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электронный журнал "Новые исследования Тувы"

Tibetan lamas will construct a sand mandala in Tuva

Tibetan lamas will construct a sand mandala in TuvaA group of 20 monks arrived in Kyzyl from Tibetan Gyudmed monastery, which was founded 600 years ago. The will carry out a cycle of tantric ceremonies here.

It is the largest group of monks of the Yellow religion visiting Tuva. The Dalai-Lama blessed this trip. Two ritual ceremonies will be included in the program on his recommendation: ritual of Goddess Tara and  reading of the names of the Buddha Shakyamuni. In his opinion, they will specifically help the development and flowering of  Republic Tuva.

Beside these ceremonies, the clergymen will perform  for the first time in Kyzyl a great ritual of removal of obstacles Torgyak (puja of the Leonine Dakini), a two-day ceremony of self-initiation of Yamantaka, the Fire Puja and other masses, and they will construct and destroy a sand mandala.

The most spectacular of those - ritual Torgyak - is performed to prevent natural cataclysms, interference of spirits, and invasions of foreign enemy armies. The name "enemy", which is often encountered in Buddhist tantric texts, first of all, means ignorance, including the enemies' own ignorance, which causes them to act in harmful ways).

Getting ready to perform the ritual, the ritual master  wises to destroy ignorance in his enemies, and not the enemies as such. He is led  only by compassion, and not just to those who are being harmed, but to those causing the harm as well.  He can clearly see that harmful spirits and other evil powers cause harm only from ignorance and as a final result cause harm to themselves as well, accumulating bad karma.

A special ritual weapon (torma) is made ready for Torgyak, which is thrown into the fire at the culmination of the ritual. The ritual master requests the enlightened deities to forgive him for throwing the torma, emphasizing that he is not aiming at them but at the obstructive harmful spirits. He asks the deities to vacate the roadway, if they live on Earth, and to lift their feet if they live higher up. The monks then leave in a single procession to the place where the ritual torma is to be burned. They have to keep silence and to remain in deep concentration, just like if they were going to a field of battle.

Before he throws the torma into the fire, the master turns away and visualizes himself and all the living creatures inside a defensive dome of fire, which protects them all from danger.

The ritual torma is then thrown into a straw tent, which is then set on fire. Just as the fire envelops the straw tent, the monks should immediately scatter and leave. It is strictly forbidden o look back; they should feel like the victors in  a great fight, leaving the field of the battle.

The monks of Gyudmed are well known in the Buddhist world by the mastery of the performance of  ritual ceremonies of removal of obstacles, consecration of temples and newly erected statues. They are precisely the ones who every two years consecrate the personal rooms and temple locations of the Dalai-Lama. Great prayer drums have been set up on the central squares of Kyzyl and Elista on the initiative, and the  Gyudmed monks together with Tuvan Buddhists have  constructed a 120-meter stone mandala on the slope of Mt. Dogee. And this visit of the monks will culminate in a great ritual on Mt. Dogee.

Great rituals will also be performed in the sports hall of the  5th Anniversary of Soviet Tuva.

Albert Khomushku, translated by Heda Jindrak
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