Best location for naga puja

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Dorje Shedrub
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Best location for naga puja

Post by Dorje Shedrub » Sun Oct 21, 2018 10:04 pm

What type of location is best for naga puja, eg. running water, waterfall, deep water, secluded area?

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Re: Best location for naga puja

Post by pemachophel » Sun Oct 21, 2018 11:23 pm

I know your question was "best" and I'm not sure there's an answer to that. While most people associate Nagas primarly with water, Nagas and their associated spirits, such as Tsen, Nyen, Sadag, etc. "live" in all five elements. Maybe the answer is where you think/feel it needs to be done.

Here're some lines from the Naga Amendment of Breaches in the gZung 'Dus (Compendium of Dharanis) petitioning Nagas in watery places but other places as well:

May the Nagas and Devas Who live on the far mountain and to the right be purified.
May the Nagas and Devas Who live on the near mountain and to the left be purified.
May the Nagas and Devas Who live in falling water be purified.
May the Nagas and Devas Who live in solid rock be purified.
May the Nagas and Devas Who live in the wavering wind be purified.
May the Nagas and Devas Who live in the stable sky be purified.
May the Nagas and Devas Who live in all the mountains be purified.
May the Nagas and Devas Who live in all the oceans be purified.
May the Nagas and Devas Who live in all the best countries be purified.
May the Nagas and Devas Who live in all spring waters be purified.

(IMO, "best countries" doesn't mean country in the sense of the USA or Mexico, but might be more connotatively translated as all good places or nice areas.
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Re: Best location for naga puja

Post by Dorje Shedrub » Mon Oct 22, 2018 12:02 am

I recently moved in with my sister and family. There is a creek (named after a famous local native American chief) that winds through town and also a river. There is also an underground lake where we get our city water.

My sister killed a snake that appeared at our front steps shortly after I moved in. I have been concerned about this that it may have offended the nagas. Though there is enough pollution, I'm not sure any nagas would be living in the water (at least not white nagas).

So, nagas have various preferences of what type of environment they prefer e.g. falling water, rock, etc?

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Re: Best location for naga puja

Post by pemachophel » Mon Oct 22, 2018 4:48 pm

If you're worried about having offended the local Nagas, then say the Naga Amendment of Breaches while burning sang each lu-theb day you can. Do this for a while and see what you think. Because the Naga Amendment of Breaches comes from the sutras, it is not so important to have received the lung, although that would, IMO, make it even more effective.

Yes, Nagas live in other places besides water, although Nagas do seem to have a special affinity for water. For instance, if there's a big, old, commanding tree nowhere near water, that can be the abode of a Naga.

BTW, my apologies. The quote I attributed to the Naga Amendment of Breaches actually comes from Guru Rinpoche's popular Naga Sang. But here's several actual quotes from the Naga Amendment of Breaches on various places Nagas may dwell:

In the Saha world of Jambuvipa,
Within oceans, great rivers,
Streams, lakes, and marshes,
Mountains, hills, earth, and rocks,
Wind, fire, and the sky,
And all the other elements are the places where all the Nagas live, such as
Nanda and Upananda,
Ananda and Vasuki,
Ananta and Shankhapala,
Samrridha and Viraja.

And again:

Further, [You who] abide in the snow mountains [and] are white,
[You who] abide in slate [and] are blue,
[You who] abide in forests [and] are black,
[You who] abide in swampy pools [and] are white,
[You who] abide in springs [and] are golden,
Skinny, emaciated Nagas, [You who abide in] measuring cups, fletchings,
Paper,
Tree branches,
Slate mountains,
River banks,
Mountain slopes,
[And] rocky grounds,
We beseech and pray to You who abide in all these places with specific characteristics.

And again:

In [Your] palaces [and] places of residence,
In grassy meadows,
In the crystal snow swirls,
To the King of Nagas and [Your] retinue,
We and the sponsors and their retinues
Confess and apologize for any harm whatsoever.

Good luck & best wishes
Pema Chophel པདྨ་ཆོས་འཕེལ

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Re: Best location for naga puja

Post by javier.espinoza.t » Mon Oct 22, 2018 7:58 pm

pemachophel wrote:
Mon Oct 22, 2018 4:48 pm
If you're worried about having offended the local Nagas, then say the Naga Amendment of Breaches while burning sang each lu-theb day you can. Do this for a while and see what you think. Because the Naga Amendment of Breaches comes from the sutras, it is not so important to have received the lung, although that would, IMO, make it even more effective.

Yes, Nagas live in other places besides water, although Nagas do seem to have a special affinity for water. For instance, if there's a big, old, commanding tree nowhere near water, that can be the abode of a Naga.

BTW, my apologies. The quote I attributed to the Naga Amendment of Breaches actually comes from Guru Rinpoche's popular Naga Sang. But here's several actual quotes from the Naga Amendment of Breaches on various places Nagas may dwell:

In the Saha world of Jambuvipa,
Within oceans, great rivers,
Streams, lakes, and marshes,
Mountains, hills, earth, and rocks,
Wind, fire, and the sky,
And all the other elements are the places where all the Nagas live, such as
Nanda and Upananda,
Ananda and Vasuki,
Ananta and Shankhapala,
Samrridha and Viraja.

And again:

Further, [You who] abide in the snow mountains [and] are white,
[You who] abide in slate [and] are blue,
[You who] abide in forests [and] are black,
[You who] abide in swampy pools [and] are white,
[You who] abide in springs [and] are golden,
Skinny, emaciated Nagas, [You who abide in] measuring cups, fletchings,
Paper,
Tree branches,
Slate mountains,
River banks,
Mountain slopes,
[And] rocky grounds,
We beseech and pray to You who abide in all these places with specific characteristics.

And again:

In [Your] palaces [and] places of residence,
In grassy meadows,
In the crystal snow swirls,
To the King of Nagas and [Your] retinue,
We and the sponsors and their retinues
Confess and apologize for any harm whatsoever.

Good luck & best wishes
I i may ask, ¿is this black refering to colour or predisposition toward humans, or another reference?

I like a lot to learn this things
"Don't profess a view you haven't realized!
Since the view is devoid of viewing, mind essence is an expanse of great emptiness.
Since the meditation is without meditating, leave your individual experience free from fixation.
Since the conduct is without acting, it is unfabricated naturalness.
Since the fruition is without abandoning or achieving, it is the dharmakaya of great bliss.
These four sentences are words from my heart:
Contradict them and you fail to discover the nature of Ati Yoga."


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From "Advice from the Lotus-Born".

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Re: Best location for naga puja

Post by pemachophel » Mon Oct 22, 2018 9:23 pm

No, this is not a reference to bad Nagas. Nagas come in many different colors and castes, even the good ones.

Again from Guru Rinpoche's well-known Naga sang:

May the surrounding classes of Nagas be purified.
May the assembled hosts of white Nagas be purified.
May the assembled hosts of blue Nagas be purified.
May the assembled hosts of brown Nagas be purified.
May the assembled hosts of yellow Nagas be purified.
May the assembled hosts of green Nagas be purified.
May the assembled hosts of multi-colored Nagas be purified.
May the assembled hosts of red Nagas be purified.
May the assembled hosts of black Nagas be purified.
May the hosts of the white raja caste Nagas be purified.
May the hosts of yellow kshatriya caste Nagas be purified.
May the hosts of black Brahmin caste Nagas be purified.
May the hosts of green shudra caste Nagas be purified.
May the hosts of black outcaste Nagas be purified.
Pema Chophel པདྨ་ཆོས་འཕེལ

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Re: Best location for naga puja

Post by javier.espinoza.t » Mon Oct 22, 2018 11:51 pm

pemachophel wrote:
Mon Oct 22, 2018 9:23 pm
No, this is not a reference to bad Nagas. Nagas come in many different colors and castes, even the good ones.

Again from Guru Rinpoche's well-known Naga sang:

May the surrounding classes of Nagas be purified.
May the assembled hosts of white Nagas be purified.
May the assembled hosts of blue Nagas be purified.
May the assembled hosts of brown Nagas be purified.
May the assembled hosts of yellow Nagas be purified.
May the assembled hosts of green Nagas be purified.
May the assembled hosts of multi-colored Nagas be purified.
May the assembled hosts of red Nagas be purified.
May the assembled hosts of black Nagas be purified.
May the hosts of the white raja caste Nagas be purified.
May the hosts of yellow kshatriya caste Nagas be purified.
May the hosts of black Brahmin caste Nagas be purified.
May the hosts of green shudra caste Nagas be purified.
May the hosts of black outcaste Nagas be purified.
Oh, i see; thank you very much :namaste:
"Don't profess a view you haven't realized!
Since the view is devoid of viewing, mind essence is an expanse of great emptiness.
Since the meditation is without meditating, leave your individual experience free from fixation.
Since the conduct is without acting, it is unfabricated naturalness.
Since the fruition is without abandoning or achieving, it is the dharmakaya of great bliss.
These four sentences are words from my heart:
Contradict them and you fail to discover the nature of Ati Yoga."


Guru Padmasambhava.
From "Advice from the Lotus-Born".

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Re: Best location for naga puja

Post by Pema Rigdzin » Sat Nov 17, 2018 8:40 pm

What exactly is the relationship between nagas and snakes? Are all snakes considered a kind of naga, or are they just similar enough that nagas would feel offended like, "if you'd harm that being that's kinda like me, you'd harm me, too"?

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Re: Best location for naga puja

Post by Malcolm » Sat Nov 17, 2018 10:09 pm

Pema Rigdzin wrote:
Sat Nov 17, 2018 8:40 pm
What exactly is the relationship between nagas and snakes? Are all snakes considered a kind of naga, or are they just similar enough that nagas would feel offended like, "if you'd harm that being that's kinda like me, you'd harm me, too"?
Snakes (sarpa) are not nāgas.

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Re: Best location for naga puja

Post by pemachophel » Sat Nov 17, 2018 10:52 pm

Pema,

Although Nagas in Buddhism are considered a kind of animal, Nagas have some magic power (at least from the human POV), and they may take many forms (again from the human POV. Who knows how they see themselves?). However, they are especially closely associated with amphibians (frogs, toads, salamanders, etc.) and reptiles (snakes and turtles). I have read stories in the Tibetan Buddhist literature of yogis meeting Nagas in the forms of snakes and frogs, and sometimes amphibians and reptiles are referred to as "Naga friends." Other times Nagas may be seen as having human torsos and snake bottoms. Namkha Drimed revealed a sol-ka for Migon Karpo with human torso, a snake bottom, and a hood of 1,000 snakes. This was based on His personal vision. Sometimes they are seen as dragons. Sometimes they can be seen in fully human form. When Lama Dawa Chodrak saw the Nagini Protectress of the Mississippi River, she was in human form with four arms and riding an alligator. Similarly, Namkha Drimed Rinpoche wrote a sol-ka for Migon Karpo's Nagini princess daughter, Shankapali, totally in human form except for a hood of seven snakes. This was also based on His personal vision.

IME, I think how one sees a Naga depends either on 1) the Naga's choice of appearance or 2) on the clarity of vision of the yogi. What I means by this latter is that Namkha Drimed Rinpoche and Lama Dawa, highly advanced Tulkus, may see a Naga like Migon Karpo or the Protectress of the Mississippi described above. I on the other hand, due to my greater obscuration, might see Migon Karpo as a tiger salamander or a the Protectress of the Mississippi as a catfish. IOW, I don't think we can determine an "objective" form for Nagas. There are probably a number of causes and conditions of how and even if we, as humans, see them.

As for whether injuring a snake is a cause for angering the Nagas, in the Amendment of Breaches mentioned in posts above above, it does list injuring snakes as such a cause. But it also lists killing tadpoles as well. From the Amendment of Breaches:

"Ensnaring swans, the Naga bird, in traps and so forth,
Taking many frogs and tadpoles out onto dry land,
Striking scorpions,
Cutting the wastes of snakes,
Gouging out the stomachs of fish,
Shearing the limbs of frogs,
Destroying the palaces of Nagas,
Digging canals into natural flows,
Damming valleys into reservoirs,
Obliterating healthy springs –
Every single harm against Nagas ever committed – I openly admit and apologize for. "

In China, there is a story about Sun Si-miao, a very famous Tang dynasty Daoist yogi and doctor with strong ties to Buddhism as well. One day he came across a sick or injured young snake. Sun had compassion for the snake and healed him. The snake's "father" was the dragon king who lived in the mountains behind Sun's hermitage. In gratitude, the dragon king appeared out of a crack in the back of the doctor's cave dwelling and gave him many "secret" medical teachings. (I have been to this cave and you can still see the crack.)

Anyway, the Nagas are asleep till December 8 this year.

Sorry if I've rambled a bit.
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Re: Best location for naga puja

Post by pemachophel » Sat Nov 17, 2018 10:57 pm

BTW, injuring a snake may anger the Nagas, but in our day and age, I believe fracking is a much bigger problem -- at least where I live in Colorado.
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Re: Best location for naga puja

Post by Pema Rigdzin » Sat Nov 17, 2018 11:33 pm

Bob, another question for you and Malcolm (and anyone else with the knowledge): If one has done something in one’s life to anger the nagas, though hasn’t been actively doing any such things, does it typically take repeatedly doing naga puja/apology over successive naga puja days to resolve things, or is it typically enough to do it in a heartfelt and mindful way once while avoiding further infractions?

And Bob, I appreciate your rambling. :). Being that there’s limited time for my lamas to spend time with those of us who don’t live near their main center, out of necessity they’ve always focused on the essentials; as such, I’ve been taught much about how to practice sadhana and Dzogchen, but many of these more auxiliary but very beneficial aspects of the path I’m learning piecemeal over the years, so I appreciate these kinds of explanations.

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Re: Best location for naga puja

Post by Mantrik » Sun Nov 18, 2018 11:32 am

Pema Rigdzin wrote:
Sat Nov 17, 2018 11:33 pm
Bob, another question for you and Malcolm (and anyone else with the knowledge): If one has done something in one’s life to anger the nagas, though hasn’t been actively doing any such things, does it typically take repeatedly doing naga puja/apology over successive naga puja days to resolve things, or is it typically enough to do it in a heartfelt and mindful way once while avoiding further infractions?
Excellent question. Given that it is done on an appropriate day and in the right way, I have never seen that the Nagas require repeated apologies for specific acts.

I've personally brought to mind all those things which I and others have done which may have caused them offence since the last time I performed a Naga Puja, but not carried on beyond that ritual.

However, in the actual ritual, the approach to the Nagas is after self-generation, so the practice is not by us in our mundane form, and I have assumed it encompasses everything which has been negative to them in our practice environment.

ChNN teaches that in the ritual we confess and purify our errors and resolve all the problems we have created re the Nagas.
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Re: Best location for naga puja

Post by Dorje Shedrub » Sun Nov 18, 2018 5:06 pm

Damming valleys into reservoirs,
There must be angry nagas in my area because we have two reservoirs in my county - unless the nagas now enjoy the lakes. One town had to be moved as its location is now under water.

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Re: Best location for naga puja

Post by pemachophel » Sun Nov 18, 2018 5:37 pm

Pema-la,

I've read Mantrik's response and I respect his POV and experience. My training and experience and, therefore, my POV are perhaps a bit different. In my experience, a Lama with "sight" might tell you you need to do Naga puja, sang, or amendment due to having committed this or that breach. Frequently this will be in response to having asked about some problem in one's life. In that case, such a Lama will commonly tell you how many times to do the practice, e.g., once, the number of times of your years of age, 100, times, etc. This could also depend on the practice itself and it's length and/or complexity. A short, concise practice may take many repetitions by a single practitioner, whereas a longer, more complex puja with a number of practitioners may only need one go. Also, a practitioner with lots of power with mantra in general and/or lots of power with Nagas in particular may take less repetitions than someone without those qualifications, not to mention Realization. Similarly in such a case, the Lama may also be able to check and see if that practice has had the right result either through direct perception or some method of divination. Or they might tell you what the signs of successful accomplishment are, e.g., dreams, signs in waking life, etc. and that you should persist in the practice until you get that/those results. For instance, if one is doing Naga puja in order to dig a successful well, hitting water would be an obvious a sign that one has accomplished the right result. Conversely, getting a dry hole would be an indication one needed to keep doing the puja.

I recognize that having access to this kind of Lama is not so common outside the Himalayas/Tibet/Mongolia. We're talking about a Lama with some "common" or "ordinary" siddhi (in addition to whatever supreme siddhi They have), such as Namkha Drimed Rinpoche or Lama Dawa Chodrak. This is the Bodhisatvic benefit of such ordinary siddhi. One can all-the-more skillfully help sentient beings with very specific instructions and feedback. These ordinary siddhi are usually developed by practicing the lay-jor or activities sections of certain sadhanas after havjng successfully done the approach and accomplishment.

Sorry yet again to ramble.
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Re: Best location for naga puja

Post by pemachophel » Sun Nov 18, 2018 5:44 pm

Just a story about Nagas and dams: Once I went with Sangyum Kamala (Chatral Sangay Dorje Rinpoche's Sangyum) to do Naga puja. She said it would be best to go up into the mountains near the source of the local river/creek. We eventually came to a beautiful reservoir with a nice park, a majestic view, and convenient fire pits which I thought my be a good place to do the puja. However, the Sangyum said definitely no since this reservoir was made by an artificial dam. So we had to go up even higher on dirt roads until we couldn't drive any further. I suspect if the Sangyum had been able to hike, She might've wanted to go even higher yet.

In any case, She didn't say that this reservoir had angered the Nagas, but She definitely didn't think it was a good place to do Naga puja.
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Re: Best location for naga puja

Post by Pema Rigdzin » Sun Nov 18, 2018 7:04 pm

Thanks again for sharing, guys!

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