There are many different lineages of Tibetan teachers working with the Earth Treasure Vases. H.H. Khyentse Rinpoche, a highly respected lama in the Nyingma lineage who passed away in the 1980s, caused 3000 Earth Treasure Vases to be made. Before he died, he passed the vases on to his dharma heir, Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche, whose organization, Siddhartha’s Intent, is taking responsibility for distributing and burying all 3000 in every corner or the Earth. The following words of H.H. Khyentse Rinpoche is from www.siddharthasintent.org:
EARTH TREASURE VASES: HISTORICAL BACKGROUND & BRIEF EXPLANATION OF THE BENEFITS AND QUALITIES OF THE EARTHLY DEITY & AUSPICIOUS TREASURE VASES
By H.H. KHYENTSE RINPOCHE
In Tibet, more than a thousand years ago, many great saints possessed the knowledge to prevent wars, famines and disease. This was accomplished through the construction, consecration and the appropriate placement of special ‘vases’ containing precious objects and substances, which created a sustained, harmonic environmental grid that pervaded the surrounding area.
From the time the vases were ‘planted’ until the time the Chinese Communist forces brought about the ‘cultural revolution’ it was recorded in Tibetan history that there were no major wars, famines or disease. We, of the technological societies, have for many years witnessed the reckless deterioration of the world. Our Earth’s resources are being rapidly raped, plundered or polluted and will eventually be exhausted, or will exhaust themselves. Wars, large and small, are being fought to obtain sovereign, secular or religious power. Diseases for which cures have been discovered are being replaced by more virulent ones for which new cures must be found. This manmade process of deterioration is making our planet an unsafe and unfit place to live and poses an enormous threat to any possible solution to world harmony, peace and to the very survival of humankind.
The history of the “terma” (treasure teaching) tradition of which the Tibetan Treasure Vases are a part has been well recorded. The method to create the Treasure Vases was originally brought forth and then hidden by Guru Rinpoche (Padmasambava) in the 8th Century as a teaching to be discovered at a later time when the practice would be needed.
It was during the last century that two great Tibetan saints, Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo (1820-1892) and Chokgyur Dechen Lingpa (1829-1870), discovered together one such terma treasure; the teachings which contained the instructions for creating these special vases. It is perhaps significant to note that these teachings were discovered at the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, the period in our history that, in many ways, created the means to destroy our planet. These two great saints were to construct these vases again in order to replenish the diminished power of the original ones but because of the political upheavals in Tibet during the 1950′s the task was never completed. Now we have been given the teachings to accomplish this practice ourselves.
Traditionally, the vases contain various elemental substances such as precious metals, gems, earth, water, as well as appropriate mantras and prayers and are consecrated through blessing, meditation and ceremony. The vases are used to pacify negativities such as avarice and anger that give rise to conflict, lust for power and greed which lead to senseless acts of terrorism and ultimately war, to pacify old as well as existing diseases and to prevent new ones from arising, and to restore the power of the elements and prevent the rapid depletion and pollution of the natural resources in order to sustain the lives of all living beings.
In short, the vases contain many special substances of accomplishment inside which have been blessed by Guru Rinpoche and the Buddha and Bodhisattvas. In general throughout the whole breadth of the world system there is no place where you will not find local deities. Nowadays mining, freeways, the roaring of jets and massive environmental pollution and degradation are all causing harm and wounding the local deities; altogether infinite suffering is inflicted. Because of this, human beings become afflicted with sickness, livestock become ill, many unheard of incurable diseases arise, crops are damaged by terrible storms causing great destruction. The peoples of this degenerate age are inflamed with desire, hatred and jealousy and no understanding of giving up negative actions and developing positive ones is cultivated.
According to the treasure text, if the vase is made properly according to the instructions there will be long life free from illness, dharma lineages and family lineages will increase as will the power of the dharma and worldly good fortune. The whole Earth will be made auspicious with the luxuriant growth of animals, plants, forests, harvests, medicines, water and wind. All will increase and all will attain wellbeing and happiness as in the perfect acorn, and all the universe and beings will be sublimely perfect.
With the motivation that the turbulence and suffering of sickness, famine, wars and conflicts throughout the whole world may be pacified and that the auspiciousness of virtue and well-being may pervade over all the world and that all beings may continuously enjoy the splendor of exaltation, the vases are made. When the vases are placed, all the various countries where they are buried will abide in supreme virtue, the wealth and splendor of the dharma will remain long and they will bring good fortune and long life free from illness. All beings will turn away from quarrels and strife, gathering in sublime perfection and remaining till the end of the Age.
May it be so!
A Modern Earth Treasure Vase Practice with Ancient Roots
Lama Kunga Thartse of the Sakya lineage of Tibetan Buddhism is the director of Ewam Choden, a Dharma center in Kensington, CA (near Berkeley) and has been making Earth Treasure Vases for many years. The vases that he makes can be purchased online through www.ewamchoden.org. We visited him in April 2009 and recorded this interview with him.