Pujas (Prayers)


Puja is a broad term in Tibetan Buddhism, used to describe a variety of ritual performances and prayers.



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Due to current Covid restrictions in India, our India office is temporarily closed until the end of May. The nuns are still performing the pujas, but safety protocols may extend the length of time to complete them. They may not not be able to send the e-mail receipts until the restrictions are lifted. We thank you for your patience and understanding during these difficult times. (updated May 2021)

When requesting a puja please provide information regarding who and what you’d like for your prayers to be directed to.

Offering to Tara (Drol-chok): This elaborate offering involves creating ritual cakes (tor-ma) and the use of musical instruments. This puja is particularly effective in removing obstacles and fulfilling wishes.

Medicine Buddha Prayer for Healing (Men-la): This puja invokes the wisdom and blessings of the Medicine Buddha (Sang-gyay Men-la) to aid in healing when you or someone else is ill, or to enhance and support your work if you are a medical practitioner.

Gya-thong-pa & Sung-dhu: This puja involves reading the 800 verse Perfection of Wisdom Sutra and the Collection of Dharanis. It generates great merit and helps to overcome sickness and other obstacles.

Offering of Butter Lamps (Mar-me): Butter lamps are part of traditional daily Tibetan puja and serve a variety of purposes, including: Aiding focus and meditation, providing a symbolic flame to light the path towards liberation, and facilitating the cultivation of merit for those who sponsor the lamps’ fuel (usually butter or oil). Your sponsorship of this offering will provide fuel for 100 butter lamps.

Long Life Ritual (Nam-gyal Tse-chok): This is a prayer for longevity to the female deity, Nam-gyal-ma, one of the three buddhas of long life.

Four Hundred Offerings (Gyab-zhi): Gyab-zhi is one of the most widely practiced ceremonies in Tibetan Buddhism. The ritual involves four sets of 100 offerings: 100 butter lamps to eradicated delusion; 100 ritual cakes (tor-ma) to overcome desires; 100 human effigies (made of dough) to subdue the demon of death; and 100 tsa-tsa (stamped clay votive images) to overcome tainted aggregates. The intention of the Four Hundred Offerings is to aid in overcoming inauspiciousness, disease, untimely death, and challenging supernatural forces.

Three Pairs (Chak-sum): Chak-sum is an offering of three ritual cakes (tor-ma): One to the protectors of the Buddha Dharma, another to local spirits, and a third to the suffering beings of the “Hungry Ghost Realm.” These offerings are intended to aid in the purification of negativities.

Twenty-one Praises of Tara (Dolma-bum): The performance of Dolma-bum includes 100,000 recitations of the “Twenty-one Praises to Tara” prayer, which is renowned for removing obstacles and fulfilling wishes. Due to the time intensive nature of this prayer, it will take an average of two weeks to complete.

Cutting Through the Ego (Chöd – Simple): This puja aims at cutting through the hindrances or obscurations of self-cherishing thought and ignorance, the greatest obstacles on the path to enlightenment. The Chöd puja involves prayer, chanting, visualizations and the playing of Tibetan instruments such as the hand drum. It can also be effective for those who are severely ill. This puja is performed by the nuns at Shugsep Nunnery.

Cutting Through Ego (Chöd – Elaborate with Tormas): The tantric practice of Chöd is effective for those who are severely ill. This elaborate version of Chöd (pronounced chö) involves the creation of various tormas, offerings of ritual barley cakes. During the ritual, the nuns immerse themselves in a combination of chanting, music, prayer and visualizations. While reciting the Chöd rite the nuns are accompanied by the sound of several Tibetan instruments: the damaru or hand drum, the kangling, a reed instrument, and the Chöd drum, which is larger than the hand drum. This puja is performed by the nuns at Shugsep Nunnery.

Additional information

Puja Type

Offering to Tara, Medicine Buddha, Gya-thong-pa and Sung-dhu, Butter Lamps, Long Life Ritual, Four Hundred Offerings, Three Pairs, Twenty-one Praises of Tara, Chöd – Simple, Chöd – Elaborate