The Power of Ruchok
(May 4th, 2012)
For all those who are interested in placing precious items into the Vajrayogini stupa, below is a must read. It describes the blessing that will be done for the items, how the blessing works, the benefits involved and how to send your items to be placed into the stupa.
[Note: Submissions closed – 31 March 2014]
The power of Ruchok
In preparation for the Kechara Forest Retreat, we are planning to build many big stupas, which will bless the area and form pivotal points for circumambulation around the land. People can also make offerings at the stupas, to generate a lot of merit or to pray for their loved ones.
We can put many precious items inside stupas or statues as an offering and to generate continuous merit and good karma. So people can send in photos of their loved ones, personal precious items like jewellery or heirlooms, or anything you like. You can also sponsor blessed items like Dharma texts, wealth vases, chakras etc. to be placed inside the stupa. This is considered an offering and will create a lot of merit, continuously.
Before we place items into the stupa, Tsem Rinpoche will be doing a ruchok ritual and everyone is invited to submit their personal items (hair and nails) for blessing in this ritual. (please see details for submission of these items below).
Ruchok is a special ritual that directly blesses personal hairs, nails, bones or ashes of a being (“ru” meaning bones/ashes). The items are then considered consecrated and put into a stupa or Buddha statue. For as long as that stupa or statue is around and benefiting beings, blessings and merit will continue to be generated for every single person or animal whose items are contained within. It is a way for us to create a very strong connection with the Buddhas, for ourselves and loved ones, which is a connection that will continue even far into our future lives.
How does a Ruchok blessing work?
This ruchok ritual is based upon the Vajrayogini tantra – this means that the person(s) who the ritual is being done for will be blessed by Vajrayogini. More importantly, the blessing creates a connection for the person(s) to receive the sacred practice of Vajrayogini and achieve her same enlightened state in the future.
Through the course of the ritual, the personal hair and nails of the person are blessed. They become not just the hair and nails of an ordinary being but are generated as Vajrayogini herself. Therefore, when we put the items into the Vajrayogini stupa, they are not just hair and nails, but should be regarded as actual Vajrayoginis. This is very powerful – when people make prayers, offerings, prostrations or circumambulations towards this stupa, they are doing this towards thousands of Vajrayoginis. It is a collection of merit for the person who had the ritual done for them, and for future people who will make offerings and prayers towards the stupa.
It is possible to do the ruchok for a living person or for one who has passed away. We can also do ruchok for ourselves, but we must have initiation into either Yamantaka or Vajrayogini tantras and have permission from a qualified Lama to do the practice.
If we are doing ruchok for someone who has passed away, we use their ashes or a part of their body e.g. teeth / hair / bones, to bless their remains before making tsa tsas to put into a stupa. Or, we can put these items directly into the stupa as they are.
If we are doing ruchok for someone who is alive, we use their nails or hair. The purpose of the ruchok, in this case, is to purify their karma.
There are many vast benefits of this ritual, some of which are outlined below. Mainly, it helps us to purify a lot of negative karmas, to generate merit to support our spiritual journey and worldly endeavours, and to create a very profound connection to the Buddhas into the future.
The benefits of ruchok, for beings who are living:
1) Powerful purification
2) Generation of continuous merit
3) Releasing powerful negative karma before they die e.g. karma accumulated through actions like killing
The benefits of ruchok, for deceased beings:
1) Powerful purification
2) Lessening of karma for next life (for example, if they are in bardo)
3) A good rebirth
4) Generation of continuous good karma
5) Generation of continuous merits, with the body
Tsem Rinpoche invites everyone to submit their hair/nails for the ruchok ritual. You can also submit for your family, friends and loved ones, and even for your pets. This will be very powerful healing and blessings for our pets and their future lives. The hair and nails can be from people who are alive or deceased.
How to send items for the Ruchok ritual and Vajrayogini stupa
Please send only hair from the head and fingernails (not toenails). For animals, the hair can be from their head or body.
Please note that the hair/nails of each person/pet should be packed individually into separate bags (something like a Ziplock bag is good), and labelled clearly with the name of the person. i.e. don’t put 10 people’s items into the same bag, but pack them into 10 separate bags. Please also state if the “owner” is human or a dog/cat etc.
Apart from sending nails or hair of yourself and family/friends/pets, you can also send other personal items pix, clothes, precious items, jewellery, photos, heirlooms etc. for insertion into the Vajrayogini stupa.
However, only hair / nails / ashes will be used for the ruchok ritual. If the person is already deceased and it is not possible to get nails/hair, then a picture or a piece of their clothing is also fine. This, and all other precious items will be placed into the Vajrayogini stupa as an offering, which will generate great merit and blessings for the person. Read more about the Vajrayogini stupa that will be in Kechara Forest Retreat here.
Please deliver your items to the Kechara Care office, marked to the attention of Khong Jean Ai, Tsem Ladrang.
If you are living outside of Malaysia, please send your items to the address below. Please send your parcel by registered mail so that it will arrive safely.
Khong Jean Ai
c/o Kechara Care
No. 7, Jalan PJU 1/3G
SunwayMas Commercial Center
47301 Petaling Jaya
For more information on submitting your items, please contact Liaison Khong Jean Mei on [email protected]
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