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What the actual words or at least the structure of of the ceremony/ritual?

I'm particularly interested from the Mahayana East Asian standpoint (Chinese/Korean/Vietnamese/Japanese) However, I don't speak or read any of those languages.

It may or may not be relevant, but I have a Samantabhadra, Kwan Yin, Medicine Buddha and a Shakyamuni statue.

  • afaik, the eye opening is done only after the statue filling ritual is completed. During the filling ritual the face of the Buddha has to be covered and only at the end the face is revealed. Traditionally, some would paint the Buddha's face only after the filling is done. Nowadays it is rather difficult, so the statues are purchased with the faces painted and then the filling ritual is done. Are your statues filled already? – Rabbit Jun 29 '14 at 15:58
  • They were made by what appears to be a secular company in China. They're solid- as far as I can tell- so probably not filled with mini-sutras. – MatthewMartin Jun 29 '14 at 16:10
  • Normally you can't buy an already filled statue. If you didn't fill it yourself, it is most probably not filled. A statue should be hollow inside so that one can fill it and then perform eye-opening ritual. At least in Tibetan Buddhism. – Rabbit Jun 30 '14 at 9:42
  • @Rabbit can you post an answer, just for format's sake? – yuttadhammo Jul 1 '14 at 2:42
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My answer refers to Tibetan Buddhism, I am not sure whether the same applies to other traditions.

Eye opening ritual is the final stage of a statue filling ritual. A newly bought statue is hollow inside and its base can be opened with a tool. If one sells an already filled statue, it is a good practice to ask in what circumstances it has been filled.

During the statue filling ritual the face of the Buddha is covered. Traditionally, the face wasn't even painted before the statue has been filled. In this case the eye-opening ceremony involved adding the actual eyes to complete the statue. Nowadays it is difficult since many statues are acquired in Asian countries to be sold in the West.

To fill the statue one needs a special transmission to do so. In the West various local Buddhist centres organize statue filling events so that people can bring their own statues and have them traditionally filled. You can see a photo relation from one of such events. I have never heard of anyone filling the statue without receiving special instructions.

Personally I own a two statues. One has been bought and filled in Germany and the second one was bought in Kathmandu and filled in a local monastery. I uncovered the eyes only when it safely arrived to my home and I placed it on my altar. I've been told it is a good practice to cover the eyes of the Buddha during the travel and open it only when you can place the statue at it's final destination.

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In Thailand you can take to the Abbot in a temple. They will do a blessing and open the eye. I have one Buddha I took to the temple In Koh Phangan and the Abbot actually drew on the Buddhas eyes and also applied powder to the base. Other temples have simply blessed and made chants. Most importantly is they way you feel about your Buddha and how you respect it. It is different for everyone but my Buddhas are special.This is my wooden house in Thailand.

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