Praying for Others

Yutang Lin


Tiny and insignificant one in the world with what merits and abilities
To pray for Buddhas' blessing on behalf of so many sentient beings?
Compassionate salvation depends solely on Buddha's omnipotence.
We, sons and daughters of Buddha, need only to supplicate sincerely.


Some said that novices lack the strength to pray for others, and hence should not do it. This is based on the mistaken view that praying for others amounts to carrying over others' karmic debt. Indeed, there is nothing wrong for a practitioner, based on Bodhicitta, to pray to Buddhas and Bodhisattvas on behalf of others for reduction of karmic debts, accumulation of merits, and cultivation of wisdom and compassion, as long as such practices have not fallen into commercialism. Only Buddhas and Bodhisattvas are the ones capable of granting salvation. Our supplication on behalf of others is merely an expression of our sincerity in helping beings leave suffering and attain happiness, and our own wisdom and compassion would thereby also have opportunities to grow. Therefore, practitioners should voluntarily pray on behalf of all sentient beings constantly.

Written in Chinese on November 29, 2006
Translated on December 3, 2006
El Cerrito, California

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