The Practice of Tibetan Treasure Vases

The following article is from the Autumn, 2003 issue of the Snow Lion Newsletter and is for historical reference only. You can see this in context of the original newsletter here.

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Incurable diseases, inescapable weapons of mass destruction, and a weakening of the earth's elements due to pollutants and poisons in the environment. Sound familiar? Padmasambhava, the 9th century founder of Tibetan Buddhism, prophesied what sounds a lot like our world.

Through his wisdom and compassion, Padmasambava gave specific instructions for the creation of treasure vases to assist with the healing of the environment and the restoration of vital energy during these degenerate times. The treasure vase is an ancient remedy that can replenish the essence of the elementsearth, air, fire, water, and space. When the outer environment is purified, beings are released from suffering caused by pollution and are therefore rejuvenated. This restores the energy to all realms.

For the human realm, the treasure vase has the power to magnetize wealth and abundance, improve health, and remove obstacles to long life. Its effects help pacify anger and warfare and increase wisdom and compassion for all.

Padmasambava prescribed the sacred objects that fill the treasure vase. The conch shell supports the life essence of the god realm of joy. Turquoise supports the life essence of the human realm of intelligence. Crystal supports the life essence of the naga realm of wealth. The cowrie shell supports the life essence of the dakinis, and iron pyrite supports the life essence of the local protectors of the environment and the practitioners within it.

The vases are filled to the brim with medicine balls whose most important ingredient is "mother pills." The main substances in mother pills are called yang-dzay rilbu (essential wealth substance pills.) Padmasambava originally hid these substances for future generations of beings. Many treasure revealers discovered these hidden substances. His Holiness Dudjom Rinpoche collected the substances from the ten-gam (treasure collections) of Mipham Rinpoche, Mindroling Terchen, and Khyentse Rinpoche, and many other precious substances created by sublime beings. From these substances Dudjom Rinpoche made the original "mother pill."

Lama Tharchin Rinpoche received original "mother pills" from Dudjom Rinpoche and expanded them. He added the twenty-five precious substances: the five precious jewels, the five precious essences, the five precious medicines, the five precious scents, and the five precious grains; plus tsa-sum (three roots), tsi-zhi (four flower essences), nyingpo-nga (five essences) and zangpo-druk (six excellences). He also added a very rich collection of jewels and minerals: opals, diamonds, emeralds, sapphires, rubies, turquoise, coral, pearl, dzi stone, chong stone, gold silver, copper, and so on: and additional precious substances such as soil, stone, and water collected from many of the world's holy and famous places.

Also inside the vases are dutsi (a holy substance that transforms all negativity into wisdom), ten-du rilbu (a collection of relics from countless Buddhas), pictures of the wealth deity Khandro Norlha, wealth mantras, and khorlos (written diagrams expressing wealth potential), which increase merit, prosperity, and abundance with the intention to benefit all beings.

Upon completion, the treasure vases are consecrated in a seven day ceremony.

For centuries, Tibetans have kept treasure vases in their homes, buried them in the earth, or placed them in bodies of water. The Venerable Lama Tharchin Rinpoche created and oversees the Vajrayana Foundation Treasure Vases. Rinpoche trained throughout his life in ritual art and ceremonies with His Holiness Dudjom Rinpoche and other great masters such as Lama Sherab Rinpoche. Snow Lion is honored to be able to offer these wonderful vases.

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