The Sacred Consecration Ceremony (rab-ne)

Traditionally known as Zung-drub Rab-ne, this ceremony involves intensive preparatory rites and rituals of self-generation and the generation of deities into the material substances that are then used to fill the statues and other sacred objects. Invoking the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas through meditation, mantra and music, grand offerings are made to the enlightened beings and their blessings are drawn and absorbed into the objects of consecration.

Only hollow statues may be filled. All statues for filling must have a removable covering base plate or stopper to keep the consecration materials inside.

Each statue is filled with sacred text, which is first colored in saffron and tightly wrapped into scrolls individual sized for each statue. Scrolls are placed at the head, throat, heart and abdomen of the statue and then locked into place with medicinal herbs and other precious articles imported.

To properly consecrate a statue the monks, prior to the ceremony, will perform the tradition of filling the statue with sacred texts, medicinal herbs and other precious articles. The process involves daily rituals and rites during which the monks chant mantras to prepare them for the statue filling. A consecrated statue can help to clear away obstacles and negative energies from the home and the environment thus acting as a healing energy.

 

The following is a standard filling consecration process

1. When we receive a statue with the request for us to fill and bless it, we first start with cleaning the statue well. Mostly some residue from the mould has been left behind in the statue that needs to be removed first. Traditionally this is done with some soap and saffron water.
2. We paint the inside of the statue red with ecological paint, and while the paint is still wet, cover the inside with powder that contains the six great medicines, other medicinal powders, saffron, the five cow substances' pills, and camphor all mixed together.
3. We make a lid to cover the bottom of the statue since the lids that come with the statue are mostly of poor quality.
4. We do the blessing ceremony called Sung Drub to clear away contaminations and polutions from the statue and the ingredients, and bless them.
5. When the face is already painted, we cover the face well to protect it against damage and place the statue upside down in a container.
6. We start with a pearl or relic pill in the crown of the statue that symbolizes the brain of the buddha.
7. Then we fill the statue with as many mantra rolls as possible. We insert head, throat and heart mantras, the name mantras of the specific buddha the statue represents, the Dharmakaya relic mantra that is especially advised by Lama to use as much as possible, and other mantras for auspiciousness.
8. Between every layer of mantras we put fine incense powder to make sure every gap is completely filled. In the lotus we put substances like a precious pill, crushed semi-precious stones, and gold leaf.
9. We cover it with fragrant incense and other substances and finally add the 'five mandalas' with a vajra on top.
10. We cover it with yellow silk and close the statue with the lid using natural glue.
11. We seal the statue to make sure it is completely closed and will never open again.
12. Finally we perform a final consecration called Rab Nä and the statue is ready to be sent back to its owner.

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