After many months of rigorous preparation this 3-day ceremony will now take the place in India from June 17 to June 19. It will be a closed puja. We have been requested by Rinpoche to ask people of faith to hold the puja practitioners and our world in prayer for these three days.
Diane recalls Rinpoche’s explanation of the Mamos:
Disasters and suffering are increasing all over the world, despite humanity’s material progress. Unending greed and hatred are disturbing the whole of existence without limit. Human minds are so disturbed by selfishness. Nature is suffering, and the consequence of this is to upset the whole living environment, which includes the most important forces behind all: the Motherly supportive feminine forces. The realized ancient masters of Tibetan Buddhism understood all this and advised the Tibetans to perform this ancient Mamos Puja in times of darkness.
The Mamos are the extremely powerful female goddesses: Ma (Mother), Mo (Female). Described by Rinpoche as feminine super-nature, they inhabit the entire solar system - earth, fire, wind, sea, mountains, space. When Nature is disturbed, the Mamos/mothers become disturbed and upset, then the Earth becomes disturbed. As a result people’s minds are affected and because of our interconnectedness, the sacred web of life is disturbed.
In the Life of Milarepa it is written that one of the very High Queen Goddesses of the Himalaya was sick and requested Milarepa to give a blessing to heal her. Some people had done something harmful, disrespectful to the local environment. So the Goddess become sick. As a result, the local people were also becoming sick, natural disasters were occurring. So Milarepa gave the blessing to heal her. He also advised the local people not to disturb the natural environment, to maintain ethical behavior, to perform prayers to bring blessings to the region. As they did so, the area regained health and happiness and became free from natural disasters.
This ceremony has not been performed since the late 19th century, and Choegyal Rinpoche has the only complete text of the puja that survived the Cultural Revolution. The ceremony takes about a week to perform by about 100 practitioners, and requires a lot of preparation. The monks and nuns of Tashi Jong needed 3 months training in how to conduct the ceremony, and for this needed to go to Bhutan and elsewhere to bring together the many different skills needed. It required a great many ritual objects, tormas, ancient thread crosses, representations of continents, animals, trees, plants, mountains, rivers etc, paintings representing the 28 main stars, the 7 days of the week and the 10 most powerful gods of the solar system, and food offerings. A large Tibetan tent is being set up, as the ceremony needs a lot of room to be conducted. It must be performed and attended by people who have faith or it won’t work. Choegyal Rinpoche feels it is possible to conduct the ceremony in Tashi Jong as people there have the faith necessary. Rinpoche says it absolutely works. He said such a ceremony as this could have stopped the emerging of evil beings on the earth, such as Hitler and Pol Pot.
This ancient Tantric ritual practice helps heal the Mamos of the entire solar system. It helps calm their irritation. It gives healing blessings to them. It helps stop wars by not allowing evil forces to arise in the minds of humanity. It helps prevent epidemics and natural disasters. During the ceremony presiding masters, yoginis, yogis, bhikhus, bhentes and nuns meditate on a wrathful Buddha and use that practice to communicate with the Mamos. They attract their attention and transmit blessings to them to soothe their aggression, help to calm them down. They then inspire the Mamos to generate loving kindness and bring many of the Mamos to take a vow to bring peace, harmony and health to the entire world.
Beyond our present ecological self-destruction, caused by industrial pollution, by the chemicals, toxins and particularly fossil carbon that our civilization emits, lies our desire for material progress, the demon of consumerism and greed that walks with heavy boots over the sacred soil of our world. At the root of our predicament is a deep disregard for the environment and for the consequences of our actions, until it is too late. This is a product of a consciousness that is cut off from the natural world and its interconnectedness. It comes from an attitude that we are separate from the world around us and can do with the world what we want – an attitude that is unthinkable to indigenous people who respect and revere the physical world, and whose cultures protect the balance between humanity and Nature. A shift into a consciousness that sees life as a living, dynamic, interconnected whole of which we are a part, a ‘consciousness of oneness’, is needed if we are to heal and transform our world.
*Interesting to note the word Mamos is also referred to the Kogi, of Columbia, SA