Torma: Ritual Offerings | Mandala Collections

The following article by Karma Phuntsho is from the Mandala Collections website hosted by the University of Virginia, and is an excellent overview and explanation of tormas. Karma Phuntsho is the President of the Loden Foundation and the author of many books and articles including The History of Bhutan.

Torma (གཏོར་མ་) refers to the dough and butter sculptures that are made for religious purposes in Bhutan and the Buddhist Himalayas. Based on the Indian Buddhist concept of bali, a tribute, gift or offering one makes to deities and spirits, the making and offering of torma are common features of Buddhist rituals and practices in Bhutan. Torma culture is also well known in the Bon religion of Tibet. Scholars explain the etymology of torma by explaining that tor (གཏོར་) refers to casting away all impurities and negativities or giving away without stinginess to all sentient beings with the love like that of a ma (མ་) or mother. The syllable ma is said to symbolize the attainment of the experience of emptiness and bliss. Continue reading…

Source: Torma: Ritual Offerings | Mandala Texts

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