Sutta references to prayer in Buddhism

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ieee23
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Sutta references to prayer in Buddhism

Post by ieee23 » Sun Aug 05, 2018 1:45 pm

I've been running into a few people on the net who have claimed that prayer is a legitimate part of Buddhism.

Can anyone point me to sutta references where the Buddha endorses, or does NOT encourage prayer?
Whatever a bhikkhu frequently thinks and ponders upon, that will become the inclination of his mind. - MN 19

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mikenz66
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Re: Sutta references to prayer in Buddhism

Post by mikenz66 » Sun Aug 05, 2018 7:07 pm

ieee23 wrote:
Sun Aug 05, 2018 1:45 pm
I've been running into a few people on the net who have claimed that prayer is a legitimate part of Buddhism.
Perhaps you could indicate what is being defined as "prayer". As you probably know, recollection of the good qualities of the Buddha, Dhamma, Sangha, and Devas are recommended in the suttas. See, for example:
https://www.dhammatalks.org/books/Chant ... n0031.html

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Mike

ieee23
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Re: Sutta references to prayer in Buddhism

Post by ieee23 » Sun Aug 05, 2018 9:16 pm

Prayer - communicating with a non-corporeal being.
Whatever a bhikkhu frequently thinks and ponders upon, that will become the inclination of his mind. - MN 19

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mikenz66
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Re: Sutta references to prayer in Buddhism

Post by mikenz66 » Mon Aug 06, 2018 5:57 am

ieee23 wrote:
Sun Aug 05, 2018 9:16 pm
Prayer - communicating with a non-corporeal being.
Hmm, that's not the definition I expected. There are plenty of suttas where the Buddha talks with Devas and Brahmas, but those are not what I would call prayers.

I think usually people think of prayers as asking a god for help.

Some of the suttas discuss recollecting the good attributes of the devas: https://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/stu ... s.html#six
"Furthermore, you should recollect the devas: 'There are the devas of the Four Great Kings, the devas of the Thirty-three, the devas of the Hours, the Contented Devas, the devas who delight in creation, the devas who have power over the creations of others, the devas of Brahma's retinue, the devas beyond them. Whatever conviction they were endowed with that — when falling away from this life — they re-arose there, the same sort of conviction is present in me as well. Whatever virtue they were endowed with that — when falling away from this life — they re-arose there, the same sort of virtue is present in me as well. Whatever learning they were endowed with that — when falling away from this life — they re-arose there, the same sort of learning is present in me as well. Whatever generosity they were endowed with that — when falling away from this life — they re-arose there, the same sort of generosity is present in me as well. Whatever discernment they were endowed with that — when falling away from this life — they re-arose there, the same sort of discernment is present in me as well.' At any time when a disciple of the noble ones is recollecting the conviction, virtue, learning, generosity, and discernment found both in himself and the devas, his mind is not overcome with passion, not overcome with aversion, not overcome with delusion. His mind heads straight, based on the (qualities of the) devas. 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 senses pleasure. In one sensing pleasure, the mind becomes concentrated.

"Mahanama, you should develop this recollection of the devas while you are walking, while you are standing, while you are sitting, while you are lying down, while you are busy at work, while you are resting in your home crowded with children."
https://www.dhammatalks.org/suttas/AN/AN11_13.html
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Mike

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salayatananirodha
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Re: Sutta references to prayer in Buddhism

Post by salayatananirodha » Mon Aug 06, 2018 6:44 am

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html

http://obo.genaud.net/dhamma-vinaya/ati ... an.ati.htm
There are a great many suttas involving communication with heavenly beings, devas. And a sutta in particular that instructs us to dedicate offerings to devas. https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html

In whatever place a wise person makes his dwelling, — there providing food for the virtuous, the restrained, leaders of the holy life — he should dedicate that offering to the devas there. They, receiving honor, will honor him; being respected, will show him respect. As a result, they will feel sympathy for him, like that of a mother for her child, her son. A person with whom the devas sympathize always meets with auspicious things.
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16. 'In what has the world originated?' — so said the Yakkha Hemavata, — 'with what is the world intimate? by what is the world afflicted, after having grasped at what?' (167)

17. 'In six the world has originated, O Hemavata,' — so said Bhagavat, — 'with six it is intimate, by six the world is afflicted, after having grasped at six.' (168)

- Hemavatasutta


links:
https://www.ancient-buddhist-texts.net/index.htm
http://thaiforestwisdom.org/canonical-texts/
http://seeingthroughthenet.net/
https://www.dhammatalks.org/index.html

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