Why do some pray to Buddha?

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Why do some pray to Buddha?

Postby Ervin » Fri Oct 05, 2012 7:57 pm

I have seen people bow down and prostrate to Buddha like Muslims prostrate to Allah. Ofcourse, it wasn't identical but at times I heard some Buddhists do more prostrations than the amount Muslims do in a day.

Why pray to Buddha or why ask Buddha for forgiveness or blessings? Can Buddha alter karma for sentient beings?

Also all that I ask about a Bodisatva?

Is all that something that came out recently or is that what actual Sakyamuni Buddha taught?
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Re: Why do some pray to Buddha?

Postby oushi » Fri Oct 05, 2012 8:32 pm

Why ask? Is there something that people should do? No, so why bother asking why they do what they do?
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Re: Why do some pray to Buddha?

Postby deepbluehum » Fri Oct 05, 2012 11:50 pm

Ervin wrote:I have seen people bow down and prostrate to Buddha like Muslims prostrate to Allah. Ofcourse, it wasn't identical but at times I heard some Buddhists do more prostrations than the amount Muslims do in a day.

Why pray to Buddha or why ask Buddha for forgiveness or blessings? Can Buddha alter karma for sentient beings?

Also all that I ask about a Bodisatva?

Is all that something that came out recently or is that what actual Sakyamuni Buddha taught?


Prostration is not submission. We become like Buddha giving our body, speech and mind to benefit all sentient beings with bodhichitta, the supreme mind.
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Re: Why do some pray to Buddha?

Postby Ervin » Fri Oct 05, 2012 11:53 pm

oushi wrote:Why ask? Is there something that people should do? No, so why bother asking why they do what they do?


People can do whatever they want to do.

Let me ask you a question: If that's the case then why be a member of this forum? Why give your opinion?
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Re: Why do some pray to Buddha?

Postby tomamundsen » Fri Oct 05, 2012 11:56 pm

Ervin wrote:I have seen people bow down and prostrate to Buddha like Muslims prostrate to Allah. Ofcourse, it wasn't identical but at times I heard some Buddhists do more prostrations than the amount Muslims do in a day.


Why pray to Buddha or why ask Buddha for forgiveness or blessings?

First, prostrating is usually an act of refuge or offering, not requesting blessings. Second, people pray to different Buddhas asking for forgiveness and blessings, because that is what the Buddhas do for us.

Ervin wrote:Can Buddha alter karma for sentient beings?

In short, yes.

Ervin wrote:Is all that something that came out recently or is that what actual Sakyamuni Buddha taught?

Even in the Buddha's time, people venerated the arhats. Venerating realized beings is a meritorious act.
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Re: Why do some pray to Buddha?

Postby Indrajala » Sat Oct 06, 2012 3:02 am

Ervin wrote:Why pray to Buddha or why ask Buddha for forgiveness or blessings? Can Buddha alter karma for sentient beings?


A prostration to an image of the Buddha (or bodhisattva or arhat) expresses veneration towards a liberated being, which constitutes wholesome karma. On another level we should be aware of the principle that you emulate what you contemplate. If you contemplate or bring to mind the Buddha, you will inevitably emulate those qualities in various ways, including being virtuous.


Throughout much of the day we produce unwholesome karma and thus sink deeper into saṃsāra. To counteract this we do various practices like prostrations, offerings and recollections. If your merit is little then an unwholesome deed would be kind a pinch of salt in a small cup of water. It would change the flavour entirely. If your merit is vast, then a misdeed is like a pinch of salt in the Ganges river. It will not change the overall flavour. To cultivate merit is to overwhelm the effect of our past misdeeds, thus rendering them unable to really affect us. In that sense you wash them away though the karma is still there -- just lacking the capacity for fruition.

Repentance is an act which renders past misdeeds incomplete. You must be satisfied with a past intentional unwholesome act for it to constitute a complete act. If you honestly regret it, then provided the karma has not come to fruition it will be rendered incomplete. The fruition likewise will be made incomplete.

In the Śrāvakayāna context repentance is supposed to be done to a pure bhikṣu (a monk).

In the Mahāyāna context repentance is done in front of images of holy beings for the same effect. The idea is that although they are not physically manifest, they are still present.

Also all that I ask about a Bodisatva?


Bodhisattvas are likewise liberated beings. Some are transcendental and are no longer comprised of strictly five aggregates.

Is all that something that came out recently or is that what actual Sakyamuni Buddha taught?


That depends on who you talk to. The early Mahāsāṃghika school was quite clear in their belief that the Buddha was transcendental and omniscient. A lot of Mahāyāna practices stem from them.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mah%C4%81s ... B9%83ghika
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Re: Why do some pray to Buddha?

Postby greentara » Sat Oct 06, 2012 4:05 am

I believe praying to a deity or praying to the buddha is innate in most humans. I have seen people praying, weeping and beseeching in front of the buddha in Hongkong and other Asian countries. Often if there are alot of problems in a family they hardly know which way to turn. Let people meditate, pray or chant, whatever suits the temperament and gives some peace.
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Why are some ignoramus sacred?

Postby lobster » Sat Oct 06, 2012 4:08 am

prostrate to Buddha like Muslims prostrate to Allah


To equate Allah with something one can pray to or venerate or even submit to
would be 'shirk', which in Islam is unlawful.
However Muslims 'pray' or remember to be aware six times a day . . . :smile:

In a similar way ignorance can not lessen without lessons one is prepared to learn from.
Prostrations are a mani festation of the capacity and intent to change. :twothumbsup:

As ignorance and arrogance have no karmic persona in my submission,
I am quite happy to bow to anyones ignorance as a personification of
a most precious self deification :bow:

OH MAMI PAY ME MMM
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Re: Why do some pray to Buddha?

Postby GarcherLancelot » Sat Oct 06, 2012 5:52 am

Huseng wrote:
Ervin wrote:Why pray to Buddha or why ask Buddha for forgiveness or blessings? Can Buddha alter karma for sentient beings?


A prostration to an image of the Buddha (or bodhisattva or arhat) expresses veneration towards a liberated being, which constitutes wholesome karma. On another level we should be aware of the principle that you emulate what you contemplate. If you contemplate or bring to mind the Buddha, you will inevitably emulate those qualities in various ways, including being virtuous.



If we contemplate other people ,would we emulate their qualities as well?. ..
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Re: Why do some pray to Buddha?

Postby Indrajala » Sat Oct 06, 2012 6:11 am

GarcherLancelot wrote:If we contemplate other people ,would we emulate their qualities as well?. ..


That is the principle, yes. It is subtle but I believe it is true.
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