Teachings on Tsa Tsa Practice & Holy Objects
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:
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
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.
To download a teaching:
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).