Friday, June 19, 2009

Name That Torma! Updated X 4

Summer is here, so here is a new contest: Name That Torma! This contest comes with a spectacular prize -- an astrological reading for the lucky (and well-schooled) winner. The rules are simple: identify the above torma, noting where it is accurate or inaccurate, and (if possible) supply a photograph of the torma in situ. Oh, well... just name the torma... that should be sufficient. Contest closes in one week from today, so get your entries in early. In case of a tie, the first correct answer takes the prize. Use the comment feature, below.

Clue: The Hungarian word torma arguably refers to...

O.K., so that is an obscure clue, but this is an obscure contest.

UPDATED: Well, I think we must have at least one or two readers out there who know their tormas. See comments, but first see below. Are you really, really sure?

UPDATED X 2: No matter how many curves I tried to throw, our readers were ready to swat. Here is a photograph of the torma in situ (but see caption, below) -- and correct me if I am wrong, but this would be the empowerment at the Lincoln Plaza Hotel in Monterey Park, California. I remember that there was a camera crew present that day, but I had no idea what rude, sacrilegious butchery they would make of the film thereafter. I doubt he would have minded -- he was too much of a gentleman -- but his students sure mind, so maybe these folks need to rethink their vision.

Younger eyes than mine, better informed and with higher resolution,
tell me this is the shalze I am seeing, when I think I am seeing two
rows of offerings, with the torma in the front row. Sigh.

So, what is fair? Our first contestant called White Mahakala, but did not elucidate. Our next contestant got radish right enough, but failed to mention why it could relate to the subject of our torma. Our third contestant, Hamish, blew the room away, and is the hands down winner.

O.K., so all three of you -- send me your date of birth, and Hamish, send me your date of birth and your mother's date of birth (just year is fine). For the first two, I'll do a quick run through, and for Hamish, detail to match his detail.

Congratulations to our lucky winners, and for those of you in different time zones, there is still time to pile on a few more nuances -- and if your nuances have nuances, maybe I can find a prize for you.

Still looking for a really splendid picture in color, showing all the details.

UPDATED X 3: Well, we have the here the prognostications for our two notables, one born in 1966 and one born in 1956 (and in the interests of privacy, I won't say which is which -- they know who they are).

Horse Contestant -- You are born in the year Fire Horse, your mewa is Red 7. You are missing the earth element. Wow! Watch the diet! Is the concept of becoming vegetarian totally out of the question? I guess it is. You need to consecrate a statue or commission a tangkha of green Tara before the year is over. Actually, as a general issue, and throughout your lifetime, you should cause the creation of as many images of Tara as you possibly can.

Monkey Contestant -- You are born in the year Fire Monkey, your mewa is White 8, your parkha is Khon. You are missing the water element. This is a challenging year for you in terms of health or physical circumstance, so take it easy. Pay attention to issues involving blood sugar, cholesterol, and other matters generally based in dietary habits impacting the liver. I think you live in a cold place, so you should be aware of composite wind/bile disorders. You have a daughter? You have been divorced? Join the club. You should devote all of your energies to handicraft or artistic pursuits, and in particular, you should cause the creation of images of Lord Buddha. I want to say you should commission a really large, magnificent tangkha of Lord Buddha, but I almost feel as if you have (or will have) this capacity yourself. I feel you will have significant success in spiritual matters.

Thank you both for playing... Name That Torma!

UPDATED X 4: Oh, what grand fun! We have in hand new images from an excellent source, and also one really helpful sketch from someone's three-year retreat notes (which I will not reproduce here for reasons of courtesy -- but Shangpa lineage, retreat done under Kalu Rinpoche). Suffice to say that all sketches, photos, designs, and recollections are different from each other in various ways, some subtle and some not so subtle.


Maybe I should re-activate the contest and call it "Name That Torma Variation!"

You know, in some ways, the various tormas reflect the journey taken by the White Mahakala sadhana itself.

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10 reader comments:

Todd B said...

Looks like it's the White Mahakala torma.

Anonymous said...

White Mahakala Torma, perhaps.

TENPA said...

Hmm... can we have a little more detail, Todd?

PDSz said...

horseradish! do I win?

Hamish said...

It is White Mahakala's torma. On the disc base, there should be sets of three jewels, not yellow spots. The three white spheres are equidistantly spaced beneath the main body of the torma and should have red spirals on them. The torma has two flowers, one shades of blue, one shades of red, one in the centre of the main body of the torma, one on it's 'neck'. The three yellow circles are erroneous. The three jewels above the sun and moon should be red, yellow and blue in color. If the torma is made with a flat crest above it, it should have the syllable 'Hum' on a lotus and the syllable 'Hrih' on another lotus above the 'Hum'. This is Shangpa Kagyu lugs.

TENPA said...

Hamish, you are hot as a pistol. See sketch in update.

todd b said...

TENPA said...

Todd -- As Hamish points out, that is not strictly on the money, but send in your birthdate anyway (I won't publish it).

TENPA said...

Hmm... maybe I should disqualify PDSz, as he's a professional!

Why radish, you ask? Or were about to ask?

Because in the associated sadhana, White Mahakala is standing on two Ganesh, each holding a mongoose and...

a radish!

Todd said...

Thank you TENPA, that was very kind of you to do for such an inadequate response.