Empowerments: History, Motivation and What to Avoid
History of Empowerments in Thailand Organized by the Thousand Stars Foundation
During these past three years the Foundation has organized many empowerments in Thailand, as follows:
White Tara Empowerment and Medicine Buddha Empowerment by Somam Topgyal Rinpoche at Wat Songtham Kalayani, Nakhorn Prathom
Guru Rinpoche Empowerment by Kandroma Palden Chotsho at the Tara Shrine Room, Nonthaburi
21 Taras Empowerment and Vajrapani Empowerment at the Tara shrine room in Nonthaburi by Kunga Sangbo Rinpoche
Manjushri Empowerment at Chulalongkorn University by Kunga Sanbo Rinpoche
Avalokiteshvara Empowerment by Kunga Sangbo Rinpoche and Amitayus Empowerment by Kundrol Mongayl Lhasray Rinpoche at Rai Rak Dhamma-chart, Hua-Hin
White Tara Empowerment by Kandroma Palden Chotsho and 21 Taras Empowerment by HH Phakchok Rinpoche at Chulalongkorn University
White Tara Empowerment (2007) by Ringu Tulku Rinpoche at Tara Khadiravana
Guru Rinpoche Empowerment by Kundrol Mongyal Lhasray Rinpoche at Tara Khadiravana
This April we’ll organize Avalokiteshvara or Chenrezig empowerment at a Tibetan monastery in Tibet, as part of our pilgrimage trip.
Several great lamas of various lineages (Bon, Nyingma, Kagyur and Sakya) from Tibet and outside Tibet have been invited to perform these ceremonies, which are inspired by our wish to help sentient beings and to help practitioners in Thailand to receive blessings from Buddhas and Bodhisattvas.
Many people asked me why we organized so many empowerments and what are the benefits of attending an empowerment.
Empowerment brings peace and harmony to the land where empowerment is performed. It brings joy, happiness, prosperity, good health and long life blessings to those who receive empowerments.
For serious practitioners, empowerment is an official permission for them to practice on the particular Buddha. At certain points in their life, they may need blessings from different Buddhas.
For example, when they are embarking on a journey that may risk their lives or when they are ill, they may need special blessings from Amitayus and White Tara, Buddhas of longevity.
Blessings and benefits are not only for this life but they last until we gain enlightenment.
Practicing on Avalokiteshvara is a way to cultivate compassion for all sentient beings. Without universal love, we cannot live in this world peacefully and happily. Those who practice on Avalokiteshvara will always be loved by others.
Practicing on Manjushri is a way to cultivate wisdom.
Practicing on Guru Rinpoche is a way to remove obstacles in life.
Practicing on Green Tara (main deity of the 21 Taras) is a way to obtain blessings against fear and suffering.
Practicing on Medicine Buddha is for healing.
Practicing on Vajrapani is a way to cultivate positive energy against disasters and all evil.
An important thing is that when we receive empowerments, it must be rooted in bodhicitta, our aspiration to gain budhahood for the sake of sentient beings. We must not be greedy thinking only of our own benefits. We must not come to the empowerment because we want to put one more blessing in our record book so that we can boast to others.
Having received many empowerments, we must not think that we are better than others. We must not develop pride and jealousy. If we do that, empowerment brings little benefit and won’t change us into a better person.