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PostPosted: Tue Feb 18, 2014 2:25 pm 
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What does the word offerings mean?

"He must then respectfully make offerings to the guest-monks, in accord with the Dharma" (BNS)-- Here and in a few other places, it seems to mean the same thing as dana-- donations of money or materials to monks.

"Hence, if he does not make offerings to the sutras and moral codes, in accordance with the Dharma, he commits a secondary offense." (BNS) -- Not sure what they mean here. You can't give a lunch to a sutra. This means something different than in the 1st case. Is this just rhetorical flourish that means one should read and follow the sutras and moral codes?

Also, are offerings a part of maintaining a home altar in Chinese Buddhism? What, if any thing, is typically "offered"? What does one do with the offerings afterwards (particularly the food and the like)?


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 18, 2014 2:37 pm 
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In Chinese Buddhism, as with pretty much all schools, people put offerings on their shrines. These can be anything from a simple cup of water, incense, flowers & candle to.... well see below;

Image

Image

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 18, 2014 2:39 pm 
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Any food and water is usually discarded outside as an offering to animals & hungry ghosts. Sometimes the offerings are eaten by the household (for a home shrine) or by those attending (at a temple)

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 18, 2014 5:20 pm 
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This is not necessarily limited to Chinese Buddhism either. Certain sutras, such as the Medicine Buddha sutra, have guidelines on how offerings are to be made: such as storing in a high place and hanging 5-colored flags.


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