Teachings on Tsa Tsa Practice & Holy Objects

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Tsa Tsa Studio's Spiritual Director, Lama Zopa Rinpoche, has given many teachings over the years on the benefits of holy objects, including the following talk given in 2000 on the benefit of making tsa tsas.

Below this teaching are a number of other teachings on this and related subjects, which you can download in PDF format. Especially recommended for all students doing tsa tsa practice is Lama Zopa Rinpoche's "Commentary on Tsa Tsa Practice," which gives an explanation of each verse of the practice.
 
 

The Benefits of Tsa Tsa Practice

By Lama Zopa Rinpoche

The existence of holy objects is to transform the mind and to be able to realize the path to enlightenment. In the present moment, one cannot see the Buddha...therefore, the Buddha manifests in the body, speech and mind of statues, enabling one to collect merit, which leads to realizations along the path.

This is a most powerful way to purify obstacles and to collect extensive merits. The motivation should be for people to have these holy objects more than as a decoration -- then it is extremely beneficial. Just by seeing one thangka, one statue of Buddha, even if one has negative thoughts, this still becomes the cause to see millions of Buddhas. Even one look at a Buddha out of anger causes one to gradually see the Buddha, it purifies the mind and brings total liberation from all sufferings. Even if one looks with a negative mind, gradually it purifies the mind; purifies defilements and obscurations; creates the cause to see Buddhas and receive teachings; and leads one to enlightenment.

One must see them (tsa tsas) as holy objects. This creates positive imprints. Every time you see Buddhas in different rooms (as holy objects) you get all this incredible benefit for the mind; the more holy objects you have, that much more benefit you will receive. With so many, one must make many offerings and one must make respect with the hands in the prostration mudra, doing pure prostration from the heart. With one statue, putting the palms together is the cause for a good rebirth, leading to liberation from samsara and eventual enlightenment. With one thousand tsa tsas, putting the palms together in prostration one gets one thousand times the causes of liberation. With one hundred thousand tsa tsas, one gets one hundred thousand benefits. Any offering done to holy objects is the same as how many holy objects there are in the house; how many times one circumambulates creates that many causes. Even with light offerings, offering one to so many holy objects creates so many causes.

Ten specific benefits of making tsa tsas:

  1. One achieves a perfect rebirth - with perfect body, senses, limbs, and so on.
  2. One achieves perfect surroundings, and is able to fulfill all wishes in benefiting other beings. The surroundings are harmonious with your mind and you are surrounded by people who support your practice. Otherwise, one cannot practice Dharma.
  3. One actualizes pure morality (moral conduct). Without this, one cannot achieve the path.
  4. One generates devotion towards one's teachers and the Buddhas.
  5. One generates courage (perseverance) - the supreme courage to do things in public to benefit others.
  6. One is reborn in the human or deva (god) realm to benefit others.
  7. One achieves the bodhisattva arya's path of accumulation.
  8. One achieves the bodhisattva arya's path of seeing, where delusions and defilements cease. On this path, one stops creating karma, is freed from delusion and karma, and thus is freed from cyclic existence and rebirth. In tantra, the arya's path means one has attained the wisdom of direct perception of emptiness.
  9. One achieves the path of meditation.
  10. One achieves the path of no more learning, where one is totally freed from rebirth, old age, sickness, and death, and attains a spiritual body. One will achieve the actualization of the body, speech and mind of enlightenment.

Even in this life, you will have less disease, your enjoyments will increase, and you will achieve a long life and good reputation. It is the best method to betray death. Making tsa tsas purifies obstacles, bad conditions, accidents, and sudden diseases like heart attacks and paralysis. By making tsa tsas you pacify enemies, interferers, and harms. You accumulate all merit, purify all obscurations, and achieve the resultant three kayas in future life.

Know the benefits of making tsa tsas and tell others how to use them, what they are for. Then, the attitude will be more to use them to purify the mind and accumulate merit, with a deeper benefit to sentient beings, purifying what you don't like, collecting what you do like.

From a talk by Lama Zopa Rinpoche to Tsa Tsa Studio staff, spring 2000  
 
 

PDFs of other teachings on tsa tsa practice and holy objects by Lama Zopa Rinpoche

Commentary on Tsa Tsa Practice (courtesy Lama Yeshe Wisdom Archives, www.lamayeshe.org)
Why Holy Objects are Precious and Wish-fulfilling
The Benefits of the Existence of Statues and of Making Statues
The Benefits of Making Statues
An Essay on Relics
Advice on the Benefits of Prayer Wheels
The Benefits of Building Stupas
Advice on Selling Holy Objects
  Enlightenment Stupa wall mural (painted at Tsa Tsa Studio's former location), painted by Ang Tsherin, Jonathan Swae, Paul Ferguson and John Bolles. Photograph by Eileen Gayle, 2003.

To view these files, you need the free Adobe Acrobat Reader version 4.0 or later. You can get the latest version from http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep2.html.
 

Downloading Instructions:

To download a teaching:

  • If you have a Windows-based PC, right-click on one of the links above and choose "Save Link As..." (or a similar option) from the pop-up menu that will appear.
  • If you have a Mac, click on a link and hold the mouse button down until the pop-up menu appears, then choose "Save Link As..." (or a similar option).

Choose a location to save the downloaded file, then click the "Save" or "OK" button (the options and button names will depend on which computer and Web browser you are using).

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