Saturday, September 5, 2020

What we pray we should know the meaning to be effective?

As Buddhist and also Bhutanese many of us do pray regularly either in the morning or evening. Such natural attitudes no doubt exhibit good quality of a person beside knowing that there are some Gurus & deities to whom one can seek blessings and equally pray on behalf of all sentient beings for their well being. 

What is most important is that one should know the meaning of the prayers that one recite. Simply reciting without knowing the meaning will be ineffective. Even if you receive empowerment or oral transmission, if you don’t learn the meaning of the prayers or Sadhanas before you practice, it is will be ineffective. Just think, How can you recite, what you don’t understand yourself!!!

See the example how clear it is.

“༄༅། །བསམ་དོན་ཀུན་འགྲུབ།

To Fulfil All Wishes

by Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö


Unfailing heart-essence of refuge, Padmākara,


When we pray to you, day and night, at the six times,


With the intense and overwhelming yearning of our devotion,


Let us never be overpowered by obstacles, and evil circumstances,


Guard us with your compassion always, never leave us,


And bless us so all our wishes be fulfilled, just as our minds desire!

ཅེས་པའང་གུང་རུ་ཁག་བཞི་ལས་ལྷ་ལུང་སྟོད་ཁ་བདེ་རབ་གཞིས་ཀར་ཆོས་ཀྱི་བློ་གྲོས་པས་གསོལ་བ་བཏབ་པའོ།། །།

So Chökyi Lodrö prayed at the Derab estate in upper Lhalung in Gungru district.”

Therefore, you should learn each and every meaning of the words, sentence and paragraph of the prayer. Once you know the meaning, than it would look like that you are actually speaking to the Gurus & deities directly. You will have full concentration resulting satisfaction at the end of the prayer. 

Let us recollect some example at our villages when someone gets ill we see our parents do quick rituals.  They quickly prepare food and curry than put on a banana leaf or plate and take it near the bedside (of sick person) holding these propitiation items in hand and chants the self made prayer. They are illiterate nevertheless they convey very clear message. Everything becomes highly dramatic as they begin delivering a monologue as a way to appease and pacify the malevolent spirits. If you listen to them, you understand each and every word what they say:

“Oh! The gyalpo (king) from the north

Or the king from the south, east or west

Here's what I offer you- a food rich as this

Everything that thou would choose to eat

From rice, chilies, cheese, meat, to salt and tea.

Ask for anything

They are here, placed singly, one for each

It is your own share to eat-so eats to your fill!

For there's nothing' that should gratify thy hunger

The blood has dried, the flesh has shriveled,

Poor is the body with just skin and bones

Better feed thy self with richer food here

So be off and gone!

Let relief come to the sick

As swift and with ease-

As the speck that from the eyes is removed

As instant as the pricking thorn that's pulled out.

Here's for you today, for none there'll be tomorrow.

Let go of this parched soul, the soul of the tiger girl.

If you dare to hold and disturb further even after

You be warned, for we'll send forth

Fumes of burnt chilies that'll choke you” 

Similar to this, the prayer that we make also should be done with full understanding of what it is. For that matter you can recite prayer in English translated version also.  If you do that you will really enjoy and feel happy.  I have made two prayers book one in Chokey and the other in English. If I recite Chokey today, the next day I recite in English. This way I learn the meaning of prayer very fast.

If you recite Kangjur in chokey, you will fail to understand the meaning. However, if you read the Kangjur in English translated version which is there on the net you will understand the meaning and enjoy the recitation, thus gaining more merits.

It will really look like reading a novel stories understanding every meaning but comprehending the factual teachings of the Buddha.

So friends, keep this in mind and try to learn the meaning of the prayer that you make and enjoy praying.

Cultivate Generous Thought and practice giving gifts to the Sanghas.

The Buddha once explained that it is a meritorious act even to throw away the water after washing one's plate with the generous thought:...