What to do with Tsa-tsas

What to do with Tsa-tsas

Date Posted:
April 2012

Rinpoche gave the following advice for people who have to make a large number of tsa-tsas. They don’t know what to do with the tsa-tsas if it’s not explained, and we must protect them.

Lama Zopa Rinpoche at Amitabha Buddhist Centre, Singapore, 2016. Photo: Bill Kane.

After finishing the tsa-tsas, you can offer them to people who are building a big stupa. You can give them the tsa-tsas to put in the stupa—either big or small stupas, however, very small stupas don’t have room for tsa-tsas. You can also put the tsa-tsas in rows around the walls in your house if possible, but not in the toilet and bathroom. There is  a very nice feeling of respect each time you look at the tsa-tsas because they are Buddha’s form, so this purifies the mind and there is a lot of benefit. Unbelievable!

It is said by Buddha, in the Sutra of the Mudra Developing the Power of Devotion,

If you look at a statue or painting of the Buddha, just in that moment you create far greater merit than making offering of 100 divine foods (nectar) and 100 divine dresses (the most precious and expensive dresses—all the human beings’ wealth is not enough to buy even one deva’s realm necklace) to solitary realizer arhats equaling the number of dust particles of the universe every day for 100 eons.

If we look at the form of Buddha, just for that moment—wow, wow, wow—we can’t imagine that much merit. So, if we have tsa-tsas in the room, we collect that much merit each time we look at them—more than making offerings to that many arhats. If we make offering of flowers and incense, etc, we create far greater merit than just seeing the painting or statue. So, it makes sense that if we offer many water bowls, this is unbelievable, unbelievable merit. Wow, wow, wow! Normally we think, “Oh, it’s just water.” We don’t realize how unbelievable the merit is. Wow, wow, wow! The bank rate goes up and down, but the merit always goes up and never goes down. There is no inflation and deflation, like with gold or the dollar.

Generally, if we want happiness, if we have faith in Buddha, Dharma and Sangha, then we have the opportunity to collect merit. Wow, wow, wow! If we don’t have faith in Buddha, Dharma and Sangha, but we have a  good heart then there is the possibility to create good karma. Otherwise we don't.

If someone has very bad luck and is born as a worm, a chicken or a pig, going around statues or stupas becomes the cause of enlightenment for them. But for worms this is difficult. Otherwise it’s difficult. Even if that person lives many years, all their actions become service for attachment to this life and their whole life is lived to create negative karma.

All these sentient beings become an unbelievable object of compassion for us. We can’t stand it even for one minute. Now they are insects and they are creating karma continually to be born in the lower realms.

It’s very important while we are human beings to not waste a minute, but to practice Dharma. And while others are human beings, it’s important to help them understand Dharma, because there is the opportunity to bring them to enlightenment. That’s why our centers are doing meditation courses again and again. You can see now why it is so important.

If you own a house and have space, you should put tsa-tsas there and also in other people’s houses. You can build a stupa outside and put tsa-tsas inside the base and around the stupa. Especially build the stupa outside the door, so many people can go around it. It’s not expensive and it’s very easy to do.

This is very good for cats and dogs and also flies and insects. Use two paper boxes to pick up the insects and then go around the stupa and tsa-tsas with them so they get purified. [Note: Rinpoche’s special animal liberation tools are available from Amitabha Buddhist Centre in Singapore or from the FPMT Foundation Store]. There is a mantra at the entrance of the box and Namgyalma mantra on top of the box that purifies them. Put the insects in the boxes and take them around the stupa. Wow, wow, wow!

Also you can give the tsa-tsas to centers for students to put on their altar, because getting holy objects is not easy and statues are very expensive. Especially paint the tsa-tsas gold, so they are nice, then people collect most amazing merit. Especially with bodhicitta, skies of merits are collected by making offerings and prostrations. We don’t create more merit because the statues are made of gold, but people can see how precious they are.