Thanks for the information. My statues are all unfilled.I did see a lama fill a statue for a friend.He was very particular about every little detail.There were a lot of different things that he put inside it.Some were brought along with him from Tibet.He specializes in just filling statues for people.It cost my friend RM500 to fill 1 statue.
He was chanting and filling the statues slowly.It took him about 5 hours(maybe more) to fill one statue.
The statues at our meditation centre are not filled upon the advice of my Vajraguru.All our members have not filled their statues too.I have not asked him why he preferred the statues to be left unfilled but on his next visit, I'll like to see what he has to say.He is a very wise man.I'll share his reasons with you.His next visit would be in about two months time.Basically, I dare not fill the statues by myself for fear of missing a step or two in the process.It is too delicate a process for me to handle.
Hi, considering the work that lama did, 500RMB is very reasonable.
Not every lama fill statues that way, and I think it's still OK...
I mean, filling is not the most important thing for a statue. The most important thing is to consecrate it.
A tantra says: you shouldn't make offer to an unconsecrated statue.
It's vajrayana's point of view. (but we should always respect a buddha statue, consecrated or not)
Mahayana or even hinayana also have their consecration ritual, chanting sutra and praise etc.
So the most important thing for you is to find a qualified lama to consecrate it.
But before you can do it, you need to fill it unless there's no space inside.
It would be very nice if you can have your statue filled nicely. There are many details about filling like when a temple wants its expensive statue filled perfectly; but if your statue is a normal one used at home, you don't need to worry about details too much, as long as you don't fill it wrongly. Some details are about perfection, not doing those won't make it wrong.
The more important thing is, you should have a qualified master to consecrate it. I think if you can have a high lama to consecrate your normally filled statue, it would be more blessful than a perfectly filled but not consecrated one.
After consecration, you shouldn't open the statue anymore. You shouldn't even touch the statue with bare hands, not to mention dirty hands.
Anyway, an un-filled and un-consecrated statue surely shouldn't be your object of praying and offering to. You can cover it well and leave it at a clean place, but waiting too long is also not auspicious, unless you are running a statue shop.
About bad spirit, I used to think 'this is buddha's image, even it's empty inside, how come a spirit can live in?' Then one thing change my opinion. My grand father got a serious stroke. My uncle was worried and brought photos of his house to a Daoist guy or something, who has a bit ability. My grand father got a china statue although he's actually not a Buddhist. When the Daoist guy saw the statue in the photo, he immediately said: 'that statue is empty inside, isn't it? there is something in there!'
Maybe spirit is like other beings: insects will still eat your offering, they don't care if it's buddha's or not.
So, depends on what you want from your statue. If you want to have this statue as your very important one, then wait for a lama to do it for you. But you can still do it first, as long as it's not consecrated, you can still re-fill it. If you need to 'use' the statue very soon and it happens that there will be a really great master around, I will suggest you just fill it and bring the statue to the master.
Finally, may I ask what do you mean for statues unfilled in your meditation center? If it's for people to donate and bring home, it's usually not filled, yes. Or you mean the statues you worship to are also empty inside? that would be really unusual. May i ask who's your guru in that case?