A Short Guide to the Chikshey Kundrol Tormas

A large appliquéd image of Buddha Shakyamuni, flanked by the bodhisattvas Maitreya and Manjushri, overlooks all. This is the thangka which was unveiled at Kagyu Monlam 2012

Below is the altar with eight three-foot high offering tormas on the top row. On the bottom row are the 8 auspicious symbols and 7 articles of royalty.

Each offering torma displays one of the eight auspicious symbols and one of the eight auspicious substances.

To the right of His Holiness’ throne is the shrine which contains an image of the yidam deity, in this case Tara, and the tormas for use in that session.

Inside the shrine is the Tara torma. The ritual master is holding a Manjushri torma.

In Kriya tantra all the female deities share the same basic torma. It is white and stupa shaped.

At the base there are four stylised lotus petals. Two colourful medallions decorate the front. Above them is a sun and moon disc topped by wish fulfilling jewels.

The colour of the parasol indicates the colour of the yidam deity. This is White Tara.

This is the torma for Green Tara.

This torma is for the Great Mother Prajñaparamita who is yellow. The same form of torma will be used for the other yellow female deities such as the Leaf-clad Hermit and Marichi.

This is the torma for Kurukulle who is red.

The most ornate and colourful torma is that of Manjushri. Known as the Sword Torma it bears Manjushri’s emblem – a sword. ..

…and resembles a neat pile of traditional Tibetan Buddhist texts, symbolising wisdom.

This Manjushri torma with a yellow parasol is for Manjushri Arapatsa who has a yellow body.

There is a general torma shape for other male yidam deities. This red torma with five decorative medallions is for Amitayus…

…and a similar one serves for Blazing Ushnisha

The same shaped torma with five medallions but in white is for Avalokiteshvara.

Finally comes the stupa torma of Maitreya, so called because its shape resembles a traditional Tibetan Buddhist chorten or stupa.


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