The Singapore Buddha Sasana Society (Sakya Tenphel Ling)

INTRODUCING AKSHOBHYA

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Akshobhya, Buddha (Tibetan: mi kyu pa, sang gye): a principal buddha within Vajrayana Buddhism residing in the eastern quarter of a mandala and a minor buddha within the sutra tradition of Mahayana Buddhism.

"Arising in the eastern direction is Akshobhya on an elephant, lotus and moon throne; with a body blue in colour the right hand is placed in the mudra of pressing down." (Dragpa Gyaltsen, 1147-1216).

Occupying a central role in Vajrayana Buddhism, Akshobhya, by some accounts, is Lord of the 2nd of the Five Buddha Families of tantra and found throughout all 4 tantra classifications most notably in the anuttarayoga class. Akshobhya is also mentioned in several Mahayana sutras, the Vimalakirti Nirdesa being the most famous. It was in
Abhirati, the pureland of Akshobhya, attainable only by 8th level bodhisattvas, where the famous Tibetan yogi Milarepa and the scholar Sakya Pandita are said to have obtained complete buddhahood.

Akshobhya, meaning unshakeable, is one of many Buddhas found in Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhism. He is described in the Mahayana Sutras of Northern Buddhism and in the Tantra literature. Although a relatively minor figure in the Sutras Akshobhya is of major importance in the Tantras occupying a central role in Vajrayana Buddhism at all levels. He is easily recognized in paintings by having a buddha-like form, blue body colour and the left hand supporting an upright vajra scepter. There are no other Buddhist figures that have this same iconographic appearance. Tantric depictions of Buddhas are commonly shown with jewel ornaments and a crown.

Extracted from www.himalayanart.org

Changchogs are rituals done for the benefits of a deceased.
It purifies the misdeeds of the deceased and liberates them to better existence.
:
Brief introduction of Procedures
  • Mitupa Dharje (Preparation): Blessing of Offerings.Taking Refuge, Bodhicitta, Emptiness Mantra etc)
  • Mitupa mandala: Creating the mandala- Celestial mansion and deity Mitupa (self creation)
  • Mitupa Bumba (Vase): Initiation and invoking and gathering of Deities into the victorious vase .
    Dissolve and blessed them into the nature of nectar for purification
    • This nectar are given to all including the Ritual master. Participating lamas and all lay participants.
    • Later during the Main Changchog ritual for the deceased, the blessed nectar will be given to all deceased ones through pouring it on the mirror purification.
  • Changchog Main Ritual
    • Charksum: Every Puja has Charksum where the mandala are covered and Lamas chant all the deities prayers including protectors etc, propitiating them with their mudras and requesting them to honour their pledges of bodhicitta to all beings especially the specific object of dedication that is the deceased, so as to free them from the suffering of lower rebirths. Dedicating Torma to all worldly deities so that they can assist to enhanced the dharma activities and to bring peace and happiness. Dedicating torma to all evil or negative beings so that they can be cast far away.
    • Changchog: Self initiation and initiation of the deceased :
      - Water purification: pour nectar water over the mirror to blessed and purify
      their act of giving, moral conduct etc the activities of the 6 perfections; the three poisons of ignorance, attachment and anger,
      the 4 elements
      - Smoke purification to remove sicknesses and obstacles - Sur Offering of 5 foods as:
      Mirror with vajra Ting sak
      Holy water
      Champa food
      Cloth
    • Prostration: Participation by all attendees with lama leading ( about from 4.30 – 5.00pm) Thus is done daily during the ritual
    • Purification of Deceased consciousness with Mingjang (Name purification paper) burning (about 5.30pm on the 26th January Sunday, the last day of the Changchog)
5. Mitupa Dharje (conclusion)
The Dorje Lobpon then show the deceased consciousness the way to the Pureland through chanting and bell ringing.
- Thanksgiving offering to the deities of the Mandala followed by praises and invocation of auspicious conditions conclude the ritual.