Pujas for the Deceased

Sponsor A Puja

Please use the form below to sponsor the puja for your loved one.

  • Puja for the Deceased, 49th Day Sur Prayers, or Memorial Service

    This Buddha Amitabha puja invokes the wisdom and blessings of Buddha Amitabha, the Buddha of boundless light. Because of Buddha Amitabha’s merit and aspirations, ordinary people can be reborn in Amitabha’s Pure Land called Dewachen and achieve increasingly higher levels of realization without taking rebirth in samsara.

    The Buddha Amitabha Jangchog ritual purifies the obscurations and negative karmas of the deceased. It is usually performed in conjunction with another practice, such as Tara or Vajrasattva.  Driven by obscurations and karmically habitual tendencies, beings helplessly act in ways which confine them to cyclic existence, binding them to repeated cycles of suffering. The Burning Away Afflictions practice is performed in order to close the door to confused perceptions. In this practice, the living express their love for the departed, make offerings to them, remind them of their true nature, and supplicate them to turn toward dharma. From that foundation, the negative karmas, afflictions and obscurations of the deceased are then burned away.

    For the 49th day Sur prayers (only on the 49th day), burnt offerings are made for the benefit of beings in the bardo (intermediate state between births).  This service will be performed only on the 49th day along with the Buddha Amitabha puja. This is the amount of time it is traditionally said that a deceased being spends in the bardo.  Sur offerings are consecrated and placed in a fire or burned as incense. The fragrant smoke is offered to the objects of refuge and shared with all sentient beings.  The 49th day Sur practice is an excellent method to generate profound merit on behalf of the deceased, and to eliminate obstacles for them.

    100 butter lamps with Smoke Offering will also be provided as part of the Puja for the Deceased, 49th day Sur Prayers, or Memorial Service.

    Offering butter lamps is the most powerful offering because the light symbolizes wisdom.  Just as a lamp dispels darkness, offering light from a butter lamp represents removing the darkness of ignorance in order to attain Buddha’s luminous clear wisdom. For Tibetan Buddhist practitioners, a lamp offering carries the wish to attain Buddhahood and the aspiration to recognize the clear light at the time of death, thereby experiencing liberation in that moment.  Traditionally, butter lamps are offered for the deceased for 49 days after the person’s death in order to guide them through the bardo by wisdom light. The wisdom light also guides all beings of the six realms, removing their obscurations so that they may awaken to their true wisdom nature.

    Lamp offerings are best made in the surrounding environment of consecrated representations of fully awakened wisdom, loving-kindness, and compassion. With its magnificent Buddha Shakyamuni, White Tara and Thousand-Armed Avalokiteshvara statues consecrated with the relics of Lord Buddha Shakyamuni and other enlightened Masters embedded and sealed inside the statues, the main shrine room at DDSC temple offers a most auspicious setting for making lamp offerings.  The Buddha relics are known to have tremendous power and can bring great blessings to individuals and the surroundings, where family, relatives and friends can visit the temple, circumambulate and make offerings as well as participate in practices that will benefit themselves and the deceased beloveds.

What are Pujas?

Puja is a skillful tantric practice of purification using the power of mantra, the power of concentration, and the power of Buddha’s words of truth.  Pujas are rituals that involve visualization, recitation of mantras and prayers and making offerings to the enlightened beings (Buddhas/Deities).  Pujas are performed to receive the blessings of enlightened beings, accumulate merit, and dispel obstacles and negative circumstances for oneself and others.

Why Request a Puja?

In traditional Buddhist cultures, lay people ask members of the monastic community to perform pujas for them in order to increase positive circumstances and success in their spiritual and worldly affairs, as well as to deal with or avert problems which may occur in those areas.

The monastic community’s many years of profound practice experience lends great blessings and power to the puja. This mutually supportive relationship between the lay and monastic communities generates a vast, resonant field of bodhicitta, which will benefit all beings.

How Does a Puja “Work”?

Pujas can be sponsored to benefit oneself or another, for the living or for the dead. Each puja is centered around a specific Buddha, whose activity is specifically suited to fulfill certain functions – such as protection, removing obstacles, pacifying illness, or helping the deceased.

When requested, sponsored puja will be performed at DDSC temple by one or more of our resident ordained sangha – Venerable Khenpo Samdup and/or Venerable Ani Konchok Gamtso – who may also be joined by other practitioners.  If feasible, pujas can be also performed in conjunction at one of the monasteries with which DDSC is affiliated such as Garchen Buddhist Institute, Drikung Kagyu Monastery or Drikung Kagyu Nunnery.  The public can participate in the puja if desired.  No registration required to sit in on the puja.

Is there a fee for a Puja Service?

In traditional settings, when a puja is requested, an offering is made with the request. The offering is a form of the practice of generosity which enables the one making the request to accumulate merits that further enhance the effectiveness of the ritual. Making an offering toward the puja creates an auspicious connection between the puja sponsor, the person being prayed for, the Buddha being prayed to, and the lamas offering the prayers and pujas, and the prayers being made.

You may donate whatever amount is comfortable for you. Your donation will go toward the ordained sangha as an offering for the puja performed, and to help support Drikung Dharma Surya’s temple operations.

If the requested offering involves a hardship, please contact DDSC so that accommodations can be made.  We are grateful for all donations, no matter the size.


Pujas can be sponsored to benefit oneself or another.  Pujas sponsored at DDSC temple will be primarily performed by Venerable Khenpo Samdup and/or Venerable Ani Konchok Gamtso, joined by other lamas at monasteries with which DDSC is affiliated if possible.


  • Use the form on this page to make a donation toward the puja to request a prayer, so that you or a loved one receives dedications of the merit at the end of the puja.
  • For the Deceased, please specify type(s) of Puja desired:  1) Puja for the Deceased, 2) 49th Day Sur Prayers, or 3) Memorial Service.