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Guru Puja with Tsog

Guru puja is prayers and offerings to one’s own root guru appearing in the outer form of Je Tsong Khapa, the inner form of Shakyamuni Buddha, and the secret form of Vajradhara. According to Lama Zopa Rinpoche, the Tsog offering is a commitment on the 10th and 25th day of the Tibetan month for students who have taken highest yoga tantra initiations, so we hold Guru pujas with tsog on those days at the center.

From Ven. Sangye Khadro:

Guru Puja is a practice consisting of making offerings to and requesting inspiration from the Spiritual Master. Spiritual vows and commitments which might have degenerated are also restored through the practice of tsog offering (feast offering). In this practice, we unite our minds with the holy mind of the Spiritual Master, who is considered the root and life-force of the spiritual path in order to receive blessings and generate realizations on the path to enlightenment.

We need merit, or positive energy, for our enlightened potential to grow and become perfect and one of the best ways to do that is to make beautiful offering and prayers to the Three Jewels and to our Spiritual Teachers. This is what happens in the Guru Puja. A special type of offering called tsog is made. Here we offer platefuls of fruits and biscuits, which are distributed afterwards to the participants. The tsog can be eaten by oneself or shared with friends who have faith in the Three Jewels, but should not be given to animals or thrown in a dirty place.