Sangha Updates

Annual Three-Day Sidok Raksha Tötreng Puja Event Roundup

January 21st, 2020—January 23rd, 2020

Raksha Tötreng is a wrathful manifestation of Guru Rinpoche, Padmasambhava. When Guru Rinpoche left Tibet, he manifested as the king of the cannibals (sri) called Raksha Tötreng. The benefit of practicing Raksha Tötreng repelling practice is to overcome our untimely death, when conditions cause us to die before our time. This practice removes the death-related obstacles.

You can read more about Raksha Tötreng in Samye Institute’s series on the 12 Manifestations of Guru Rinpoche.

At the conclusion of the three day puja, all the lamas, druplas, monks and nuns circumambulate the monastery. Then, they and a vast crowd of lay practitioners and spectators gather behind the monastery. Chanting and ritual music accompanies the ritual burning of a wrathful effigy made of barley flour cake (tsampa). The effigy represents all the obstacles and negative circumstances. The burning of the effigy is a time when all the participants make aspirations that all the obstacles for sentient beings be removed just as the effigy disappears in the flames. In addition, we make prayers for all beings to experience happiness, and to attain complete enlightenment. This ceremony is open to all. It is customary to offer a khata and a small donation to the ritual master to share in the merit of this practice.

Raksha Tötreng

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Suggested Reading

Dudjom Rinpoche, The Nyingma School of Tibetan Buddhism, trans. and ed. by Gyurme Dorje and Matthew Kapstein (Boston: Wisdom Publications, 1991), vol. 1, pages 468–474.

Ngawang Zangpo, Guru Rinpoche: His Life and Times, Ithaca: Snow Lion, 2002.

Nyoshul Khenpo, A Marvelous Garland of Rare Gems: Biographies of Masters of Awareness in the Dzogchen Lineage, trans. Richard Barron (Junction City: Padma Publishing, 2005), pages 41–48.

Padmasambhava, Legend of the Great Stupa, Berkeley: Dharma Publishing, 1973

Padmasambhava & Jamgön Kongtrul, The Light of Wisdom, trans. by Erik Pema Kunsang (Boudhanath: Rangjung Yeshe Publications, 1986-1999), pages 43-47 & Appendix 5.

Taranatha, The Life of Padmasambhava, Shang Shung Edizioni, 2005

Tulku Thondup, Masters of Meditation and Miracles, Shambhala, 1996.

Yeshe Tsogyal, Life and Liberation of Padmasambhava, translated by Kenneth Douglas and Gwendolyn Bays (Emeryville: Dharma Publishing, 1978, republished 2008).

Yeshe Tsogyal, Lotus Born: The Life Story of Padmasambhava, Rangjung Yeshe Publications, 2004.

‘The Life of Guru Padmasambhava’ in A Great Treasure of Blessings, The Tertön Sogyal Trust, 2004.