By Yael Bentor
This research of the Indo-Tibetan ritual for consecrating photographs, "stupas", books and temples relies on an exam of proper Tibetan textual fabric contained in Tantras, commentaries, ritual manuals and explanatory works on consecration.
Read or Download Consecration of Images and Stupas in Indo-Tibetan Tantric Buddhism (Brill's Indological Library, Vol 11) PDF
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Additional info for Consecration of Images and Stupas in Indo-Tibetan Tantric Buddhism (Brill's Indological Library, Vol 11)
Pp. 1. The Sanskrit is somewhat different: si,yyasyadhye$aIJa-sraddhart:/ karttavyart:/ pUlJya-hetuta~1 nirvvikalpaka-rupelJ a prati$fha-deva-sthdpanaY(lf (Bentor, in preparation I). " IThe answer is:] since ultimately there are no mental elaborations of establishing agent (gnas-byed) and that which is to be established (ralJ-lu gnas-hya), the establishing/consecrationis unnecessary. )') The latter point is made also by Atisa who, in his frequently quoted consecration text in the Tanjur, says: The consecration is both necessary and unnecessary.
L'Ogs sku gsung thugs rten ngo-mfshar-cun hzhugs-pa'i thuKs-Ije yin tal Work I, p. 1-3. l'-pa .... Gung-thang-pa, Work 2, p. 1. , is to serve as receptacles for offerings and bases for the accumulation of merit. Although offerings to images, stupas and so forth were being made long before the formal consecration ritual is known to have developed, the tantric consecration is considered to render the receptacle worthy of receiving such offerings. Several consecration works contain the following statement: As long as a king has not appeared in the capital, he does not possess any political power.
In ultimate truth, consecration is an impossibility. The theory of the two truths is applied here in order to harmonize ritual practice with certain theoretical positions (more on this below). Since these answers are offered also by ritual manuals, it is likely that they would serve the point of view of ritualists as will become evident below. This position of the Consecration Tantra is also taken up by several renowned authors of consecration manuals. Rje-btsun Grags-pa-rgyalmtshan (1147-1216) says: In ultimate truth, by performing consecration of the Tathagata's image one does not make any improvement on it; by not performing it there is no impairment.