Offering rituals come in many different forms, from placing Offering cakes (Tib. Torma) on an Altar, to Blessings of sacred objects (Tib. rabne), dance rituals, feast-offerings (Tib. tsog) and Fire-pujas, to name but a few.
(Tib.) contain several substances with their own symbolic meaning. In India, this Offering traditionally contained three sweet substances: molasses, Honey and sugar and three white substances: curd, butter and milk.
In Tibet, these would be mixed with tsampa or parched barley flour to make an Offering cake.
For specific practices, grains, Alcohol, meat, or medicine may beadded.
Adding five types of grains is believed to overcome poverty and famine, while the 6 medicinal aromatics are Thought to overcome illness and epidemics. Tormas can have many different shapes, again related to their specific purpose.
For example, typical stepped, pyramid shaped tormas are specific to wrathful deities with wavy outer lines representing smoke and flames.
The colour of these sometimes match the colour of the attending deity.Cakes for peaceful deities often contain round shapes.
The tormas are traditionally decorated with sculptures made of butter and colorants.
For some occasions, a cross of coloured threads, believed to have been introduced by Guru Rinpoche, is added to the Torma.
Two wooden sticks are bound together in the shape of a cross on which coloured threads are woven to create a cobweb-like structure.
Tormas can be vary from a simple small clump, to very large and complicated, measuring up to a few meters in size.
They can be used as devices to which all the Evil and sickness of an individual or a community are transferred and there by eliminated.
Every year in many of the temples, Monasteries and dzongs the ritual of "casting away Torma" is performed on the twenty-ninth day of the last month of the year, in some places accompanied by dances.
In this way, negativities of the past year can be ended.
Tsog (Tib.) or Ganacakra (Skt.) are regarded as an indispensable means for conferring accomplishment and pacifying obstacles.
There are three aspects to the feast-Offering:
the gathering of fortunate practitioners in the feast; the outer,
inner and secret sacraments of the ritual which are offered and consumed during the feast;
and Buddhas - whether actual or visualised - whor eceive the offerings and bring the ritual to its successful conclusion.
The overall purpose is to distribute Merit and Wisdom in the context of a specific tantric ritual.
can be as simple as in the Vajra Daka practice , or can be very elaborate, like at the completion of a long tantric Retreat.
Fire pujas are also held to bless the ground before the construction of temples or stupas.
Fire offerings can be of different types: peaceful to overcome obstacles and Defilements (like usually after a Retreat);
increasing to expand Wealth, Wisdom and Merit and to gain longevity, controlling to subdue harmful forces;
forceful to banish negative forces.