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“How can you make your life beneficial for your most kind, precious mother sentient beings, especially the pretas, and receive all happiness of the three times, including liberation from samsara and the great liberation – peerless, full enlightenment?” asks Lama Zopa Rinpoche in his advice on making offerings to the pretas.
“Pretas suffer heavily from hunger and thirst, not finding even a drop of water or a spoonful of food for hundreds of thousands of eons. They suffer from incredible exhaustion, disappointment, heat, and cold. In particular, pretas experience three types of obscuration: outer, inner, and food obscuration. The Yeshe Karda (Transcendental Wisdom Star-Arrow) practice enables every single preta to receive drink.
“If we go to the beach, how can we make our life most beneficial? If we do this practice when we go into the water, all the stones, lakes, and swimming pools are blessed. This is one way to make our life most beneficial for all sentient beings, here, in particular, for the pretas.
“Take some water from the ocean or swimming pool, put it in a container, visualize the deity Yeshe Karda above the water or container, and visualize nectar flowing from the deity into the water in the container. Then, recite the heart mantra of Yeshe Karda seven times:
“OM JNANA AVALOKITE SAMANTA PARANA RAMI BAWA SAMAYA MAHA MANI DURU DURU HRIH DAYA JALANI SOHA
“Then, pour the water back into the ocean or swimming pool. Again, take water from the ocean or swimming pool, visualize the deity and the nectar flowing into the water, then again recite the mantra seven times. Hold the bottom of the container with your left hand, and the top of the container with your right hand. This should be done seven times, each time reciting the mantra seven times.
“Each time you pour out the water, visualize and say the following prayers:
“‘This ocean of water appears as nectar to all the pretas that the omniscient mind sees. All the pretas see it as an ocean of milk, they drink it and are fully satisfied. It liberates them from all sufferings, including the specific sufferings of the pretas, causes of delusion, karma, and defilements. These are all purified and they actualize the whole path to enlightenment.’
“Visualize every preta becoming Chenrezig.
“When you say this prayer, all the oceans appear as actual nectar to the pretas. The more detailed benefits of this practice are that all pretas will find devas’ food and drink. This is divine food in the form of nectar.
“Also, all the other beings, including animals and insects living in the water or who drink the water, are purified and achieve a higher rebirth. They will go onto the path of a happy transmigrating being. Therefore, the benefits of this practice are not limited to only the pretas. The benefits are vast.
“By receiving the blessing of this mantra, each preta receives as much food or drink as it needs, is fully satisfied, purified, and will be reborn in a higher realm. Whoever drinks this water has all their negative karma purified and will obtain a good rebirth in the higher realms.”
Read more advice from Rinpoche on offerings practices on “Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s Online Advice Book” on the Lama Yeshe Wisdom Archive.
More information, photos and updates about FPMT spiritual director Lama Zopa Rinpoche can be found on Rinpoche’s homepage. If you’d like to receive news of Lama Zopa Rinpoche via email, sign up to Lama Zopa Rinpoche News.
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About Mandala Publications
Mandala Publications is the official publication of the Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition (FPMT), an international charitable organization founded by two Tibetan Buddhist masters, Lama Thubten Yeshe (1935-1984) and Lama Thubten Zopa Rinpoche. FPMT is a vibrant international community, with a network of 160 affiliate centers, projects and services, and members in more than 30 countries.
Mandala print magazine is published in January, April, July and October. Mandala is available via the Friends of FPMT program.