Is it wrong to pray to the Buddha?

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
User avatar
No_Mind
Posts: 1813
Joined: Fri May 23, 2014 4:12 pm
Location: India

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
Posts: 111
Joined: Fri Mar 18, 2011 4:43 pm
Location: India

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
Posts: 9039
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2012 2:49 am

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”

User avatar
JamesTheGiant
Posts: 232
Joined: Fri Jan 02, 2015 8:41 am
Location: New Zealand

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.
Then,
saturated with joy,
you will put an end to suffering and stress.
SN 9.11

User avatar
No_Mind
Posts: 1813
Joined: Fri May 23, 2014 4:12 pm
Location: India

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

User avatar
No_Mind
Posts: 1813
Joined: Fri May 23, 2014 4:12 pm
Location: India

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
Posts: 2847
Joined: Fri Jun 10, 2011 10:55 pm

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
Posts: 9039
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2012 2:49 am

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
Posts: 383
Joined: Sun Jun 04, 2017 1:26 pm

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
Posts: 383
Joined: Sun Jun 04, 2017 1:26 pm

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
Posts: 383
Joined: Sun Jun 04, 2017 1:26 pm

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
Posts: 383
Joined: Sun Jun 04, 2017 1:26 pm

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 .

User avatar
No_Mind
Posts: 1813
Joined: Fri May 23, 2014 4:12 pm
Location: India

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
Posts: 583
Joined: Wed Jul 27, 2016 12:38 pm

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
Posts: 9039
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2012 2:49 am

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”

James Tan
Posts: 383
Joined: Sun Jun 04, 2017 1:26 pm

Re: Is it wrong to pray to the Buddha?

Post by James Tan » Thu Mar 01, 2018 7:32 am

No_Mind wrote:
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:
Well , she was a very successful business women , multimillionaire and still young about 30 something . She was very reluctant to be a nun actually . She made a vow if she recovered from cancer she would become a nun and she got recovered , but , she regretted and lied to the Lord Buddha and she became a temporary nun and disrobed eventually .
However , not long after disrobing she became very ill again . This time she knew she could not lies to the Buddha anymore . Thereafter she really made up her mind to renounce worldly life because if doesn't she would not live long anyway . The last time I seen her was last year . And she still active in spreading dhamma .

James Tan
Posts: 383
Joined: Sun Jun 04, 2017 1:26 pm

Re: Is it wrong to pray to the Buddha?

Post by James Tan » Thu Mar 01, 2018 7:35 am

SarathW wrote:
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.
Not necessarily , anyone can pray to God or even from the Lord Buddha , whether you being granted your wish or not is another matter .

User avatar
rightviewftw
Posts: 875
Joined: Mon Jan 01, 2018 8:50 pm

Re: Is it wrong to pray to the Buddha?

Post by rightviewftw » Thu Mar 01, 2018 9:27 am

Some Sutta, can't go wrong with that:)
SN 11.3
Dhajagga Sutta: The Top of the Standard

On one occasion the Blessed One was staying at Jeta's Grove, Anathapindika's monastery. There he addressed the monks, "Monks!"

"Yes, lord," the monks responded to him.

The Blessed One said, "Monks, once the devas & asuras were arrayed for battle. Then Sakka, the chief of the devas, addressed the devas of the Thirty-three: 'If, dear sirs, when the devas have gone into battle, there should arise fear, terror, or horripilation, then on that occasion you should catch sight of the top of my standard. For when you have caught sight of the top of my standard, whatever fear, terror, or horripilation there is will be abandoned.
...
"But, monks, when the top of the deva-chief Sakka's standard is caught sight of, or when the top of the deva-king Pajapati's standard is caught sight of, or when the top of the deva-king Varuna's standard is caught sight of, or when the top of the deva-king Isana's standard is caught sight of, whatever fear, terror, or horripilation there is may be abandoned or may not be abandoned. Why is that? Because Sakka the chief of the devas is not devoid of passion, not devoid of aversion, not devoid of delusion. He feels fear, feels terror, feels dread. He runs away.

"But I tell you this: If — when you have gone into the wilderness, to the shade of a tree, or to an empty building — there should arise fear, terror, or horripilation, then on that occasion you should recollect me: 'Indeed, the Blessed One is worthy & rightly self-awakened, consummate in knowledge & conduct, well-gone, an expert with regard to the world, unexcelled as a trainer for those people fit to be tamed, the Teacher of divine & human beings, awakened, blessed.' For when you have recollected me, whatever fear, terror, or horripilation there is will be abandoned.
...
Why is that? Because the Tathagata — worthy & rightly self-awakened — is devoid of passion, devoid of aversion, devoid of delusion. He feels no fear, feels no terror, feels no dread. He doesn't run away."
...
AN 11.12
Mahanama Sutta: To Mahanama (1)
...
[1] "There is the case where you recollect the Tathagata: 'Indeed, the Blessed One is worthy and rightly self-awakened, consummate in knowledge & conduct, well-gone, an expert with regard to the world, unexcelled as a trainer for those people fit to be tamed, the Teacher of divine & human beings, awakened, blessed.' At any time when a disciple of the noble ones is recollecting the Tathagata, his mind is not overcome with passion, not overcome with aversion, not overcome with delusion. His mind heads straight, based on the Tathagata. And when the mind is headed straight, the disciple of the noble ones gains a sense of the goal, gains a sense of the Dhamma, gains joy connected with the Dhamma. In one who is joyful, rapture arises. In one who is rapturous, the body grows calm. One whose body is calmed experiences ease. In one at ease, the mind becomes concentrated.
...
How to Destroy any addiction - Ven. Yuttadhammo Bhikkhu
How to Meditate: Vipassana Satipatthana Mahasi
Медитация Сатипаттхана Випассана
How To Develop Factors & Perceptions
Tyranny of Words - An Introduction to General Semantics
"It is hard for such a generation to see this truth, namely, specific conditionality, dependent origination. And it is hard to see this truth, namely, the stilling of all formations, the relinquishing of all acquisitions, the destruction of craving, dispassion, cessation, Nibbāna."
- Throw out heretics like garbage

User avatar
mikenz66
Posts: 15663
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Location: Aotearoa, New Zealand

Re: Is it wrong to pray to the Buddha?

Post by mikenz66 » Thu Mar 01, 2018 9:36 am

rightviewftw wrote:
Thu Mar 01, 2018 9:27 am
Some Sutta, can't go wrong with that:)
SN 11.3
Dhajagga Sutta: The Top of the Standard
...
Yes, that's a popular chant. See: viewtopic.php?t=26134

:heart:
Mike

User avatar
Sam Vara
Posts: 3296
Joined: Sun Jun 05, 2011 5:42 pm
Location: Sussex, U.K.

Re: Is it wrong to pray to the Buddha?

Post by Sam Vara » Thu Mar 01, 2018 10:40 am

SarathW wrote:
Thu Mar 01, 2018 7:31 am
I think it is a form of meditation not a prayer.
In prayer, you ask something or some help from God.
Not necessarily. The type of prayer in which one asks for something is called petitionary prayer, but that's not the only type of prayer there is in Christian (and presumably other theistic) traditions. Often, people talk about praying in order to be present with God, or to open oneself up to him, which sounds rather more like meditation than simply asking for one's wants to be fulfilled.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Baidu [Spider], steve19800 and 88 guests