Author Topic: Buddhist Relics, Rituals, & Offerings  (Read 12209 times)

Offline Loz

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Re: Buddhist Relics, Rituals, & Offerings
« Reply #15 on: January 02, 2011, 09:42:48 am »
Is it acceptable to give service to an alter even if it is missing some of the elements? For example I do not think I will have the room to offer 7 bowls of water in praise, I will only have the room to offer one (I live with very limted space and the alter will have to go in my bedroom when I get my new apartment).

Also as the water is supposed to be given to plants rather than thrown away would it be acceptable to instead give it to my birds to drink and bathe if I do not have any plants? I feel this would be blessing them rather than simply taking the water away and having the blessing wasted.
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Offline Caz

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Re: Buddhist Relics, Rituals, & Offerings
« Reply #16 on: January 02, 2011, 09:57:52 am »
Is it acceptable to give service to an alter even if it is missing some of the elements? For example I do not think I will have the room to offer 7 bowls of water in praise, I will only have the room to offer one (I live with very limted space and the alter will have to go in my bedroom when I get my new apartment).

Also as the water is supposed to be given to plants rather than thrown away would it be acceptable to instead give it to my birds to drink and bathe if I do not have any plants? I feel this would be blessing them rather than simply taking the water away and having the blessing wasted.

Good Idea ! The offerings are symbolic but the real side of benifit comes from the mind in which you give them with.  :pray:
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Offline catmoon

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Re: Buddhist Relics, Rituals, & Offerings
« Reply #17 on: January 02, 2011, 02:51:10 pm »
Offering practices are not written in stone. The key to making a "good" offering is in the intention, and clearly since you are thinking of benefitting the birds, you intention is on track.

Some people have seven bowls, some have one, some have six, some use dozens. Who would want to walk into that situation and declare one "right" and all the others wrong?

All the same, there are formal ways and informal ways. So if you want to do a formal offering, then you have to look up the forms. On the informal side, there is great scope for creativity and it is amazing how some people make the most wonderful offerings from practically nothing, simply because their intention to benefit others is so strong.
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Offline lumbinitour

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Re: Buddhist Relics, Rituals, & Offerings
« Reply #18 on: December 27, 2011, 03:58:46 am »
Some scholars have also explained that while offering water bowls, caution and discipline is very important. As the distances between bowls signifies your distance with the teacher. If the bowls are kept too close or too far, both actions will have complications being too close or too far from your teacher.
But in many of the monasteries, we see that these disciplines are not paid attention to. So what is true ?   

Offline Lobster

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Re: Buddhist Relics, Rituals, & Offerings
« Reply #19 on: January 30, 2012, 12:48:51 am »
Quote
real side of benefit comes from the mind in which you give them with

Dave Blane Buddhism and juggling may inspire us
but the magic of a shrine comes from us and any passing Buddha
nectar.

If you have room for only one candle, then use that.
No room for a candle, then sit and visualize one.  :candle1:

If you develop purity of Mind and single pointed devotion
miracles will begin to manifest. They really are very ordinary
and on the whole to be kept in a safe place  :lipsseald:

Offline Ron-the-Elder

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Re: Buddhist Relics, Rituals, & Offerings
« Reply #20 on: February 24, 2012, 08:56:35 am »
An interesting discussion regarding the value of "relics".

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Re: Buddhist Relics, Rituals, & Offerings
« Reply #21 on: February 24, 2012, 02:43:10 pm »
A while ago I attended the travelling Maitreya relics exhibition.

I can't say that I was particularly impressed with the gallstones or robe-cloth of various important Buddhist figures.

I had expected to see only Tibetan Buddhist folk.  However, I was hugely impressed by the spread of Buddhists of all varieties enjoying the occason together.

In fact,blessings were being given by a Theravadan Bhikkhu.

The Maitreya project now looks to be dodgy, but the experinece I had was very heartwarming. :)

Offline Rahul

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Re: Buddhist Relics, Rituals, & Offerings
« Reply #22 on: June 11, 2017, 08:23:03 pm »
Some scholars have also explained that while offering water bowls, caution and discipline is very important. As the distances between bowls signifies your distance with the teacher. If the bowls are kept too close or too far, both actions will have complications being too close or too far from your teacher.
But in many of the monasteries, we see that these disciplines are not paid attention to. So what is true ?
Symbolism, rituals, idols, worshiping celestial beings... Buddha was totally against them all. The elaborate maze of rituals and worships etc. of the brahmins (priests during the time of Buddha) was called 'animal art' by Buddha. With all due respect, I am just quoting Buddha's words here. He advised his followers to refrain from these things that he called 'animal art'. He had specifically asked his followers not to make him a god.

So, following Buddha's words, we all should refrain from rituals of whatsoever kind and seek truth and freedom from suffering by following his path.

Offline Samana Johann

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Re: Buddhist Relics, Rituals, & Offerings
« Reply #23 on: June 11, 2017, 10:13:49 pm »
Not at all Rahul, not at all... be carfull with own and modern ideas to do not cause your self and many harm. At least it would not be of respect in regard of the Three Gems.

Paying respect an devotion is not even a low but very high practice or why do people think that they are not capable and oppose it? Because already beyound? Honest?

Quote
Respect and veneration

- Namo tassa bhagavato arahato sammā-sambuddhassa -[5]

Paying Respect or Veneration (also regard, obeisance, high esteem, honour, admiration) (pi apacāyana, apa + cāy root pūja = abound, scarify; verb apaciti; gārava) , is the fourth of the traditional listed ten skilful/meritorious deeds  (pi puññakiriya-vatthus), a practice which would be maintained beginning in childhood within families and societies in Buddhist environments. Within the three major kinds meritorious deeds (dāna, sīla, bhāvana) it counts to the virtue group as an aspect of sila. More known accesses, which will be maybe not suddenly regarded as aspects of respect, is the Refuge into the Three Jewels, honour and respect as the access point into the Dhamma and one of the Four Sublime Attributes (brahma vihara), Mudita, often translated as sympathy joy or appreciation. Mudita means joy and appreciation, and with it respect, in regard of one own goodness that one has developed and that of others.

Quote:[6]
An attitude of proper respect is a sign of intelligence. As SN VI.2  indicates, it is a requisite condition for gaining knowledge and skill, for it creates the atmosphere in which learning can take place. This is especially true in a bhikkhu's training, where so little can be learned through impersonal means such as books, and so much must be learned through personal interaction with one's teachers and fellow bhikkhus. AN VIII.2  notes that the first prerequisite for the discernment basic to the holy life is living in apprenticeship to a teacher for whom one has established a strong sense of respect. This attitude of respect opens the heart to learn from others, and shows others one's willingness to learn. At the same time, it gives focus and grounding to one's life. SN VI.2  reports the Buddha as saying, "One suffers if dwelling without reverence or deference." This was why, after his Awakening — when he had nothing further to learn in terms of virtue, concentration, discernment, release, or knowledge and vision of release — he decided to honor and respect the Dhamma to which he had awakened.

However, an attitude of respect benefits not only the individual who shows respect, but also the religion as a whole. AN VII.56  maintains that for the true Dhamma to stay alive, the bhikkhus, bhikkhunīs, male lay followers, and female lay followers must show respect and deference for the Buddha, Dhamma, and Saṅgha; for the training, concentration, heedfulness, and the duties of hospitality. If the proper respect and deference were lacking, how would the true Dhamma survive?  Read more...


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Offline Rahul

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Re: Buddhist Relics, Rituals, & Offerings
« Reply #24 on: June 12, 2017, 01:36:30 am »
Not at all Rahul, not at all... be carfull with own and modern ideas to do not cause your self and many harm. At least it would not be of respect in regard of the Three Gems.

Paying respect an devotion is not even a low but very high practice or why do people think that they are not capable and oppose it? Because already beyound? Honest?

Quote
Respect and veneration

- Namo tassa bhagavato arahato sammā-sambuddhassa -[5]

Paying Respect or Veneration (also regard, obeisance, high esteem, honour, admiration) (pi apacāyana, apa + cāy root pūja = abound, scarify; verb apaciti; gārava) , is the fourth of the traditional listed ten skilful/meritorious deeds  (pi puññakiriya-vatthus), a practice which would be maintained beginning in childhood within families and societies in Buddhist environments. Within the three major kinds meritorious deeds (dāna, sīla, bhāvana) it counts to the virtue group as an aspect of sila. More known accesses, which will be maybe not suddenly regarded as aspects of respect, is the Refuge into the Three Jewels, honour and respect as the access point into the Dhamma and one of the Four Sublime Attributes (brahma vihara), Mudita, often translated as sympathy joy or appreciation. Mudita means joy and appreciation, and with it respect, in regard of one own goodness that one has developed and that of others.

Quote:[6]
An attitude of proper respect is a sign of intelligence. As SN VI.2  indicates, it is a requisite condition for gaining knowledge and skill, for it creates the atmosphere in which learning can take place. This is especially true in a bhikkhu's training, where so little can be learned through impersonal means such as books, and so much must be learned through personal interaction with one's teachers and fellow bhikkhus. AN VIII.2  notes that the first prerequisite for the discernment basic to the holy life is living in apprenticeship to a teacher for whom one has established a strong sense of respect. This attitude of respect opens the heart to learn from others, and shows others one's willingness to learn. At the same time, it gives focus and grounding to one's life. SN VI.2  reports the Buddha as saying, "One suffers if dwelling without reverence or deference." This was why, after his Awakening — when he had nothing further to learn in terms of virtue, concentration, discernment, release, or knowledge and vision of release — he decided to honor and respect the Dhamma to which he had awakened.

However, an attitude of respect benefits not only the individual who shows respect, but also the religion as a whole. AN VII.56  maintains that for the true Dhamma to stay alive, the bhikkhus, bhikkhunīs, male lay followers, and female lay followers must show respect and deference for the Buddha, Dhamma, and Saṅgha; for the training, concentration, heedfulness, and the duties of hospitality. If the proper respect and deference were lacking, how would the true Dhamma survive?  Read more...



I am not against honoring. I honor Buddha and the dharma. What I am against is rituals. Rituals have the tendency to become so elaborate and confusing. I have seen people asking questions like: is it ok if I offer x bowls of water instead of y during worship? Rituals start as being symbolic, but eventually lose its purpose and become rife with unnecessary rules. It is better not to indulge in rituals and stick to the purpose: expressing or acknowledging the respect. One can simply close one's eyes and feel immense gratitude and respect for Buddha.

Offline Samana Johann

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Re: Buddhist Relics, Rituals, & Offerings
« Reply #25 on: June 12, 2017, 02:27:02 am »
Nyom Rahul, it's not possible to practice without rituals, meaning holding, remembering and doing thing again and again: eg. Sati (remembering, keep in mind, mindfulness). Some think rites and rituals are a fetter and should be abounded, ala "let it go like it flow", but when spoken of having abounded one of the first 3 fetters , rites and rituals (conduct and practice; practice is most translatet as rites and rituals but should just say "wrong practice"), it means that one does no more tend to practice which is not conductive for the path.

As for offering 3 water bowls every day, what ever might be, in this or that way, that is sati on a raw level and also useful to train the mind.

So one should be very carefully judging people doing simple rituals and thinking maybe: "look how mindless and heedless".

Of course one is right, that only repreately doing such outwardly things does not liberate one, in the same manner constant sati, just mindfulness, without right mindfulness, which has right view as foundation and its frame of reference, does not lead anybody to liberation.

In that contect, when just global spoken, if one says "mindfulness is of no use" he would speak like Nyom Rahul.

So it's good to adjust one rites and rituals, wether called doing sacrify or being mindful.

And "close one's eyes and feel immense gratitude and respect for Buddha" is also a ritual, not easy to learn in a proper way. People may have differen access to buddhānussati, here for example and it would be very wage to say the one sitting with closed eyes or the one giving flowers is better or more right in his "calling the Buddha in mind" to reach certain joy in concentration. Yet for both vipassana is needed in addition to gain a lasting fruit.

What do you think, Nyom Rahul, does that now match the point of issue well?

(Btw, try to find a good ritual to add the third gem into you refuge, since ađirable friends on side and examples are a very needed refuge even we might thing we are fine with our special connection to Buddha and already have made Dhamma ours.)
« Last Edit: June 12, 2017, 02:41:07 am by Samana Johann »
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Offline Rahul

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Re: Buddhist Relics, Rituals, & Offerings
« Reply #26 on: June 12, 2017, 10:28:22 pm »
Nyom Rahul, it's not ... he would speak like Nyom Rahul.

So it's good to ... What do you think, Nyom Rahul, does ..

Just wondering, what does 'Nyom' mean here?

Offline Samana Johann

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Re: Buddhist Relics, Rituals, & Offerings
« Reply #27 on: June 13, 2017, 05:02:49 am »
Nyom Rahul, it's not ... he would speak like Nyom Rahul.

So it's good to ... What do you think, Nyom Rahul, does ..


Just wondering, what does 'Nyom' mean here?


Just coming across here. Nyom, Atma made a topic in regard of it: Usual kind of speech and adressing in Dhamma-communities in traditional countrie. A conductive "ritual" in adressing, to stay on topic at the same time.
« Last Edit: June 13, 2017, 05:05:04 am by Samana Johann »
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Offline Rahul

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Re: Buddhist Relics, Rituals, & Offerings
« Reply #28 on: June 13, 2017, 07:39:55 pm »
Nyom Rahul, it's not ... he would speak like Nyom Rahul.

So it's good to ... What do you think, Nyom Rahul, does ..


Just wondering, what does 'Nyom' mean here?

Thanks Samana Johann for the elaboration.

Just coming across here. Nyom, Atma made a topic in regard of it: Usual kind of speech and adressing in Dhamma-communities in traditional countrie. A conductive "ritual" in adressing, to stay on topic at the same time.

Offline StrawberryZen

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Re: Buddhist Relics, Rituals, & Offerings
« Reply #29 on: June 14, 2017, 01:27:35 am »
What exactly is the point of seeing relics of old masters?
How does that help you get 'enlightened'? Lol
Sounds like a waste of time to me.

 


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