Statue Blessing Ceremony: Giving life to a statue
Before starting my topic about statue blessing ceremony, I would like to recall some of the major points from my last blog titled “Practice of Buddhism & World Class Statue Artisans of Nepal.” I mentioned that the Buddhist statues are famous all over the world and the gestures of statues have different meanings. It is believed that the statues of medicine Buddha symbolized Buddha is delivering the knowledge of medicine to the people of the world and believed to heal the physical and mental illness and sufferings.
Likewise, I mentioned that if we keep Buddha statues at home it will create a positive vibes and inner peace. Even though I am learning more about Buddhism, I was really surprised to know about statues blessing ceremony. In other words, with special mantras, we can give spirit to the statues.
If you are keeping statue for the religious purpose, you need to fill the spirit to the statue. Many of you have already noticed that there is always a hollow space in every Brass Buddhist statues and there is a reason for that. It is really a sensitive and spiritual belief that with the use of proper mantras and process, we can give life to the statues. And this pure process is known as statue blessing ceremony or consecration on Buddha statues.
On July 5th, my colleague Balaram Napit was rushing to go somewhere. Then I asked him where you going and he replied that he is going for a statue blessing ceremony. I really wanted to know about it but he was in a hurry so I didn’t ask anything and waited until the blessing ceremony is completed.
The statue blessing ceremony process generally takes 1 to 2 days. First of all we need to buy the mantras for filling inside the statue and it all depend upon the size of the statue. The consecration process is done by qualified monk from the monastery.
After getting statue the next day, he explained me the whole process so creatively and thoroughly. One of our customers has a special request to consecrate the Buddha statue. And for that purpose Balaram went to the monastery near Bouddhanath Stupa which lies in the central part of Kathmandu, Nepal. To meet the monks, you must visit there at 1-3pm otherwise they will be busy in the meditation.
According to him, at first he met the monk at the stupa and asked him for a favor to give blessing to the statue. The monk was so friendly and he accepted the request and took him inside the monastery. The statue we wanted to get consecration was the statue of Shakyamuni Buddha which was 8” high. Balaram bought the mantra of Shakyamuni Buddha and took the statue to the monastery for blessing ceremony.
The first thing the monk asked Balaram was to clean the statue completely and there should not be any dust or any impure things attached to the statue. He opened the hallow space down the statue and again clean it properly with a clean sheet of cloth and gave back to the monk. The monk again cleans the statue using a brush and splash saffron water on the statue to make it dirt free and pure before giving spirit to it. Now, the statue is ready for consecration.
There were altogether five mantras which were rolled in a paper and they were Blue, Red, White, Green and Yellow. The mantras vary according to the statues of the Buddha’s. To hold the mantras inside the statue, monk uses incense stick and place each paper roll mantra in a serial manner. After that, Monk started to roll a paper mantra in a vertical manner from the top to the base level holding together with a belief to create a chakra from crown, eyes, throat, and heart to root. Once the mantras are ready, the next step is to place it inside the statue. The monk placed the mantras inside the statues and filled the empty space with rare dried flowers, incense powder and herbs. Then the cover at the bottom of the statues is closed tightly and sealed it properly. There should not be any kind of outflow from the statues once it is sealed otherwise, the mantras will not work.
After it is done, the next step is to get the final blessings from the qualified and senior monk. As per your wish, you can offer anything you like to the monk for their blessings. Balaram offered fruits, biscuit, incense and offering scarf to the senior monk as a return for his blessings. You are not allowed to take pictures in the room where final blessing is done. Balaram waited for some time and the monk returned with the statue and gives it back to him.
Once you get the statue after blessing, you have to be very careful as it is believed that the statue has got a spirit and you cannot touch with a dirty hand or you cannot place the statue in a floor where the space is not clean. Now, the statue is not only an object, it has got a life.
To complete the overall blessing ceremony, it costs about 75 USD. But the cost for consecration varies according to the size of the statue and mantras we buy for whole process. The cost only includes the mantras we used as per our customer wish and the offering we gave to the monk for their valuable time and blessings. It is not the money you pay to us; rather it is for the consecration process and a way of showing positive gesture and respect to the monks of the monastery.
Believing in the power of god is a very sensitive as well as important aspect of life. I believe that life is all about balancing negative and positive energies. We may have so many problems but we must move forward in life by keeping our mind in a calmly manner. And if we can believe upon powers of god, we can definitely create positivity in our life. And for the purpose of overcoming negativity and problems of life, the blessed statue is placed at a home.