Is it wrong to pray to the Buddha?

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
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No_Mind
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Is it wrong to pray to the Buddha?

Post by No_Mind » Thu Mar 01, 2018 1:44 am

More often than not I end up praying to the Buddha.

Is that wrong practice?

I know the Buddha said
Therefore, Ananda, be islands unto yourselves, refuges unto yourselves, seeking no external refuge; with the Dhamma as your island, the Dhamma as your refuge, seeking no other refuge.

Mahāparinibbāṇa Sutta
but does it prevent us from praying to him?

The prayer usually is "Wise one, Awakened one, namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa, I bow before you .. I am a small human being with no great understanding of this world and Dhamma ..

Bless me so that I may acquire wisdom, give me strength so that I may be alive long enough to acquire wisdom .." and so on

:namaste:
I know one thing: that I know nothing

alfa
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Re: Is it wrong to pray to the Buddha?

Post by alfa » Thu Mar 01, 2018 4:09 am

No_Mind wrote:
Thu Mar 01, 2018 1:44 am
More often than not I end up praying to the Buddha.

Is that wrong practice?

I know the Buddha said
Therefore, Ananda, be islands unto yourselves, refuges unto yourselves, seeking no external refuge; with the Dhamma as your island, the Dhamma as your refuge, seeking no other refuge.

Mahāparinibbāṇa Sutta
but does it prevent us from praying to him?

The prayer usually is "Wise one, Awakened one, namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa, I bow before you .. I am a small human being with no great understanding of this world and Dhamma ..

Bless me so that I may acquire wisdom, give me strength so that I may be alive long enough to acquire wisdom .." and so on

:namaste:
Not wrong, but completely useless.

SarathW
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Re: Is it wrong to pray to the Buddha?

Post by SarathW » Thu Mar 01, 2018 4:10 am

You pray because you have doubts and uncertainty.
Doubt is one of the hindrances.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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JamesTheGiant
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Re: Is it wrong to pray to the Buddha?

Post by JamesTheGiant » Thu Mar 01, 2018 4:15 am

The Buddha is dead and gone, parinibbana'd. But maybe someone else might hear your prayers, and could help you. There are many many powerful beings in higher realms.

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No_Mind
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Re: Is it wrong to pray to the Buddha?

Post by No_Mind » Thu Mar 01, 2018 4:17 am

SarathW wrote:
Thu Mar 01, 2018 4:10 am
You pray because you have doubts and uncertainty.
Doubt is one of the hindrances.
Doubt in Dhamma is a hindrance. I do not have that.

I doubt if I am saving enough for my old age. That is not a hindrance.

:namaste:
I know one thing: that I know nothing

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No_Mind
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Re: Is it wrong to pray to the Buddha?

Post by No_Mind » Thu Mar 01, 2018 4:20 am

JamesTheGiant wrote:
Thu Mar 01, 2018 4:15 am
The Buddha is dead and gone, parinibbana'd. But maybe someone else might hear your prayers, and could help you. There are many many powerful beings in higher realms.

I know but sometimes I like to believe in Dhammakaya and .. that Buddha(s) still exists somewhere .. not as we know of them but their essence.


:namaste:
I know one thing: that I know nothing

santa100
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Re: Is it wrong to pray to the Buddha?

Post by santa100 » Thu Mar 01, 2018 4:49 am

Praying to the Buddha when being done out of wholesome intent (out of respect and inspiration instead of greed or material gains) is a great practice that's conducive to further progress on the Path:
AN 6.30 wrote:"Bhikkhus, there are these six unsurpassed things. What six? (1) The unsurpassed sight, (2) the unsurpassed hearing, (3) the unsurpassed gain, (4) the unsurpassed training, (5) the unsurpassed service, and (6) the unsurpassed recollection...

“And how is there the unsurpassed recollection? Here, someone recollects the gain of a son, a wife, or wealth; or else they recollect various kinds of gain; or else they recollect an ascetic or brahmin of wrong views, of wrong practice. There is this kind of recollection; this I do not deny. But this kind of recollection is low, common, worldly, ignoble, and unbeneficial; it does not lead to disenchantment, dispassion, cessation, peace, direct knowledge, enlightenment, and nibbāna. When, however, one [329] of settled faith, of settled devotion, decided, full of confidence, recollects the Tathāgata or a disciple of the Tathāgata: this unsurpassed recollection is for the purification of beings, for the overcoming of sorrow and lamentation, for the passing away of pain and dejection, for the achievement of the method, for the realization of nibbāna. This is called the unsurpassed recollection.

SarathW
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Re: Is it wrong to pray to the Buddha?

Post by SarathW » Thu Mar 01, 2018 5:25 am

People recite "Itipiso Bhagava" etc in prayer position.
But I do not consider it is prayer it is a recollection.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

James Tan
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Re: Is it wrong to pray to the Buddha?

Post by James Tan » Thu Mar 01, 2018 5:40 am

SarathW wrote:
Thu Mar 01, 2018 5:25 am
People recite "Itipiso Bhagava" etc in prayer position.
But I do not consider it is prayer it is a recollection.
For people don't know dhamma is a kind of prayer .

James Tan
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Re: Is it wrong to pray to the Buddha?

Post by James Tan » Thu Mar 01, 2018 5:44 am

No_Mind wrote:
Thu Mar 01, 2018 4:20 am
JamesTheGiant wrote:
Thu Mar 01, 2018 4:15 am
The Buddha is dead and gone, parinibbana'd. But maybe someone else might hear your prayers, and could help you. There are many many powerful beings in higher realms.

I know but sometimes I like to believe in Dhammakaya and .. that Buddha(s) still exists somewhere .. not as we know of them but their essence.


:namaste:
Emm , consider it a wholesome act (belief) better than non is it not so ?

James Tan
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Re: Is it wrong to pray to the Buddha?

Post by James Tan » Thu Mar 01, 2018 5:48 am

No_Mind wrote:
Thu Mar 01, 2018 4:17 am
SarathW wrote:
Thu Mar 01, 2018 4:10 am
You pray because you have doubts and uncertainty.
Doubt is one of the hindrances.
Doubt in Dhamma is a hindrance. I do not have that.

I doubt if I am saving enough for my old age. That is not a hindrance.

:namaste:
The problem is the dhamma encourages you to abandon greed which end up you are passionless and by that you somehow don't accumulate more money like other greedy worldling . How then you can have enough saving ?

James Tan
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Re: Is it wrong to pray to the Buddha?

Post by James Tan » Thu Mar 01, 2018 5:57 am

alfa wrote:
Thu Mar 01, 2018 4:09 am
No_Mind wrote:
Thu Mar 01, 2018 1:44 am
More often than not I end up praying to the Buddha.

Is that wrong practice?

I know the Buddha said
Therefore, Ananda, be islands unto yourselves, refuges unto yourselves, seeking no external refuge; with the Dhamma as your island, the Dhamma as your refuge, seeking no other refuge.

Mahāparinibbāṇa Sutta
but does it prevent us from praying to him?

The prayer usually is "Wise one, Awakened one, namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa, I bow before you .. I am a small human being with no great understanding of this world and Dhamma ..

Bless me so that I may acquire wisdom, give me strength so that I may be alive long enough to acquire wisdom .." and so on

:namaste:
Not wrong, but completely useless.
I knew a nuns which had 4th stage cancer , terminally ill and doctors said she could not survive more than few months . Not only that , her body has several type of cancers . However , she prays and prostrate to the Buddha everyday and decided to dedicate her life to spread dhamma until she dies .
And you know what ? It has been passed more than 10 years since the doctors told her that and she is still alive .

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No_Mind
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Re: Is it wrong to pray to the Buddha?

Post by No_Mind » Thu Mar 01, 2018 6:23 am

James Tan wrote:
Thu Mar 01, 2018 5:57 am
I knew a nuns which had 4th stage cancer , terminally ill and doctors said she could not survive more than few months . Not only that , her body has several type of cancers . However , she prays and prostrate to the Buddha everyday and decided to dedicate her life to spread dhamma until she dies .
And you know what ? It has been passed more than 10 years since the doctors told her that and she is still alive .
That is the kind of story that fills one with joy. I wish we would have more of these.

But one question .. was she a nun before she became afflicted by cancer or did she become one after being diagnosed?

:namaste:
I know one thing: that I know nothing

justindesilva
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Re: Is it wrong to pray to the Buddha?

Post by justindesilva » Thu Mar 01, 2018 6:49 am

praying is not a buddhist practise. In fact christisns or modlems pray to god when they have to commnicate with God ( who is invisible) . But lord budda has never preached anybody to pray, but the advise for a buddhist is to gain insight & wisdom through dana, sila, bhavana.
If at all we utter anything in terms of budda it has to be remebering him witj faith or gratitude.

SarathW
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Re: Is it wrong to pray to the Buddha?

Post by SarathW » Thu Mar 01, 2018 7:31 am

James Tan wrote:
Thu Mar 01, 2018 5:40 am
SarathW wrote:
Thu Mar 01, 2018 5:25 am
People recite "Itipiso Bhagava" etc in prayer position.
But I do not consider it is prayer it is a recollection.
For people don't know dhamma is a kind of prayer .
I think it is a form of meditation not a prayer.
In prayer, you ask something or some help from God.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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