The Lasa Kusa Ritual

Newars do a ritual of welcome called “las khus” for individual, icons, and other sacred materials entering a purified, sacred space. The phan measuring container can be a ritual implement when it is used to hold and pour out a set of auspicious items (flowers, puffed rice, dried fruit pieces) as part of a ceremonial rite (Nw. sipha-luye) that welcomes guests, who are lustrated one by one. Before each “pour”, a vajrācārya if present can utter into the phan the famous Sanskrit phrase that here serves as a mantra: Ye dharmā hetu-prabhavā/hetuṃ teṣāṃ tathāgata hy avadat/teṣāṃ ca yo nirodha/evaṃ vādī mahāśramaṇa. (“Of those phenomena which arise from causes/ Those causes have been taught by the Tathāgata/ And their cessation too/thus proclaimed the Great Ascetic.”)

Las khus can be done in courtyards for all doing special devotional rituals such as vratas, Ihi and Burā/Buri Jaṃko, for welcoming new brides into their husband’s home, and for welcoming images that are being ritual empowered. There are also wooden phans, which some vajrācāryas regard as superior.


View Ritual accoutrements
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