Each year, on the penultimate day of the Monlam, there is an Akshobhya ritual. During the Monlam, people can submit the names of both living and deceased for inclusion in this ritual. Buddha Akshobhya symbolises overcoming negative emotions such as anger and hatred towards other sentient beings and the ritual is believed to have a strong purifying effect.
1. Ahead of the puja, monks have prepared a fire over a pacification mandala.
2. The Akshobhya fire ritual takes place on the portico of the main shrine hall of Tergar Monastery.
3. This year Andzin Rinpoche is officiating.
4. He is supported by monks who have received the empowerment and completed the Akshobhya training and practice retreat…
5. And a scattering of qualified lay practitioners too.
6. The shrine is set up in front of a scroll painting of Akshobhya Buddha.
7. The area delineated by the coloured string and gate represents Abhirati, the pureland of Buddha Akshobhya
8. A metal bowl has been prepared with sticks of wood for the offering fire.
9. Andzin Rinpoche offers the eight auspicious symbols - the sacred knot; the Dharma wheel; the lotus; the victory banner; the parasol; the vase; the conch; the golden fish.
10. Buddha Akshobhya is blue in colour – one of the wisdom buddhas.
11. The offering fire is lit
12. Rinpoche uses long tongs to carefully add offerings to the small fire on the shrine.
1. Andzin Rinpoche recites the ritual as the offerings burn.
14. The offering fire on the shrine blazes.
15. The fire outside is lit and the names of the living and the dead are added to it.
16. The names are consumed by the flames.