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Nov 17
Friday
Sakyong and Family
Winter Pujas

The Sakyong to Perform Kurukulla and Vajrakilaya Pujas for Shambhala on December 9–10

by Walker Blaine

On December 9th and 10th, the Kongma Sakyong will perform two pujas, or intensive practices, for the benefit of Shambhala and the world. For this season’s pujas, he has again selected practices that members of the community have a relationship with: Kurukulla, a practice renowned for gathering wealth, beings, and energy to virtuous endeavors; and Vajrakilaya, one of the most powerful practices aimed at removing obstacles to dharmic activity. The specific emphasis of this year’s Kurukulla puja is to deepen the Shambhala community’s connection to Kurukulla and the energy of magnetism overall. The specific intent of the Vajrakilaya puja is to overcome the fear, anxiety, and hopelessness that many people feel at this time.

The Sakyong’s pujas are for the benefit of all beings. They are also opportunities to personally request the Sakyong to direct his practice toward assisting our households, loved ones, friends, centers, and activities. You may make a request here.

To expand the circle of kindness, the Sakyong requests that the Shambhala community practice with him during these pujas. Students who have received Kurukulla or Vajrakilaya can do those practices on the day of the puja with the intent of joining with the Sakyong’s activity. The entire community is asked to do the compassionate practice of tonglen, or “sending and taking,” during both pujas.  This can be done individually or in groups. There will be guided tonglen practice offered on Shambhala Online on December 9th and 10th.

Why A Puja? 

Throughout the year, the Sakyong receives many requests for blessings and bi-annual pujas are a powerful way he fulfills these requests. Pujas are also a traditional responsibility of lineage holders. They are occasions for the Sakyong to dedicate meditation toward situations in need of assistance, and to do specific practice for the royal family lineage of Shambhala. The Sakyong has performed these pujas for many years. This was initially unknown to the community at large, but now they are part of our relationship with the Sakyong over the course of each year.

If we wish, we can request the Sakyong to direct his practice to benefit ourselves, our loved ones, friends, centers, or activities. Although not required, people often make an offering to the teacher when requesting practice. This is part of what is called kor, the cycle of generosity between the teacher and those requesting help. It is a flow of energy and generosity, supplication and compassion, moving in many ways. Kor is a mirror of the power that our pure intention and kindness have to change the world.

When asking for ourselves or others to be included in a teacher’s practice, it is essential to share the name of the recipient of the practice. These names are read to the Sakyong during the puja. We can also include a short description of the situation surrounding the request, however the most important connection is the name of the recipient. The names and descriptions are burned at the conclusion of the practice. To include someone in the puja, you may submit their name in a practice request here. The Sakyong has expressed that he will send protection cords to those who have asked for specific practice.

More about the Pujas

The Kurukulla puja will occur on December 9th. Kurukulla is one of the main manifestations of feminine principle—enlightened wisdom enacting magnetism. Kurukulla practice is performed to bring beings to the dharma and also to draw mutually positive relationships, energy, and wealth to our household as well as to our spiritual and work endeavors. In Shambhala, Kurukulla is also invoked to draw inspired and interested beings to the tradition of warriorship.

December 10th is the Sakyong’s Vajrakilaya puja. Vajrakilaya is part of the tradition of wrathful compassion, practices that awaken the mind of ultimate fearlessness to overcome obstacles. Vajrakilaya was most famously accomplished by Padmasambhava at the Yang Le Shö cave in Nepal just before he arrived in Tibet. Padmasambhava’s practice was credited with ending both a drought and an epidemic. Vajrakilaya practice is generally done to overcome unseen obstacles, things that undermine the ability to engage positive activities or lead a virtuous life. The Sakyong has said that this puja will be used to reawaken and encourage the connection to primordial confidence and compassion.  This will be helpful at this time when many beings are feeling scared, discouraged, and worried.

Connecting with the Puja at Home and at your Shambhala Center

The Sakyong requests that those who want to connect with the Kurukulla puja offer red flowers on the shrine or in their home on the day of the practice. In addition, everyone is encouraged to recite the Jamgön Mipham the Great’s magnetizing supplication, Great Clouds of Blessings, seven or more times on this day.

For those who wish to connect with the Vajrakilaya puja, the Sakyong asks that people offer blue flowers on the shrine or in the home.  Those who wish to do so may also make a clean and elegant protector offering at the close of the day, including cookies or a torma with the tea.

Those who will practice Kurukulla or Vajrakilaya with the Sakyong on the days of the puja are requested to accumulate 1,000 or more recitations of the deities’ mantras in the atmosphere of devotion, and to gather or perform feasts at Shambhala Centers wherever possible.

For more information, please visit sakyonglineage.org.


A PDF of Great Clouds of Blessings in English may be downloaded at the Nalanda Translation Committee website where you will find other offerings as well. Liturgical copies of Great Clouds of Blessings may also be obtained from the Nalanda Translation Committee as part of the Collected Vajra Liturgies: Daily Chant Book or the New Chants Only collection.

The chant is also available in French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, and German.

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1 response to “ Winter Pujas ”
  1. Marien Jérôme
    Nov 28, 2017
    Reply

    Thank you, Mister Walker for your explanation of the Kurukulla and Vajrakilaya pujas.
    May this virtue of generosity bring peace to the world and to all sentient beings.
    With great respect and kindness.
    Jérôme
    France – Limoges


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