Tsok Series

Practices › Tsok

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Detail from a thangka showing a tsok offering

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Lotsawa House presents the following texts related to the practice of tsok (tshogs) or feast-gathering (Skt. gaṇacakra):

Introduction

Explanation

This commentary by Adzom Gyalse Gyurme Dorje (1895–1969) presents a clear Nyingma perspective on the practice of gaṇacakra. The text does not refer to a particular sādhana, but offers a generic explanation that is remarkable for its clarity and detail.

Gönpo Tseten Rinpoche wrote this explanation of the significance of the Tenth Day (or Guru Rinpoche Day) of each lunar month for his American students, in California in 1981. He tells the life-story of Guru Rinpoche, highlights the significance of the tenth day, explains the practice of gaṇacakra, and outlines its benefits.

This description of gaṇacakra, preserved in The Treasury of Extensive Teachings (rgya chen bka’ mdzod), presents a clear Nyingma perspective on the practice of gaṇacakra. The text does not refer to any particular sādhana, but offers a generic explanation that is remarkable for its clarity and detail.

This short text by Sakya Paṇḍita (1182–1251) explains gaṇacakra practice from the Sakya perspective according to the traditions of the Hevajra and Cakrasamvara tantras. It is among the earliest Tibetan commentaries on the subject but was originally composed to clarify an even earlier work by Jetsün Drakpa Gyaltsen (1147–1216).

In this brief guide, Tsele Natsok Rangdrol explains the essence of the feast-gathering, its literal meaning and various types, as well as how to practise it, and the benefits to be gained.

Offering Liturgies

Prayers

As Dudjom Rinpoche explains in the colophon, he revealed this practice in 1936. He had fallen sick and his disciple Trulshik Pawo Dorje (1876–1962) performed a hundred feast offerings and fulfilment practices on his behalf. Early the next morning, Dudjom Rinpoche had a dream in which a woman spoke these words; he wrote them down, and the following day his illness disappeared completely.

This short Tārā feast-offering was composed for practitioners who wish to offer a simple gaṇacakra feast within a Tārā sādhana, such as the Zabtik Drolchok.

A simple feast-offering text for use in conjunction with sādhanas related to the magnetizing deity of the lotus family, Kurukullā.

This famous offering prayer composed by Jigme Lingpa includes lines related to every aspect of the gaṇacakra feast yet is short enough to be recited multiple times, such as when accumulating large numbers of feast offerings. In fact, some claim that the tradition of accumulating multiple feast offerings originated with this very prayer.

An addition to the standard practice of confession and fulfilment in Yumka Dechen Gyalmo, specifically for the purpose of accumulating gaṇacakra offerings as a means to turn back of the summons of the ḍākinīs (mkha' 'gro'i bsun zlog).

This famous food offering prayer is recited by practitioners in the Nyingma tradition before they consume the distributed offerings in a gaṇacakra feast, or even before each meal. The prayer reminds the practitioner that all foods are to be offered to the deities that reside within the body. In return for this offering, the deities bestow accomplishments (siddhi; dngos grub), and induce the experience of great bliss.

A brief gaṇacakra liturgy to be recited when accumulating tsok offering on a large scale.

The Excellent Vase of Splendour (dpal gyi bum bzang) is the tsok feast offering (tshogs mchod) to accompany the famous guru yoga based on the seven-line prayer, A Shower of Blessings (byin brlabs char 'bebs).

An extremely concise liturgy to accompany a gaṇacakra feast offering of sensory delights.

Remainder Offering

Songs

This famous vajra song (rdo rje’i glu), named after its initial syllables "ema kiri", appears in the Tantra of the Union of the Sun and Moon (nyi zla kha sbyor). It consists of a series of arranged syllables which a practitioner should intone melodiously. The individual syllables and their arrangement as a mantra are considered particularly sacred since they are said to have been revealed by the primordial buddha Samantabhadra.

One of several short songs for the gaṇacakra feast that Jamyang Khyentse composed, this one invokes Guru Padmasambhava and Yeshe Tsogyal.

This song for the gaṇacakra feast (tshogs glu) invoking Vajrayoginī and calling upon her to grant the experience of great bliss was composed at the request of Jamgön Jampa Phuntsok.

Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo composed this short aspiration prayer to be recited during the gaṇacakra. The prayer invokes the goal of the gaṇacakra, a six-fold satisfaction (tshim pa drug) of those assembled, i.e., the deities, teacher and vajra-brothers and sisters. Khyentse Wangpo dedicates one verse to each of these six satisfactions and concludes the prayer with an additional seventh verse of dedication.

Sacred song and dance are important elements of the gaṇacakra, and this song by Jigme Lingpa, which is now widely-known and recited, was composed specifically for the gaṇacakra feast. The song concludes with the aspiration that all those gathered together may attain the rainbow body as a result of the feast offering.

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