulate merit.

Practitioners who wish to accomplish Ngöndro accumulations will perform 100,000 of the shorter Mandala offering prayer and utilize the Mandala offering plate. At the summer 1999 retreat, His Holiness Penor Rinpoche clarified the way he wishes his students to practice the Mandala. It is possible that other masters may instruct their students differently. We are providing the diagram developed from His Holiness' instructions here for the convenience of all who wish to carry through the practice.

Ngöndro | The Four Thoughts

Using an Adobe® Acrobat® Reader®, you can view the "Short Mandala Offering Prayer" and a diagram which illustrates the way in which His Holiness Penor Rinpoche want his students to accumulate the longer or "Thirty-seven Pile" mandala offering.

Click here to view the diagram of the thirty-seven pile and short Mandala Offering.
Click here for the short Mandala prayer.
Click the logo below to download the required plug-in, Adobe® Acrobat® Reader.

The offering of Mandala is explained by Patrul Rinpoche in Words of My Perfect Teacher, p. 283 - 295. Khenpo Tsewang Gyatso will be giving commentaries on this book beginning this summer! You can order a copy from Snow Lion (and thereby some of your purchase will go to the center) by clicking here.

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