The Benefits of Offering Music such as Bells
If one offers the sweet sound of the bell, ting-shak (very small Tibetan cymbals), conch shell, and so forth, one will have a very sweet and enchanting voice, and a big voice. One will have a long life, no sickness, be born in a high rank or class, with a perfect, beautiful body, have great wealth, and be very powerful. One should make such offerings if one wishes for these results.
With your enchanting voice you will be able to attract many sentient beings—like world-famous singers—and bring them to enlightenment. If you offer any of these musical sounds to Buddha, it also becomes the cause to achieve Buddha’s perfect holy speech. Even if you offer music to Buddha without bodhicitta, and even if your attitude of offering music doesn’t become Dharma because it is stained by attachment clinging to this life, the thought of the eight worldly Dharmas, still it immediately becomes the cause to attain enlightenment, peerless happiness, and the highest success. And it also becomes the cause to achieve liberation from the whole entire suffering of samsara and total liberation from the oceans of samsaric suffering, including their causes—delusions and karma. It becomes the cause for the happiness of future lives, including good rebirths and so forth. One collects a vast amount of merit. Even one music offering to Buddha creates very powerful good karma, affecting even this life, bringing health, a long life, success in business, and fulfilling your wishes. It brings so much happiness in this life. The benefits explained here include also offering the sound of a gong or any kind of music that produces sound.
Regarding a bell offered to a stupa, especially containing the Stainless Beam Deity’s mantra, anybody in the area who hears the sound of the bell has any negative karma completely purified, including the five uninterrupted negative karmas (the five heinous deeds: killing one’s father, mother, or an arhat, maliciously drawing blood from a buddha, and causing a schism within the Sangha), which are extremely heavy. Also, the ten non-virtuous actions that are normally created in daily life are also purified. It’s incredibly powerful.
Offering a Bell to Prayer Wheels
Each time the bell makes a sound, you are offering it.
When you ring a gong at a Dharma center, for example, you don’t have to just ring it to assemble people. With each sound you can think you are making an offering of sound to the gurus, the Triple Gem in all ten directions, and the holy objects in all ten directions. This way, with each sound, you create so many causes for enlightenment, also so many causes for liberation and the happiness of future lives. Of course, this also affects this life—all your wishes for happiness are fulfilled, as well as being able to benefit others.
How to Make the Offering: Preparation: Motivation
Think: The purpose of my life is to free all sentient beings from suffering and lead them to enlightenment, therefore I must achieve enlightenment, and I am going to make the offering of sound.
Actual Body: Making the Offering
Think: I am going to offer sound to my root guru; all the buddhas, Dharma, and Sangha, who are my guru, in the ten directions; and all statues, stupas, and scriptures, who are my guru, in the ten directions.
Then one rings the bell.
While ringing the bell, think like this: The sentient beings in the six realms have heard the sound of Dharma. The sound of the bell means: “Phenomena are empty of existing from their own side.” They have all heard this teaching on emptiness, realized emptiness, and become liberated totally from the ocean of samsaric suffering and delusion and karma. With the support of bodhicitta, they have completed the path, their body has become the rupakaya, and their mind has become the Dharmakaya. You can visualize any deity that you wish. You can practice the meditation when you are ringing the bell but also you can dedicate as follows: “May the sound of the bell affect sentient beings in this way.”
Then, recite this mantra seven times:
OM PEMA USHNIKA BIMALE HUMG PHET
Then blow on the bell. Anybody who hears the sound of the bell, not just humans, but spirits and animals in the area, has the ten non-virtuous actions purified and even the five uninterrupted negative karmas purified. You should do the same with the gong or bell when you ring it to call people to meals or to sessions, so it becomes incredible purification for oneself and all sentient beings.
You create vast amounts of merit through the motivation of bodhicitta and offering to the gurus by thinking that each guru is countless buddhas, by offering to the buddhas in the ten directions, and by offering to the statues, stupas, and Sanghas in the ten directions.
Give all the merits of the past, present, future, and all the causes of enlightenment to all sentient beings, so they receive whatever they want, whatever they need, eliminate all the defilements, and become enlightened. Again, one has collected vast amounts of merit from this.
Then, dedicate this merit:
Due to all this merit, may whatever suffering sentient beings experience ripen upon me, and may whatever happiness I have ripen upon other sentient beings.
Due to the merits of the three times collected by me and all sentient beings, may the precious sublime thought of bodhicitta be generated in my mind and in the minds of all sentient beings, without the delay of even one second. Whatever bodhicitta has been generated may it never decline but increase more and more.
Due to all these merits, may all the father and mother sentient beings have all happiness, and may all the lower realms be empty forever. Wherever there are bodhisattvas, may all their prayers be accomplished immediately. May I cause all this by myself alone.
Due to all the merits of the three times accumulated by me and all sentient beings, which are completely empty of existing from their own side, may the “I,” which is completely empty of existing from its own side, quickly achieve the state of enlightenment, which is completely empty of existing from its own side, in order to lead all sentient beings, who are completely empty of existing from their own side, to that state, by myself alone, who is completely empty of existing from its own side.
Just as the brave Manjushri and Samantabhadra too
Realized things as they are
I too dedicate all these merits in the best way
That I may follow their perfect example
I dedicate all these roots of virtue
With the dedication praised as the best
By the victorious ones thus gone of the three times
So I might perform good works.
Multiplying Mantras to Increase the Merit 100,000 Times:
CHOM DEN DE DE ZHIN SHEG PA DRA CHOM PA YANG DAG PAR DZOG PAI SANG GYE NAM PAR NANG DZE O KYI GYAL PO LA CHAG TSAL LO (3 times)
JANG CHUB SEM PA SEM PA CHEN PO KUN TU ZANG PO LA CHAG TSAL LO (3 times)
TAYATHA OM PANCHA GRIYA AVA BODHANI SOHA
OM DHURU DHURU JAYA MUKHE SOHA (7 times)
CHOM DEN DE DE ZHIN SHEG PA DRA CHOM PA YANG DAG PAR DZOG PAI SANG GYE NGO WA DANG MON LAM THAM CHE RAB TU DU PE GYAL PO LA CHAG TSEL LO
Due to the power of the blessings of the eminent Buddha and bodhisattvas, the power of the infallible dependent arising, and the power of my pure special attitude, may all my pure prayers succeed immediately.
Please write this on a board by the bell:
“By the sound of the Great Dharma bell may sentient beings instantly be freed from their suffering.”