Friday, December 30, 2016

Verses of aspiration when making offerings

altar of Amidaji temple


I offer this flower to Amida Buddha on behalf of all beings. By seeing its decaying beauty may we realize that our lives and so called "spiritual achievements" are transitory, and turn our minds and hearts to the Salvific Power of Amida Buddha.

I offer this burning candle to Amida Buddha on behalf of all beings. May we accept Amida's Light which permeates every corner of the Universe, and entrust to Him with unshakable faith.

I offer this incense to Amida Buddha on behalf of all beings. May we become imbued with the perfume of His Dharma, receive faith in Him and be born in His Pure Land after death.

I offer this cup of water to Amida Buddha on behalf of all beings. May our thirst be forever saturated in His Pure Land where we attain perfect Enlightenment.

I offer this cup of rice to Amida Buddha on behalf of all beings. May we receive faith in Him and guide others to faith. May the seeds of Amida Dharma multiply endlessly until the ocean of Samsaric existence becomes empty.
Namo Amida Butsu

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These words came to my mind spontaneously when sitting in front of the altar of Amida Buddha and making offerings. They are NOT some kind of merit transference, but a simple wish and act of awareness. Every object in the temple is a reminder of Amida's Compassion for us, and the need to rely on Him single heartedly. As far as I know, the flowers, incense and candles signify impermanence, perfume of Dharma and Light of Amida,  respectively, in all Shinshu temples affiliated with Hongwanji. Of course, one can simply say the Nembutsu, without the need for any other verse,  hymns or ritual implements. Its up to everyone to enjoy his (her) personal relation with Amida Buddha as he (she) likes it.

PS: instead of water you can offer tea or any other non-alcoholic drinks