Tibetan Bhumpa

About Bhumpas

Tibetan Buddhist Bhumpa Ritual Vase

The Bhumpa, or Ritual Vase, is an important ceremonial offering item used for water purification for initiation ceremonies. The Bhumpa vase has a long spout for pouring out water and also is used with a detachable Peacock feather water sprinkler. The purified holy water is believed to remove negativity and to chase away evil spirits, and it is sprinkled or poured to purify persons, places or objects. Bhumpas are widely used by Buddhist Lamas and Gurus in many types of Buddhist ceremonies, from elaborate purification rituals for new houses, monuments and holy sites, to simple blessings for disciples meant to purify and protect them from harmful forces. 

Bhumpas may also be used by practitioners to make water offerings; in such cases the water is regarded as pure nectar. During the performance of some Tantric rituals two matching Bhumpas are used. These are called the “chief” or “principal” vase, and the “action” or “working” vase. The principal vase is filled with holy water and remains upon the altar in the monastery or temple, while the action vase is used for the actual pouring of water for purification during the various stages of the ritual..

According to myth, peacocks eat poisonous snakes without coming to any harm. It would appear that peacocks eat snakes and that their venom, that is lethal to us, may not harm them in the slightest. It is told in Buddhist stories that peacocks possess the power to use the poison to make the beautiful colours found in their feathers. The Peacock feathers thus represent the ability to turn the poisons of desire, attachment, anger, ignorance, jealousy, and pride into the positives of skilful means.