Mandala of the Deities of the Five Elements and the Ritual Offering to the Four Classes of Spirits
Some monks from Triten Norbutse Monastery, Kathmandu, have just finished making this magnificent sand mandala (rdul-tshon dkyil-‘khor), the Kun-‘bum go-‘byed dkyil-‘khor, which is the mandala of the Deities of the Five Elements.
Tomorrow, one group of monks will begin the four-day ritual to these deities. Another group will practise the Sa-bdag nye-lam sde-bzhi, propitiating the four classes of spirits: earth spirits (sa-bdag), water-spirits (klu), tree-spirits (gnyan) and rock-spirits (stod/gtod).
This is part of the annual four-day summer ritual and ceremony of harmonising and purifying the spirits of the Universe.
The summer ritual to the worldly gods involves a lot of preparation – tormas (gtor-ma), namkhas (nam-mkha’), dö (mdos) and also wooden offering sticks (shing-ris) and other offering items.
For those of us who cannot join this ritual, it is a good time to practice sangchö (bsang-mchod).
Photos of the mandala and namkha courtesy of Drubdra Khenpo Tenzin Tsultrim. Photos of shingri: Carol Ermakova. For more images of the sand mandala and namkhas, see Triten Norbutse Facebook page @ https://www.facebook.com/BonpoMonastery