Should we make offerings to the Buddha at night?

I was asked before: Since the Buddha and his disciples go for alms only in the morning, and do not eat after noon, should we make offerings of food and drinks to the Buddha at night?

What do you think?

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If I remember what my granny told me before she passed away, most temples will close at 5pm. One of the reason could be when the sun set, making offerings are more for the spirits and ghosts… not to Buddha. :sushing_face:

I think making offering to Buddha can be 24 hours as it depends on our intention to repay their kindness and as a form of gratitude.

I believe offerings to the Buddha is ok at any time of the day, as long as we are respectful, sincere and offer the best of what we have. Anyway, the purpose of the offering is to show our gratitude and thanks for the Buddha’s guidance, not for Buddha to consume :slight_smile:

i agree with julieng, i also believe that offering to Buddha can be done at anytime. we can also offer light, incense, beautiful images or sound to the Triple Gems, not only food.

Master Ri Chang (上日下常老和尚) raised a similar question in his Lamrim commentary (Track 49A). I would think that offering to Buddha and the Triple Gems can be done anytime, best with a pure and good motivation.


Master then followed up with another question:


Hope to get some opinions on this question for my reference. Anyone can help? Heh :smiley:

The answer is at the end of Track 50b(28.47), continuing to Track 51a(2.10).

That is also my answer to the question that I started this thread with.

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Thank you 法师!

I help extract the relevant portions from Master Ri-Chang’s Lamrim Commentary Track 50b (28:47):


My attempt at translation will be that: Clean water and better we can use as offering. The main question is whether the offering is done with clean/pure and good intention or motivation. If so, there is no restriction to when we do offering. Examples: If you are drinking milk at night when you are not supposed to do so (probably under a precept of no food after mid day), then you are already in the wrong and the offering you make is not clean. However, if you have dispensation to drink milk at night (due to sickness or some other reasons), by all means you should make the offering to Buddha. This is from our perspective. From perspective of a Buddha…

Continues to Master Ri-Chang’s Lamrim Commentary Track 51a (2:10)


My interpretation of the gist here is that Buddha does not really enjoy or need the offerings. It is more about our respect and our motivation that is important.

所以佛世有这么一个公案,那时阿育王是个小孩子,看见佛来了,正在玩那个沙,拿那个沙去供了佛,然后呢得到这个果报。这个沙就能供佛了吗?你们懂不懂这个意思?这个概念要很清楚。所以以后啊,凡是碰见这种情况,遇见这种情况,你如果不太清楚的话,不要妄加是非,拿我们的是非去判别。碰见这一种情况,你只能有一个存疑,最多 说:“唉呀!这情况我觉得怎么样……。”不要拿我们现在所知道的一点,告诉别人要这样、要那样,这个基本。就算我现在告诉你们的,这个,只是个原则,我们要把握得住,这样。所以凡是这个清净的,任何时刻、任何时候,拿你的恭敬心去供养总没有错!这是一种情况。还有一种情况呢,要记住!有的时候我们自己呀懒惰、马马虎虎,看见人家做了,还拿自己的理由去否定人家,那是更糟糕、更糟糕。所以他前面说“净水以上”,实际上呢,就是真正重要的、更重要的是我们清净心、恭敬心,这是第一个。

My take on the gist is that Master advises that we don’t just blindly follow but need to understand ourselves the principle behind. But basically, the offerings should be made with pure, clean, respectful intentions.

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Rejoice @adrian! I have benefitted greatly from your sharing!

Looks like everything boils down to our motivation… but sometimes, our mind is too crafty. :disappointed_relieved:

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From another perspective, Dharma offering is the most supreme of all offerings where we practice dharma teachings to benefit ourselves & others.
If that’s the case, there should’nt have any time restrictions to any offerings to be made right? :v:t2:

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如得法师 provides his answer on a similar question:

One people believe that one should not be reading/dedicating scriptures after midnight. This is because it can attract spirits. Is this true?