Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Fire & Water Offerings For Obstacles Removal

A Tantric Buddhist sent me this message:


“I had been practicing Vajrakilaya for many years, why didn’t my luck change for better?”


Another sister-in-dharma asked:


“I had experienced 3 abortions during my younger times… now I am pregnant again and jobless… is there a method to pay my karmic debt?




To answer the first question, I would have guessed that this brother-in-dharma is only a casual practitioner. By casual I mean one attends an empowerment session and a short sadhana is given for the person to learn at his/her own pace.


Normally a casual practitioner would not have the opportunity to have a complete picture of tantric practices as those of the inner disciples.


As for the second question, ‘abortion’ is categorized as ‘killing a living being’ and the karma is pretty bad. Once is already too many, and this sister-in-dharma had done 3 times!


Traditionally, a tantric practitioner would have twice as many problems as the sutrayana practitioner. The reason is that tantric rituals seek to transform a practitioner’s karma while other just abides to karma flow. When one is tempering with his/her karma, his/her debtors during his/her past lives will interfere in fear that their debts cannot be collected once a tantric practitioner has achieved accomplishment.


There are many offering rituals to alleviate one’s karma and to remove obstacles; two types are of most common: fire and water offerings.


Method I: Simplified Avalokitesvara Sur Offering


First, one should prepare a small quantity of dried food such as biscuits, milk powder, flour etc that can produce smoke. Then one can use a piece of red hot charcoal, or when self-ignition charcoal can also be used. After lighting the charcoal, then some dried food is put onto the charcoal and smoke shall arise. When smoke is seen, then the below sadhana should be recited:


Refuge and bodhicitta:


I seek refuge to the 3 gems: the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha.

I shall seek refuge until the day I attain enlightenment.




Immediately I transform into Avalokitesvara.


Purification and consecration of food offering:


With RAM, the fire burns off defilement,

With YAM, the wind disperses off obstacles,

With KHAM, all ordinary sins are purified.


With OM, a container of the food is formed,

With AH, exhaustless clouds of all desirable objects arise,

With HUM, everything transforms into wisdom substances.


Offering of foods to 4 classes of guests:


The smoke offering turns into clouds of pleasure objects.

All these are offered to the refuge field and protectors,

And all those who are making obstacles and harming us;

May all be delighted and satisfied.

May we perfect the two accumulations,

May we remove any obstacles.

And enjoy the splendour of happiness and enlightenment.


Recite mantra:




Method II: Water Offerings


First, one should prepare 7 bowls of similar colour and shape and an oil lamp or candle. The lamp/candle should be placed between the 4th and 5th bowl. After filling all of the bowls with water in the morning, below prayer should be recited:



This pool of nectar endowed with 8 qualities is offered to gurus, satyadevata, devas, dakini and protectors. May they accept this offering so that all sentient beings and I may perfect the accumulations and purify defilements.




All of the bowls should be emptied before one goes to bed at night.


May all be auspicious.


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