Author Topic: Offerings and the Making of Merits  (Read 15816 times)

dsiluvu

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Re: Offerings and the Making of Merits
« Reply #15 on: July 03, 2011, 07:56:58 PM »

Of course it would be ideal if we could make the offerings ourselves physically... however surely if we rejoice and "sponsor" the offerings merits are accumulated too! I think the key is the motivation behind it:

1. Are we making someone else prepare the offerings because we are lazy and it is easier to just buy the offerings and have someone else lay it out? OR are we making sure offerings are being made well and because we do not have the time, we have someone help us with it in order for that person to also gain merits in the physical work?

2. Do we choose "inferior" offerings even though we can afford it purely because we think it is a waste to "offer" expensive offerings because we do not consume it ourselves? OR do we give the best that we can afford even though it may not be expensive or extensive so long as it is from the heart and done with the best intent?

There is no absolute way as there are two sides to the coin. Hence to say one does not accumulate merits because one does not physically lay out the offerings, in mind is incorrect! It does not make sense!


Your 2 points is correct and makes sense to me. Because we see sponsors sponsoring for pujas in  the monasteries often... we do not see them making the physical offerings but they sponsored it for the monks to chant or do the prayers for them on top of that. So yes the key  would say is your sincerity.

I think for your daily offerings... you will need to check why do you request your servant or maid or who ever to help? And is it a selfish like you say, lazy, too prideful, too busy due to worldly activities? We must ask ourselves sincerely and we must rejoice is all aspects of offering from the moment you shop, prepare and do it till the end.

fruven

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Re: Offerings and the Making of Merits
« Reply #16 on: June 24, 2012, 02:57:18 PM »
Your not the one actually doing the prayers.
You don't pay for the offerings.
Its not your commitment.

Yet, you prepare the offerings daily.
You go out to source for the offerings.

Would you make some merits when the person does the prayers?

Yes with good motivation. You give your time and effort to source and prepare for offerings, doing it happily  :D, the puja goes smoothly and benefit other people.

ratanasutra

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Re: Offerings and the Making of Merits
« Reply #17 on: June 24, 2012, 04:09:52 PM »
Your not the one actually doing the prayers.
You don't pay for the offerings.
Its not your commitment.

Yet, you prepare the offerings daily.
You go out to source for the offerings.

Would you make some merits when the person does the prayers?

of course you will collect some merits even though you did not do the prayer. Example in the monastery there are so many monks so it impossible for every monks to do the same things daily therefore each monk will have different responsibilities ie some monks do cleaning, some cooking, some plants vegetables, some in library, some take care of high lama, some do correspond which i believe all activities monks do are collect merit if that monks do with sincere, good motivation with the effort and want the best of result.

High lamas have many assistants to assist in many tasks in order to achieve many things which benefit others, more assistant he receive the more he can help people so this is right things and all assistants are collect merit even though they do in different tasks and of course the high lama collect merit too even though he did not do the preparation work.

Regarding to making offering, yes the best if we can do everything on our own from searching, purchase, set up till do a puja but if you have limit time as you need to do some other things which will benefit to others also i think you have people help you with set up an offering you will collect merit.

The bottom line is the motivation behind it, if you don't set up offering because of your laziness you know that not right.

bambi

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Re: Offerings and the Making of Merits
« Reply #18 on: June 27, 2012, 09:20:11 AM »
Your not the one actually doing the prayers.
You don't pay for the offerings.
Its not your commitment.

Yet, you prepare the offerings daily.
You go out to source for the offerings.

Would you make some merits when the person does the prayers?

We definitely collect the merits from any of the above because it is a collective actions that starts from sourcing to prayers. Some can't afford the offerings, some don't commit because their Guru did not instruct them to, some have no time to set up but have the time to do prayers. Whatever you do in a temple with the motivation to benefit others will definitely create merits. Merit is the result of good actions and intentions that will carry on to the next life.

For example, if a man is extremely thirsty and you give him water with your ego piously doing something good, the man still quenches his thirst. It’s a good action and good karma comes from this because we’ve helped another person. Although it’s not particularly influential in achieving buddhahood, this kind of charity would still be considered accumulation of merit.

For an offering to be complete, there needs to be an object, an offering and intention.
- The object can be the Three Jewels (Buddha, Dharma, Sangha) or the Three Roots (lama, yidam, protector).
- The offerings are the five sense objects: forms, sounds, smells, tastes and textures or touchables. In addition we add two waters, so altogether there are seven offerings.
- The intention is to be open to, connect with and appreciate the sublime beings’ compassionate blessings.

The way we make offerings is with care, love and affection. The offerings should be clean, our hands should be clean and the offerings arranged in a beautiful way. We never offer less then we have for ourselves. For example, when offering water, we offer nothing less then what we ourselves drink, be it  spring water, purified water or mineral water. There is no limit to the amount of offerings that we may make; we can offer as much as we want or as much as we can afford. To make offerings we have to buy the material things we wish to offer. In order to buy the offerings, most of us have to work–money doesn’t just come without any effort. So it has meaning to spend money on the offerings to the sublime beings, and at the same time we are counteracting attachment. Offering whatever realization we may have is also appropriate. It cuts through any false pride we may harbor about ourselves as practitioners. Making sincere offerings of whatever we cling to opens the door to the flow of blessings. So no matter how large or small the offering, if we do it with a state of mind that is sincere and open-hearted, we can feel the offerings covering the whole sky. Then even a simple offering turns into the most exquisite, immense offering that you can imagine, and the connection is established.

However, you need effort, appreciation and generosity to make proper offerings. To make sure everything is the best you can afford, clean, and arranged beautifully–and to do this with mindfulness, non-attachment or ego-fixation and with regularity, so it is not so easy. But this is the whole point–offerings are not intended to be easy, but intended to open us to the blessings that flow from the sublime beings.

biggyboy

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Re: Offerings and the Making of Merits
« Reply #19 on: June 27, 2012, 10:04:42 AM »
I would say YES. We still can collect merits.  When we sponsor a puja or Sangha to do pujas or sponsoring food because we cannot do it or cannot be there physically does not mean we are not doing it.  In spirit, we are there making the offerings by the representation of the Sanghas offering them for us.  Both parties do collect merits.  When we do pujas it is an expression of our compassion and care for another person or being who may or has an obstacle, problem, difficulty, pain, sickness or fear to name a few. 

Rihanna

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Re: Offerings and the Making of Merits
« Reply #20 on: July 01, 2012, 09:04:05 AM »

Dear Triesa, 
To add to my earlier comment on this topic, one can also offer up pretty, colourful things that is enjoyable for the sight, great music, good stage performances or even a painting - it's a kind of sensory offerings that would please  the enlightened beings.

biggyboy

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Re: Offerings and the Making of Merits
« Reply #21 on: July 01, 2012, 06:47:46 PM »
By making offerings, be it in the form of financial sponsorship or physically doing the laying out of the offerings are meritorious deeds. What is important is what is our motivation when the deed is done.

We shouldn’t judge or question why certain people make offerings in a certain way.  Some people because of their financial position may not be able to afford to contribute financially and they instead contribute their time and physical work. Some may be able to afford financial help but cannot find so much time because of circumstances does not allow them to be physical to do it. Either way if motivation is right and proper I believe there is merit to whatever they do. An offering for a good cause and it is a combination of financial and physical resources. 

Positive Change

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Re: Offerings and the Making of Merits
« Reply #22 on: July 02, 2012, 01:58:25 AM »
By making offerings, be it in the form of financial sponsorship or physically doing the laying out of the offerings are meritorious deeds. What is important is what is our motivation when the deed is done.

We shouldn’t judge or question why certain people make offerings in a certain way.  Some people because of their financial position may not be able to afford to contribute financially and they instead contribute their time and physical work. Some may be able to afford financial help but cannot find so much time because of circumstances does not allow them to be physical to do it. Either way if motivation is right and proper I believe there is merit to whatever they do. An offering for a good cause and it is a combination of financial and physical resources.

Yes at the end of the day, as always, motivation is key. Regardless of whether we give the financial support or the physical support of the offering, I believe merit is accumulated. Sometimes due to a busy lifestyle AND the fact that we want someone else to benefit from making offerings, we can purchase the offerings and have someone else lay it out. I personally like to see someone making offerings in which they would never have the chance to or inclination if not given the opportunity.

Sure we can always "hog" the merits but then, to me, if that is the case, why am I accumulating merits to begin with? Surely my practice is about focusing out and giving... what better way, in my mind to create the causes for one to be able to accumulate merit by making wonderful offerings!

Dondrup Shugden

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Re: Offerings and the Making of Merits
« Reply #23 on: February 11, 2015, 10:01:35 AM »
Besides KARMA the next must used and referred word in Buddhism is MERITS.  With the correct motivation and intentions that whatever we do is selfless and for the benefit of others will accumulate merits and with merits negative karma can be purified or subdued and positive karma enhanced.

There are many ways to accumulate merits and making offerings is one of the most common one.  This article extensively talked about this very meritorious act of offering from the purchase of offerings for altars to the prayers been recited. 

Let us find ways to create merits for benefit of others.