Water Bowl Offerings

Water Bowl Offerings

Date of Advice:
October 2016
Date Posted:
January 2017

Rinpoche wrote this letter to students in Mongolia who make extensive water bowl offerings every day.

My most dear, most kind, most precious, wish-fulfilling ones,
I don’t have much to say, but when we make offerings, I always remember in particular the offerings you are making in Mongolia—upstairs two rooms and downstairs also.

I just want to say numberless thanks to all of you for making the offerings. Every day you are making offerings and dedicating your life, so that is for all sentient beings to be free from the oceans of suffering of the six realms and for them to achieve full enlightenment. And also for the happiness of all sentient beings; where this happiness comes from is the teachings of Buddha. Also dedicate for the teachings to last a long time and dedicate for His Holiness the Dalai Lama and all holy beings, for all of them to live long.

Also, it’s important to dedicate for FPMT Mongolia to be highly beneficial for sentient beings, and for all sentient beings to have perfect peace and happiness, by generating loving kindness and compassion in the hearts of all sentient beings in this world and especially everyone in Mongolia.

By offering to the buddhas [with bodhicitta] it is more beneficial than if you make [extensive] offerings, as many as atoms in this universe. If you offer even one water bowl, one flower or one light, one Christmas light, with bodhicitta, then with every single offering—every single water bowl, light or flower—you collect more than skies of merit.

The great bodhisattva [Shantideva] said in A Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life:

Even the mere thought to benefit somebody is greater and more excellent than making offerings to all the buddhas. So to actually attempt to benefit somebody, then no question.

Since you are starting your day with the motivation to benefit numberless sentient beings then the benefit is much greater and you collect skies of merit from each and every light, water bowl and flower offering. This means, for example, offering universes filled with water and so forth to the buddhas, or offering even the seven different kinds of jewels, diamonds, gold and so forth to the buddhas. So here this means even having the thought to benefit just one person, your mother, and also to benefit numberless sentient beings.

So please generate strongly the bodhicitta motivation before offering. It is unbelievable, unbelievable, unbelievable. This is just mentioning the motivation, so then when you actually do the offerings for sentient beings, then wow, wow, wow! No question. Hope to see you soon.

With much love and prayers...