On December 3rd and 4th, the Sakyong will perform two pujas, or intensive practices, for the benefit of the community and the world. Twice a year, His Majesty sets aside time for meditation specifically dedicated toward Shambhala and individuals requesting his help. Throughout the year, the Sakyong receives many requests for blessings and overcoming obstacles and these bi-annual pujas are the major times he dedicates to caring for the community in this way. These pujas are opportunities to personally request the Sakyong to direct his practice to assist our households, loved ones, friends, centers, and activities.
This season the Sakyong has selected two practices that many members of the community have a relationship with: Kurukulla, a practice renowned for gathering wealth, beings, and energy to virtuous endeavors, and Vajrakilaya, one of the most powerful practices aimed at removing obstacles to dharmic activity. The Sakyong is also asking students who have already received Kurukulla and Vajrakilaya to join with him by practicing on the days of the puja with the intent of benefiting the entire community.
Kurukulla is one of the main manifestations of feminine principle—enlightened wisdom. Kurukulla practice is performed to magnetize beings to the dharma and also to draw positive relationships to our household, spiritual life, and work endeavors. In Shambhala, Kurukulla is also invoked to draw inspired and interested beings to the tradition of warriorship.
Vajrakilaya is part of the tradition of wrathful compassion, practices that awaken the mind of ultimate fearlessness to overcome obstacles. Vajrakilaya was most famously accomplished by Padmasambhava at the Yang Le Shö cave in Nepal just before he arrived in Tibet. Padmasambhava’s practice was credited with ending both a drought and an epidemic. Vajrakilaya practice is generally done to overcome unseen obstacles, things that undermine the ability to engage in positive activities or lead a virtuous life.
If we wish, we can request the Sakyong to specifically help a friend, loved one, or ourselves during these pujas. If we request to include ourselves or others in a teacher’s practice, it is traditional to make a monetary offering to the teacher along with the name of the individual being practiced for. These names will be read to the Sakyong as part of the puja itself. We can also include a short description of the situation or endeavor surrounding the request, however the most important connection is the name of the person or endeavor. The names and descriptions are kept confidential and burned at the conclusion of the puja.
The Sakyong has requested that those who want to participate or connect with the pujas offer red and blue flowers in special places at their home or center on the days of the practice. Those who are doing Kurukulla and Vajrakilaya practice to join with the Sakyong could accumulate 1,000 or more recitations of the deities’ mantras on the days of the puja and perform feasts at Shambhala Centers wherever possible. The Sakyong has expressed that he will send protection cords to those who have requested specific practice during the pujas.