Yutang Lin

Under pitiful circumstances, with narrow views,
Unable to clarify and resolve the net of clutches.
Our supplication relies on Buddha's compassion;
How could any prayer be phrased like directives?


Occasionally prayers submitted by Buddhists for me to pray to Buddha on their behalf contained criticism or judgment on others, or fanciful expectations. The wordings resembled rather like directives but not supplication. For us to receive Buddha's blessing we need to recognize in advance the following: what we know are very limited, what we are capable of is minute, the circumstances are very difficult to resolve, the merits we have accumulated are meager, the only thing that we are relying on while making our pleading is the great compassion of Buddha that is universally fair to all. Therefore, it is only proper to state our predicaments with the hope that Buddha would bless us with relief such that dangers would be averted and serious consequences would be lightened. As to criticism out of personal views and prejudices and judgements made based on limited knowledge and views, they should not be included in one's prayer lest the mistake of disrespect would be incurred. Whenever such prayers came into my attention I would beg Buddha's forgiveness for their ignorance.

Written in Chinese on March 9, 2002
Translated on March 16, 2002
El Cerrito, California

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