To be considered a practicing Buddhist one must first take Refuge in the Three Jewels – Buddha, Dharma and Sangha. Once Refuge is taken either formally through a ritual or sincerely from the heart, there are both vows and commitments one should abide by to keep the Refuge strong. One such commitment is to offer the first part of anything we eat or drink to the Three Jewels. This is done so as to remember their kindness and the benefits gained from taking correct Refuge, whilst also being an offering to generate merit for our spiritual progress.
Traditionally within a monastic setting, the morning meal is offered to one’s Guru and all the holy masters who teach the Dharma. The afternoon meal is offered to the Yidam one is practicing, and if there is a tea break or evening meal it is offered to the Dharma Protectors. Specific deities also have their own individual food offering prayers, such as that to Lama Tsongkhapa and his spiritual sons.
As the emanation of Manjushri, Dorje Shugden fulfils the role of the Three Jewels, therefore making food offerings to Dorje Shugden fulfils the Refuge commitment. However one does not have to take refuge to make an offering to Dorje Shugden. As a fully enlightened being who has achieved Bodhicitta (compassion), Dorje Shugden will assist those who make offerings with sincerity.
In keeping the refuge commitments well, practitioners generate sufficient merit thus allowing Dorje Shugden to protect us and clear our obstacles quickly. By remembering and propitiating Dorje Shugden on a regular basis with sincerity, we create the causes for a closer relationship with him; in doing so we allow Dorje Shugden the ability to swiftly assist us in times of need. The food offering prayer is one such method for practitioners to gain both these benefits.
The offering of food is common throughout the Buddhist world. Just as food nourishes us, the offering of food creates the causes for spiritual nourishment. Making offerings with a good motivation creates the causes for our spiritual progress towards Enlightenment to be successful.
To make an offering of food to Dorje Shugden, we place the first portion of any food or drink we are going to consume on our altar to Dorje Shugden or the Buddhas. This offering would be most beneficial if made every time one had a meal. However it can be made as and when one wishes. After the prayer has been recited and the food offered on the altar for some time, it can be consumed as a blessing.
If in public or travelling, it is not necessary to specially set aside food and drink separate from our own. We can simply recite the prayer with the accompanying visualisation. When reciting the food offering prayer, we should visualise the offerings expanding to fill the entire universe and Dorje Shugden accepts this offering and is pleased.
Food Offering Prayer
OM AH HUM (3x to purify the food)
GANGSHIG DRENPA TSAMGYI CHINANGI
BARCHE KUNSEL LESHEY TRINLEY NAM
TSOLDZE GYALCHEN SHUGDEN RIG NA TSEY
TENSUNG KORDANG CHELA CHO PAR BUL
All the obstacles from within and without,
Completely you dispel and make things clear and fulfil activites,
To the Five Families of Dorje Shugden,
Your great entourage and assistants I offer this.
Please support us so that we can continue to bring you more Dharma: