Death Ceremonies/Rituals in Geluk Lineage?

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conebeckham
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Death Ceremonies/Rituals in Geluk Lineage?

Post by conebeckham » Tue Apr 10, 2018 4:55 pm

As someone familiar with Kagyu and Nyingma traditions, I am curious as to what rituals or practices Gelukpas perform for the dead.

In my tradition, it's common to do "Jangchoks" for guiding the deceased, and there are many....I've participated in ones related to NamCho Amitabha, Akshobya, the 35 Buddhas, KarLing Shitro, Sangtik DorSem (Vajrasattva), and others. My wife attended a 49 Day memorial last night that was officiated by Gelukpas, but she did not recognize any of the practices other than a few standard prayers.

What are the usual methods, if any, in these circumstances, for the Geluk community?
དམ་པའི་དོན་ནི་ཤེས་རབ་ཆེ་བ་དང་།
རྟོག་གེའི་ཡུལ་མིན་བླ་མའི་བྱིན་རླབས་དང་།
སྐལ་ལྡན་ལས་འཕྲོ་ཅན་གྱིས་རྟོགས་པ་སྟེ།
དེ་ནི་ཤེས་རབ་ལ་ནི་ལོ་རྟོག་སེལ།།


"Absolute Truth is not an object of analytical discourse or great discriminating wisdom,
It is realized through the blessing grace of the Guru and fortunate Karmic potential.
Like this, mistaken ideas of discriminating wisdom are clarified."
- (Kyabje Bokar Rinpoche, from his summary of "The Ocean of Definitive Meaning")

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Mantrik
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Re: Death Ceremonies/Rituals in Geluk Lineage?

Post by Mantrik » Tue Apr 10, 2018 6:32 pm

The FPMT publishes an Amitabha Phowa ritual.
I have also come across two Avalokiteshvara Phowa rituals (one for Dying the other for Deceased) for the transfer of consciousness. The process for the deceased differs from the ritual for oneself in that they are visualised with the deity above them etc. and there is a Vajradaka burning ritual within it to eradicate defilements and impurities removed from the person's consciousness.
http://www.khyung.com

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Lobsang Chojor
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Re: Death Ceremonies/Rituals in Geluk Lineage?

Post by Lobsang Chojor » Tue Apr 10, 2018 6:36 pm

At my sangha we normally do a medicine buddha puja, the 35 confessions practice, and Lama Chöpa.

I've had a look on Gompa Services to get an idea of the more extensive services which include Lama Chöpa, reciting the prajnaparamita sutras, Guhyasamāja self initiation, and various protector practices.

There are also different phowa rituals but I've never been present when one is practiced.
"Morality does not become pure unless darkness is dispelled by the light of wisdom"
  • Aryasura, Paramitasamasa 6.5
ༀ་ཨ་ར་པ་ཙ་ན་དྷཱི༔ Oṃ A Ra Pa Ca Na Dhīḥ

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conebeckham
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Re: Death Ceremonies/Rituals in Geluk Lineage?

Post by conebeckham » Tue Apr 10, 2018 7:12 pm

Lobsang Chojor wrote:
Tue Apr 10, 2018 6:36 pm
At my sangha we normally do a medicine buddha puja, the 35 confessions practice, and Lama Chöpa.

I've had a look on Gompa Services to get an idea of the more extensive services which include Lama Chöpa, reciting the prajnaparamita sutras, Guhyasamāja self initiation, and various protector practices.

There are also different phowa rituals but I've never been present when one is practiced.
Are these done at 7 day intervals, and/or on the 49th day after death for someone?

(Not the phowa, which I know is done right after death......the other rituals.)
དམ་པའི་དོན་ནི་ཤེས་རབ་ཆེ་བ་དང་།
རྟོག་གེའི་ཡུལ་མིན་བླ་མའི་བྱིན་རླབས་དང་།
སྐལ་ལྡན་ལས་འཕྲོ་ཅན་གྱིས་རྟོགས་པ་སྟེ།
དེ་ནི་ཤེས་རབ་ལ་ནི་ལོ་རྟོག་སེལ།།


"Absolute Truth is not an object of analytical discourse or great discriminating wisdom,
It is realized through the blessing grace of the Guru and fortunate Karmic potential.
Like this, mistaken ideas of discriminating wisdom are clarified."
- (Kyabje Bokar Rinpoche, from his summary of "The Ocean of Definitive Meaning")

Bristollad
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Re: Death Ceremonies/Rituals in Geluk Lineage?

Post by Bristollad » Tue Apr 10, 2018 7:49 pm

In my experience at Jamyang in London and at ILTk in Italy, it's most frequently Medicine Buddha puja and offering of 108 lights weekly. In London, the local Tibetans and Gurkhas would sometimes come to the centre to do this too.

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Lobsang Chojor
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Re: Death Ceremonies/Rituals in Geluk Lineage?

Post by Lobsang Chojor » Wed Apr 11, 2018 1:33 am

conebeckham wrote:
Tue Apr 10, 2018 7:12 pm
Are these done at 7 day intervals, and/or on the 49th day after death for someone?

(Not the phowa, which I know is done right after death......the other rituals.)
I'm my experience they were weekly, although some did them daily as part of their practice.

As Bristollad said the offering of 108 lights occurs weekly, I in fact forgot I took part in one of these ceremonies.
"Morality does not become pure unless darkness is dispelled by the light of wisdom"
  • Aryasura, Paramitasamasa 6.5
ༀ་ཨ་ར་པ་ཙ་ན་དྷཱི༔ Oṃ A Ra Pa Ca Na Dhīḥ

udawa
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Re: Death Ceremonies/Rituals in Geluk Lineage?

Post by udawa » Wed Apr 11, 2018 9:49 am

Glenn Mullins's excellent little book of translations relating to death and dying (I think the current edition is titled Living in the Face of Death) includes a ritual for the dying person based on Yamantaka and his 100 syllable mantra.

He says that he witnessed this ritual being performed on several occasions in Dharamsala and that it was one of the most popular practices used in Geluk circles.
Edwards: You are a philosopher. Dr Johnson: I have tried too in my time to be a philosopher; but, I don't know how, cheerfulness was always breaking in.

jmlee369
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Re: Death Ceremonies/Rituals in Geluk Lineage?

Post by jmlee369 » Sat Apr 14, 2018 1:01 am

conebeckham wrote:
Tue Apr 10, 2018 4:55 pm
As someone familiar with Kagyu and Nyingma traditions, I am curious as to what rituals or practices Gelukpas perform for the dead.

In my tradition, it's common to do "Jangchoks" for guiding the deceased, and there are many....I've participated in ones related to NamCho Amitabha, Akshobya, the 35 Buddhas, KarLing Shitro, Sangtik DorSem (Vajrasattva), and others. My wife attended a 49 Day memorial last night that was officiated by Gelukpas, but she did not recognize any of the practices other than a few standard prayers.

What are the usual methods, if any, in these circumstances, for the Geluk community?
It really depends on the lama. A common practice across the board would be the collection known as Eight Prayers (monlam namgye). The eight prayers are:
1) The Extraordinary Aspiration of the Practice of Samantabhadra, the King of Prayers
2) The Aspiration Prayer of Maitreya (from the Ratnakuta Sutra)
3) The dediation chapter of Bodhisattvacaryavatara by Shantideva
4) Prayer for the Beginning, Middle, and End by Je Tsongkhapa
5) Prayer to be Reborn in Sukhavati by Je Tsongkhapa
6) Until Buddhahood by Je Tsongkhapa
7) Prayer for a Statue of Maitreya by Gendun Drub
8) Prayer for Spontaneous Bliss by Gendun Gyatso

The 35 Buddhas Confession is often recited along with the above eight prayers. The Courageous Hero Gaining Liberation by Overcoming the Fears of the Hazardous Passage of the Intermediate State by Panchen Losang Chogyan is another prayer recited for the deceased.

Other common practices for the 49 day period are Medicine Buddha puja of whatever length, Lama Chopa tsog, and many recitations of the King of Prayers.

What is called jangchok in other traditions is known as jangwa by Gelugpas. The most common deities for jangwa are Yamantaka and Medicine Buddha, though different lamas can have their own affinity for a certain yidam. Jangwa begins by summoning the deceased into the corpse or paper with the name (or photograph these days), and incorporates the following purification practices: Vajradaka practice of burning black sesame seeds, recitation of mantras to empower sand that is cast on the deceased, washing with the ablution water, recitation of auspicious verses, and offering of prostrations. Then the consciousness of the deceased is tranferred by phowa and the name/photograph is burnt.

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