Skip to main content


Torma (, ‘scattered (oblation)’; Skt., bali, ‘offering’). Sacrificial cake-offering in Tibetan Buddhism, made of barley flour, brightly decorated with coloured butter and shaped according to ritual requirements. It is so called because almost invariably it is scattered for eating by birds and animals after the ceremony, though occasionally it may be consumed during the ritual. Tormas may be offered to bodhisattvas, ḍākinīs, local spirits, even as bribes to satisfy demons. Tormas often play a part in empowerment (Skt., abhiṣekha; Tib., dbang.bskur) rituals, where the empowerment to perform the practice of a particular deity is given by the lama first projecting the deity into the torma, and then anointing the disciple with it.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Torma." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. . 16 Feb. 2019 <>.

"Torma." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. . (February 16, 2019).

"Torma." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. . Retrieved February 16, 2019 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.