Mandala Offering

Bold numbers and indented or italicized text are for instruction, not for recitation during the offering.
  • Take some grain in your left hand and hold the mandala base. Take grain with your right hand and put it on the base. Wipe clockwise three times with your forearm, tipping the grain away from you. Visualize that you are purifying incorrect motivation.
  • Take grain and put it on the base again. Wipe anti-clockwise three times with your forearm, tipping the grain toward yourself. Visualize that you are receiving great blessings from the merit field to open your mind to offer the mandala from your heart.
  • Spread some grain over the base to symbolize the golden ground with precious jewels.
OM vajra ground AH HUM, mighty golden ground.
  • Place the first ring on the base. Take more grain and sprinkle it around the inside of the ring. This symbolizes blessing the iron fence that encircles the universe.
OM vajra fence AH HUM, the iron fence around the edge,
In the center is 1 Mount Meru, the king of mountains,
in the east the continent 2 Lupapo

  • East is toward you if the aim is receiving blessing power from the merit field. East is away from you if your aim is accumulating merit.
in the south 3 Dzambuling
in the west 4 Balangcho
in the north 5 Draminyan.

In the east are the sub-continents 6 Lu and 7 Lupag
in the south 8 Ngayab and 9 Ngayabzhan
in the west 10 Yodan and 11 Lamchog dro
in the north 12 Draminyan and 13 Draminyan Gyida.

Here are 14 the precious mountain
15 the wish-granting tree
16 the wish-fulfilling cow
17 the unploughed harvest.

  • Place the second ring on top of the grain-filled first ring. Visualize placing the eight precious objects belonging to a wheel-turning king who rules the four continents.
Here are 18 the precious wheel
19 the precious jewel
20 the precious queen
21 the precious minister
22 the precious elephant
23 the precious horse
24 the precious general
25 the great treasure vase.

  • Continue on the inner area of the second ring. These eight symbolize the eight goddesses carrying eight different types of offerings:
Here are 26 the goddess of beauty
27 the goddess of garlands
28 the goddess of songs
29 the goddess of dance
30 the goddess of flowers
31 the goddess of incense
32 the goddess of light
33 the goddess of perfume.

  • Place the third ring on the grain-filled second ring. Place the grains to your left and right for the sun and moon. Place the banner of victory toward you to receive blessing power from the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. If there is an obstacle, place the parasol toward you to symbolize receiving protecting power from the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas.
Here are 34 the sun
35 the moon
36 the precious parasol
37 the banner of victory in all directions.

  • Place 38 the mandala top in the middle to symbolize the offerings of Samantabhadra.
In the center are the most perfect riches of gods and humans, with nothing missing, pure and delightful.

To my glorious, holy and most kind root guru, the lineage gurus and in particular to the great Lama Tzong Khapa, Buddha who is the king of sages, Vajradhara, and the entire assembly of deities, I offer these as a Buddha-field.

Please accept them with compassion, for the sake of migrating beings. Having accepted them, please bestow on me and on mother sentient beings abiding as far as the limits of space your inspiration with loving compassion.

  • Visualize an enormous tree on the top of Mount Meru with many branches spreading throughout space. On each branch is Bodhisattva Samantabhadra, creating from his concentration innumerable priceless offerings to the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. Transform the universe you have just created into a pure universe.
  • Hold the mandala at your heart and offer it. Recite the mantra:
idam guru ratna mandala kam nirya tayami
  • Having made your request, tip the grain toward you, thinking that you are receiving their blessings. Visualize that from their hearts emanate brilliant white light and nectar which enter through your crown chakra, completely filling your body and mind and purifying all obstacles formed by negative karmas and delusions that hinder us from gaining realizations.
  • The merit field dissolves into Buddha Shakyamuni, who is inseparable from your root guru. Buddha Shakyamuni comes above your head. At his heart, visualize a moon disk surrounded by the syllables of his mantra: om muni muni mahamuniye soha. (Recite this 100 times.) Outside this mantra is the mantra of Lama Tzong Khapa, which represents the mantra of your own guru: om ah guru vajradhara sumati kiti siddhe hum hum. (Recite 100 times.)
  • Perform your meditation practice then dissolve the merit field. At your heart is an open lotus, Guru Shakyamuni descends through your crown chakra and sits inside the lotus. Think that he becomes inseparable from your mind.
Instructions are from Awakening the Mind of Enlightenment by Geshe Namgyal Wangchen
Wisdom Publications, Boston, 1987, pages 61-69.

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