Tibetan Buddhists believe that a Buddha statue is only an empty shell until after it is filled and consecrated by a qualified guru. As a result of the Buddha statue consecration, it will be aesthetically pleasing but it will also bring you blessings when you see it. These are the great blessings of the enlightened body, enlightened speech and the enlightened mind.
“Giving Life to the Buddha”
- Body – filling and consecration enlightens the statue body and it is no longer an empty shell.
- Speech – the mantras put inside the statue provide enlightened speech.
- Mind – the enlightened speech will transform the mind of the practitioner with positive energy.
Filling the Buddha Statue
Nepali Buddha statues contain an opening at the bottom of the statue. Therefore, it is possible to fill them with the required materials for the consecration. After the filling materials are properly inserted, the statue base is resealed. As a result, the guru can perform the consecration and the items that sustain the life of the Buddha remain securely inside.
First, the qualified guru will choose the specific filling materials which will be used for the Buddha statue consecration. Next, he will have his assistant (typically a lower level guru) properly insert the items into the statue. For example, certain items are put in the crown and near the heart. Additionally, larger statues require more materials and can take longer to fill properly.
Typically, the required filling materials consist of rolled mantras, fragrant wood, incense powders, and the five metals (gold, silver, brass, iron and copper).
Discretionary items can be inserted into the statue. This would include soils from a sacred place e.g. soil from Lumbini or Bodh Gaya. Additionally, the “prasad or jhilap” is a small edible pill which devotees believe contains the blessings of the Buddha. This sacred pill can be inserted into the statue or it can be consumed by devotees during the ceremony. Occasionally, the guru will also insert a small piece of coral stone.
Buddha Statue Consecration Ceremony
Usually the Buddha statue blessing will take about 10-15 minutes. Therefore, we will try to obtain a HD video of your consecration. However, this depends on the preferred procedure of the guru preforming the ritual. As a result, it is not always possible to get the video.
During the ceremony the guru will continuously recite the deity’s mantra. Additionally, the guru concludes the ceremony by using other ritual tools such as the ghanta and the vajra. The ghanta (bell) symbolizes the feminine attribute of wisdom and the vajra represents the masculine attribute of skillful means or compassion. As a result of joining the attributes of wisdom and compassion, the statue has been imbued with the Buddha nature.
Consecrations for Buddha Statues, Thangkas and Ritual Items
Our Nepali Gurus are happy to perform Buddha statue consecration and filling for our customers. It is also possible to have thangka paintings and ritual items consecrated.
Although the Buddha statues are a bit more intensive, thangkas and ritual items are relatively easy. This is because Buddha statues require filling in addition to the blessing. However, thangkas will have a mantra properly painted onto the back. On the other hand, Tibetan ritual items only require the blessing.
Please note that the cost for the consecration service is exclusive from the cost of the filling materials. Additionally, the service fee is a discretionary contribution to the monastery. Therefore, it is not a set price. The payment procedure can vary depending on the monastery.
Buddha Statue Consecrations in Nepal
Please contact me to arrange for consecration services in Nepal and I can adjust your payment link to include the monastery contribution. Additionally, I will include the cost of filling materials.
The base cost for filling materials is S$90 for statues under 10″ in height and S$120 for statues over 10″ in height. The cost for consecration is discretionary and I will adjust the amount in the payment link per your specifications.