Practices › Tsok
Courtesy of Himalayan Art Resources
Lotsawa House presents the following texts related to the practice of tsok (tshogs) or feast-gathering (Skt. gaṇacakra):
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.
- Music to Adorn the Illusory Display: A Concise Explanation of the Nature of the Feast Offering by Jamgön Kongtrul Lodrö Thaye
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).
- Sweet Droplets of the Honey of Accomplishment: A Concise Explanation of the Indispensable Points of the Feast-Gathering by Tsele Natsok Rangdrol
- Bestowing the Glory of Wisdom: A Gaṇacakra Feast for Nyingtik Saldrön by Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö
- A Glorious Garland of the Two Accomplishments: An Abridged Feast-Offering for the Female Practice of the Ḍākinī by Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo
- The Brief Tsok Feast Offering Prayer from 'The Profound Path of the Ḍākinīs' Heart Drop' by Dudjom Rinpoche
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 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.
- Confession and Fulfilment Insert for Accumulating the Practice of Turning Back the Summons of the Ḍākinīs by Jigme Lingpa
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.
- Excellent Vase of Splendour: The Tsok Feast Offering to Accompany the Vajra Seven-Line Prayer by Mipham Rinpoche
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).
A short remainder torma offering (lhag gtor) liturgy composed at the request of Sakya Dakchen Rinpoche (1929–2016) as an addition to the feast offering (tshogs mchod) for Mipham Rinpoche's famous Seven-Line Prayer Guru Yoga.
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.
- Harmonious Clouds of Sublime and Lasting Bliss: A Vajra Song for the Tsok Feast Offering to Venerable and Exalted Vajrayoginī by Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo
- Song and Dance to Delight the Ḍākas and Ḍākinīs: An Aspiration for the Sixfold Satisfaction of the Maṇḍala of the Feast-Gathering by Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo
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.