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Sur Offering


The sur substance is made of roasted barley flour (tsampa), yogurt, butter, milk, sugar, molasses, and honey (the three whites and the three sweets). Reciting the prayers and mantra syllables in the text, one purifies and consecrates the offering, sprinkles a small amount of it onto a burning coal, and sounds the tingsha to summon beings to partake of it. Together, the aroma and the practitioner's motivation, visualization, and dedication of merit provide an offering that both delights enlightened beings and satisfies all ordinary beings. In particular, sur offerings nourish those in the bardo, the intermediate state after death. These beings experience hunger and thirst but can be nourished only through their sense of smell. This practice can be done for forty-nine days after someone's death, with emphasis on dedicating the merit of this virtuous activity for the benefit of the deceased.
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