Sutric refs for dead "seeing" prayers/rituals for them

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Sutric refs for dead "seeing" prayers/rituals for them

Postby kirtu » Sun Feb 10, 2013 5:49 am

What are the sutric references for the dead "seeing" or experiencing prayers/rituals for them? For example, did Maudgalyāyana's mother see him performing prayers for her in the suttas? There is an example in the suttas of a religious leader who has gone to one of the hells and interacts with an arhat and asks him to tell his former students that their path is wrong (I'll have to look this one up). I think the former religious leader can see his student's performing rituals on his behalf too but I'll check. There is also the offering mentioned by Shakyamuni Buddha that can be performed for former relatives reborn in the Hungry Ghost realm but it is not stated that they can actually see the offering although they can receive the merit.

Thanks!

Kirt
Kirt's Tibetan Translation Notes

"Only you can make your mind beautiful."
HH Chetsang Rinpoche
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Re: Sutric refs for dead "seeing" prayers/rituals for them

Postby PorkChop » Sun Feb 10, 2013 8:24 am

This topic often shows up in the Dharma talks that the monk gives during services that I go to.
The way the monk puts it, Maudgalyāyana's mother perceived him and many other monks making the prayers, which woke her up to the fact that she needed to do her own work to achieve liberation.
The sutra is a Mahayana sutra, the Ullambana Sutra.
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Re: Sutric refs for dead "seeing" prayers/rituals for them

Postby kirtu » Sun Feb 10, 2013 2:46 pm

PorkChop wrote:This topic often shows up in the Dharma talks that the monk gives during services that I go to.
The way the monk puts it, Maudgalyāyana's mother perceived him and many other monks making the prayers, which woke her up to the fact that she needed to do her own work to achieve liberation.
The sutra is a Mahayana sutra, the Ullambana Sutra.


That's correct (Ullambara Sutra) but the Mahayana version also gets hit for having a Chinese origin and adopting Confucian ideals. There is however a sutta version (which I don't have in my Kindle books) and I'm wondering if she saw the prayers for her there as well (thinking about it - probably because Maudgalyayana visiting her in hell just caused him to become upset and didn't help her and it wasn't until Shakyamuni gave the offering method as a solution that she received the merit so she was able to share in the offering through rejoicing, etc.). I'm just wondering if the sutta explicitly states that (not to dismiss the Mahayana Ullambara Sutra).

Do you know of any other references to similar actions?

Thanks!

Kirt
Kirt's Tibetan Translation Notes

"Only you can make your mind beautiful."
HH Chetsang Rinpoche
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Re: Sutric refs for dead "seeing" prayers/rituals for them

Postby kirtu » Sun Feb 10, 2013 4:24 pm

Apparently the Ullambana Sutra does not have a sutta version as I had thought. I thought I had read a sutta version some time ago.

Kirt
Kirt's Tibetan Translation Notes

"Only you can make your mind beautiful."
HH Chetsang Rinpoche
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Re: Sutric refs for dead "seeing" prayers/rituals for them

Postby PorkChop » Sun Feb 10, 2013 7:06 pm

kirtu wrote:Apparently the Ullambana Sutra does not have a sutta version as I had thought. I thought I had read a sutta version some time ago.

Kirt


Try this one?
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

EDIT: no specifics on prayers per say, but it does seem to explain the mechanism...
Food donations affect those in hungry ghost realms, where there are no other ways to eat.
I imagine Dharma/merit donations affect those in realms where there is no way to generate merit?
My understanding of merit dedication is that it and the action that generated the merit are both not only good causes, but good effects, a contributory cause being the condition of the deceased. In this way, a valid chain of cause and effect is maintained and thus the deceased would experience some effect. Not sure if that makes sense.
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