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Sang Pūjā – A Cleansing Smoke Offering Practice

Please take a few moments before you begin this teaching to settle yourself. Sit upright, yet naturally relaxed. Before listening to and/ or reading the teaching make aspirations such as: "I am extremely fortunate to have the opportunity to listen to the precious Dharma. I am doing this for the benefit of all sentient beings so that they may be free from suffering and attain complete awakening".

Sang Pūjā - smoke offering practiceSang pūjā is a profound Vajrayāna offering practice.The word Sang in Tibetan has the meaning of remove, take away; purified, cleared, cleansed and awakened. As such Sang pūjā is considered a purification practice and focuses on removing the impurities in the mindstream of the practitioners and all the ‘guests’ (see below). The physical ritual involves the burning of different woods, incense together and many other substances such as ground gemstones and brocades that are described in the practice texts.

Practitioners first invoke the ‘Four Guests’. We begin with the guests of veneration: the Three Jewels (Buddha, Dharma and Sangha) and the awakened manifestations of the Three Roots (Lama, Yidam and Dakini) and the guests of qualities of the Oath bound and wisdom protectors are invited.

Then the guests of compassion, the beings of the six realms and lastly the guests that have a connection of karmic debt. We should visualize that the entire sky above us is filled with all these invited guests,

Practitioners then visualize that from the fragrant smoke appear limitless offerings of every desirable object that pervade space. These objects can be anything that uniquely satisfies and cleanses the connection to each of these types of guests.

This practice has great power to perfect the accumulation of merit and wisdom and is thus much more than a simple offering of incense or smoke. This practice has been taught by Guru Rinpoche in the treasure teachings. On the occasion of the new year, It is performed in an extensive and colorful two-hour ceremony at Ka-Nying Shedrub Ling monastery to ensure auspiciousness for the coming year.

Additional Resources

Kyabgön Phakchok Rinpoche regularly reminds his students of the benefits of doing the sang pūjā as often as possible. We can do a short version of this practice on daily basis using the Concise Sang Practice (available from Lhasey Lotsawa)

As it is often difficult for practitioners to obtain the wide variety of materials needed for the practice, Akara, under the direction of Tsikey Chokling Rinpoche and Kyabgön Phakchok Rinpoche has developed sang offering cups that are in accord with the text instructions. This allows us to make the correct offerings at home in a very convenient manner. The Jewels of Auspiciousness is a sang offering incense combining all 108 ingredients as specified in the texts. These can be offered in the Vessel of Auspiciousness, a copper vessel for sang offering, specially designed by Phakchok Rinpoche.

Online Course

We also have an online practice support program available here. The course contains detailed explanations of the meaning and key points of practice. With video and audio materials to guide you through the Concise Sang Offering practice, as well as understanding the meaning and principles behind the practice. Detailed information on the offering substances used are also included.

The Concise Sang Offering: Practice Support Program

At the end of the teaching, please remember to dedicate the merit of receiving a Dharma teaching. As you go through your day, take a few moments from time to time to recall these instructions.

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February 3, 2016

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