How to go about doing 35 Buddhas Confession?

I understand from Lamrim that by doing the 35 Buddhas Confession, one can purify the tens of thousands of eons of negative karma accumulated.

However, should I be specific about each confession, or should I do a general confession?

If I were to do a specific confession, how many times should I perform the 35 Buddhas Confession till I move on to the next specific confession?

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here is a YouTube of the mantra for the 35 Buddhas Confession. It is in Chinese and is the 问讯版.
I think it is the one more commonly used in our Lamrim classes.

Putting here for reference.

a blogger has helped put the transcript along with his interpretation of how the the 35 Buddhas Confession contains the Four Opponent Powers (四力對治/四力懺悔).


Good for using it to commit the text to memory.

I think each round of confession should be a general, with the emphasis on the specific misdeed. But most important of all, we have to first understand what we have done wrong so that we will feel remorse and see the need to make things right. At this point, it will no longer be a matter of general or specific, because there are too many misdeeds to be confessed, each misdeed will end up to be a specific one :sweat_smile:

It’s not really a matter of how many times to perform the confession before we move to the next confession, it’s more of the sincerity in admitting our faults and the genuine promise to not repeat the mistake. No point in making 10 rounds of confession everyday but to lose mindfulness at the very next minute and commit the same mistake again, right?

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Venerable Ru Jun has been explaining Teacher’s book on 35 Buddha Confessions. Simple, easy to understand. The importance and goodness of practicing it is explained. Have a look!

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thanks @JongYin!

I just started going through the videos by 如俊法师.
I like that in his first video, he walks through the benefits of doing the 35 Buddha Confessions.

I see that one main benefit is to help us overcome difficult situations in our life. This definitely helps form the motivation for me to try to understand more and put into practice the 35 Buddha Confessions!

@Jereme brought to my attention that actually the 5 part videos by 如俊法师 are segments taken from the Venerable’s full discourse here:

Thx @Jereme

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I learnt one important point. We are not to dwell on our wrongdoings in doing the 35 Buddha Prostrations, rather to rejoice with ourselves that we have the opportunity to repent and that with each prostration, we are inching forward on our path to cultivation.

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In the video, someone asked:“Typically when someone is deep in suffering, they do not have the strength nor determination to even start doing the repentance. How then can we help these people?”

The analogy given by Venerable Ru Jun was very apt. At 44:25, he mentioned that we will need to take the leap of faith by trusting those who have walked the path. Liken to someone who has ascend to the summit of a mountain will give you the advice that, the view on top is breathtaking… Persevere and you will enjoy the same experience soon upon reaching the top.

If you are the climber who hasn’t started, will you choose to start your climb by believing in those who have completed their climb?

We can contemplate further on this point to see how we could develop further compelling narratives to help those around us to start the climb.

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Venerable Ru Jun’s QnA portion (starting from 35:33 mark) helped me with some of my own queries and challenges:

  1. whether we have to the full prostration for the 35 Buddhas Confession to get the benefit (around 42 min mark)?
  • even just reciting the names of the Buddhas carries benefit. So this can help people who do not yet have the inclination or the time to do the full prostration. With more belief, one can progress from reciting, to doing “small prostration” then to the full prostration for greater effect.
  1. if one does not have a altar, can one do the 35 Buddhas Confession (around 50:50 min mark)?
  • facing such constraints, one can carry along images of the Buddhas or even just visualise in one’s mind the Buddhas!

Yes just reciting the names of the Buddhas wholeheartedly will have immeasurable benefits.

If you find yourself lack of time to do exercise, then going for the full prostration will be like really maximising your cultivation, both in mind and body.

See this:

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I am using this version of the 35 Buddhas Confession currently.

藏文新譯版 三十五佛懺 問訊版
(doing recitation and bowing)

hope to progress to the Full Prostration version
藏文新譯版 三十五佛懺 大禮拜版

如俊法師 in his discourse here highlights this phrase by Buddha:


This saying encapsulates how ignorant we are - when we try to escape suffering but the methods we use instead induce more suffering.

Hear 如俊法師’s explanation in the video starting from 0:16 minute mark:

so how do we start dispelling our ignorance and take on measures that can really alleviate our suffering?
Doing 35 Buddhas Confession will be one of the answers. :muscle:

Master Sheng Yun shares his views on Repentance:

My thinking after watching:

  • two parts to repentance: (1) take responsilbility for your actions and words, examine your consciousness; (2) try to improve and make amends, revert to good deeds to redress past faults

  • In a way, repentance helps us recognise that our suffering is due to our own past actions insted of blaming others

So what are the Four Opponent Powers?

From Master Ri-Chang’s Lamrim Commentary Track 62B, we get:

What are the four? They are the power of eradication; the power of applying remedies; the power of turning away from faults; and the power of the foundation.

Also, another contributor in this forum gave an explanation too:

Good stuff!

Master Ri-Chang talked a bit about 忏悔 (confession) in his Lamrim Commentary Track 75B touching on the Powers to eliminate non-virtuous karma:


如俊法师 provides a metaphor on the benefits we can get by relying and having faith in Buddha -
For example, you would have heard of people whom have gotten themselves into much debt and they don’t have the financial means to pay it off. However, these people have some good friends that are better off financially. And the friendship is good and his friends help take on his financial burden.
In this cases, these people in debt did not have to actually earn the money to pay off their debts. What was required is to establish a relationship with these more well-off friends.
So in our case with Buddha, we can depend on Buddha to purify our negative karma by building our connection to Buddha (e.g. doing the 35 Buddhas Confession).

I probably did not explain it well. We can refer to 如俊法师 discourse here (in Chinese) from the 6:30 minute mark to the 8:57 minute mark.