Medicine Buddha Jangwa – purification ritual to benefit the deceased


Geshe Ngawang Dakpa performing the Jangwa ceremony at the Wish-fulfilling Temple, 2012.

Jangwa is performed annually at Land of Medicine Buddha, usually in the Fall.

This Jangwa ritual, based on the Medicine Buddha, is beneficial for those who were recently deceased, or who had passed away several years ago. The Medicine Buddha Puja will be performed before the Jangwa ritual.

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See also: Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s advice on Essential Practices for the Time of Death.

More on the Jangwa Ritual

See this photo album of a recent Jangwa ceremony at LMB.

The tantric practice of jang.wa is used when somebody has died.  Even if the person is in the intermediate state on the way to the lower realms, you can still do jang.wa and change the direction of the person’s reincarnation.  You can cause the person to reincarnate in a pure land or in a deva or human realm. Jang.wa is a skill tantric practice of purification, due to the power of mantra, the power of concentration and the power of the Buddha’s words of truth.

Within the practice of jang.wa, there are different means of purification, but recitation of these powerful purification mantras is one of the main ones.  You use the mantras to bless the mustard seeds. Through meditation, you hook the (consciousness of the) people who have died, and then you throw the blessed mustard seeds over them to purify them. Finally, you do pho.wa to transfer their consciousness to a pure land. After that, if you don’t have ashes or parts of the body, you burn the photograph of the deceased person or the piece of paper with the deceased person’s name written on it while meditating on emptiness.

This particular practice of jangwa associated with the Medicine Buddha is especially accessible. We ordinary people can perform this highly beneficial practice using this version without risking the possibility of creating further interferences for ourselves or for the deceased. Other jang.wa practices associated with other specific deities require a high level of skill on the part of those doing the practice – skill in visualization, in self-generation, in ritual accuracy – in order to perform the practice correctly without creating hindrances and interferences. The practice of jang.wa in association with the Medicine Buddha is highly effective and yet can be practiced by those of us who are not advanced practitioners.

Compiled from the advice and teachings of Lama Zopa Rinpoche & Geshe Lama Konchog

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