Offering Sangha robes

The merit gained by making an offering of Sangha’s robe with absolutely pure motivation is immeasurable.

30 April 2009 - 11:46pm Comments Off

by His Eminence Tsem Rinpoche

“These clothes, like a rainbow have beautiful hues.
Wherever they touch the body, they provoke great joy.
I offer these to clear away the results of my unwholesome deeds.
By making this offering may we attain the
excellent signs and marks of the Buddha ourselves.”

The Buddhas are exalted objects of offering because the teachings they demonstrate enable us to gain Buddhahood ourselves. One’s own lama/teacher/members of Sangha are also exalted objects of offering because it is due to their kindness and guidance that one can make any progress on the part of spiritual development for the benefit of sentient beings. By making offerings of clothes to our objects of refuge help us to accumulate wealth which one could use to spread the Buddha’s doctrine. If we offer a lot of clothes to representations of the Buddha, our mind make up will become extremely beautiful and our inner light will be reflected in our faces. Thus we will be able to attract people just by our appearance and influence them in a positive way.

Several factors determine the quality of offering. Prominent is the giver’s motivation, though the status of the recipient and the nature of the offering also contribute. The giver acquires the greatest merit when he is motivated by a wish to attain enlightenment for the sake of all sentient beings. It is much less if he aspires for his own enlightenment alone and even less if he wishes merely to obtain a good rebirth in his next life. The poorest motivation is the wish to gain some benefits in this lifetime, such as health and a long life or to be completely mundane in seeking a reputation for generosity. The merit gained by making an offering of Sangha’s robe with absolutely pure motivation is immeasurable.

Another factor affecting the potency of an act of giving is faith. Faith is closely linked to motivation, which it strengthens. It may not arise spontaneously, but it can be developed. Through studying and understanding the Buddha’s doctrine, the purpose of attaining enlightenment and the need to rely on a lama, one can develop faith in them. Faith also leads to an appreciation of the importance of offering Sangha’s robe as a religious practice.

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