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OFFERING OF LIGHT, FLOWERS, FOOD, MEDICINAL DRINKS AND PERFUMED SMOKE

 

Buddha Puja

The following verses are recited when making offerings of lights, flowers, food, fruit juice and incense, etc. The offering of these things in the name of the Buddha is yet another practice, the meaning of which some people fail to understand. Offering of such things to a holy man is in fact an oriental custom. Even during the Buddha's time, it was customary among Indian people to carry some flowers when­ever they visited a holy man. This is only done as a mark of respect.

Devout Buddhists likewise always offer some­thing in the name of the Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha. This symbolic act gives them a sense of happiness, peace and relief. At the same time, understanding Buddhists often use the same offerings as objects of their meditation. They are fully aware that these physical objects are simply representations of things spiritual.

The flame of the candle or oil lamp and the flowers could each be compared to the physical body or life. The offering of light symbolises the dispelling of darkness or ignorance through light. The existence of the flame and its brightness, the beauty of the flowers, the aroma of incense and the final fading away of such brightness and beauty only manifest their impermanence; hence all these natural phenomena could be taken up as suitable objects for meditation. The flowers on the altar represent one of the most beautiful and yet one of the most transient of the forms of nature.

These offerings symbolise meritorious deeds because of the wholesome and devout mental states they induce. Therefore, time spent in a shrine room in offering some of these articles and reciting some verses is not at all wasted. The devotees' pious acts have the effect of pleasing themselves and calming the mind.

It is good to start our daily work after offering some of these objects to the Buddha as a mark of respect to the holy religious teacher who has shown us the Correct Path for our peace, happi­ness and salvation.

However, Buddhists should not be satisfied by simply offering something in the name of the Buddha and reciting in a parrot-fashion some verses or Suttas thinking that their duty has been done. To become good Buddhists they have to do something more; they have to correct themselves by following the Buddha's advice. Try to gain more knowledge and understanding through His Teaching. One should not think that by just offering something to the Buddha one's wrong­-doings can be eradicated. The real homage to the Lord Buddha by the common man is following the five percept and following the path of Vipassana (Meditation) so that every one can achieve Arihantship / Nibbana.

  

Buddha Puja

Pali

English Translation

Offering of Flowers

Vanna-gandha-gunopetam

Etam kusuma santatim

Pujayami munindassa

Siri pada-saroruhe

 

This mass of flowers fresh hued, fragrant and choice, I offer at the sacred lotus-like feet of the Noble Sage.

Pujemi Buddham kusumena nena

Punnena metena ca hotu mokkham

Puppham milayati yatha idam me

Kayo tatha yati vinasa-bhavam

I worship the Buddha with these flowers;

May this virtue be helpful for my emancipation;

Just as these flowers fade, our body will undergo decay.

                                           

Offering of Lights

Ghana sarappa dittena

Dipena tama-dhamsina

Tiloka-dipam sambuddham

Pujayami tamo-nudam

With lights brightly shining

Abolishing this gloom

I adore the Enlightened One,

The Light of the three worlds. 

  

                                                                Offering of Food

Adhivasetu no bhante

Bhojanam parikappitam

Anukampam upadaya

Patiganhatu muttamam

0 Lord! The Blessed One, may this food be kindly accepted by You, out of great compassion for us.

  

Offering of Medicinal Drinks

Adhivasetu no bhante

Gilana paccayam imam

Anukampam upadaya

Patiganhatu muttamam 

 

0 Lord! The Blessed One,

please accept these medicinal drinks

as an offering to Thee,

out of great compassion for us.

Sugandhakaya vadan

ananta guna gandhina

Sugandinaham gandhena

poojayami tathgatam

The one who’s body is beautiful and full of fragrance I worship such Buddha

  

Offering of perfumed Smoke

Gandha Sambhara yuttena

Dhupenaham Sugandhina

Pujaye pujaniyam tam

Puja Bhajana muttamam

With perfumed incense

Made from fragrant substances

I honour the Exalted One, worthy of respect, who dispels the darkness (of ignorance).

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