During my Lamrim classes, I learn to do light offerings, flower offerings and water offerings. Since young, I was baffled each time when I witnessed offerings left at roadsides. What is the significance?
- 圣严法师 《食在好素》
Offerings to the Triple Gems are a Buddhist devotee’s way of expressing respect and gratitude to the Triple Gems. The most important part when making offerings is to use our pureness in body, speech and mind to do so. The lamps, flowers, water and food etc. held in our hands are only symbols.
The motivations in making the offerings are very important. When you have pure faith and make these offerings sincerely, even a small cup of water will have limitless and boundless merits.
Offerings can be made in the follow manner:
- Wealth offering
- Carrying out tasks and accomplishing them with our bodies and speech
- Practicing in accordance to the Dharma
As opposed to common folklore’s believes of offering and praying to ancestors, ghosts and spirits, on the emotional aspect, the Chinese’s way of making offerings to their ancestors during the seventh lunar month is more of an expression of gratitude towards their ancestors. Likewise for the Buddhists’ Ullambana Festival, it is also a representation of filial piety. Overall, the main emphasis still has to be the motivation behind one’s act in making the offerings.
- Venerable Master Jih Chang’s discourses on《The Great Treatise on the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment》
- Venerable Master Sheng Yan《The Goodness of Vegetarian》
Hi, @JongYin…Appreciate your efforts. Motivations is indeed a crucial factor when making offerings. I have a better understanding now.