DHARMA IN EVERYDAY LIFE
- REPENTANCE MAKES
- A GOOD APPEARANCE
By Nhat Quan
None of you
living in this world are completely pure. Buddha often taught:
- When you
still going descends and ascends to the three realms, rolling
in the six paths, no species will be completely pure, and no
race will be free from all sins.
Today in daily
life, each action, and movement often violate the precepts.
Each piece of rice and sip of water is always not in
accordance with the principle of etiquette. Every day has
committed countless sins, let alone in a lifetime, over many
lifetimes, sin arising is certainly indescribable. Therefore,
it is not without reason that the Buddha taught that this
world is a world of the five defilements, and urged you to
cultivate to escape soon because the three realms are like a
world has been called the mundane world, how can it be pure?
People used to say:
- The globe is
round, and the tube is long
Then you are
in the dust and you must be dusty. The dust of life has long
covered your body, your head, your liver, and your lungs. It
makes you blind, unable to see the main road. It makes you
dull, not seeing the true heart. If you want to live forever
in the dust, want to bathe in sin, say nothing. But when you
want to be clean and relaxed, want to take away your sins for
a light and relaxed heart, then of course you have to find a
way to get rid of all the dust and remove all the sins. In
Buddhism, the method of letting go of sins is called
repentance. To repent, it is always necessary to meet two
factors: Knowing your mistakes and correcting them.
there are two noblest people in life. One is a person who has
never sinned, the other is a person who has sinned but knows
how to repent and not do it again. In fact, in the first class
only among the Saints, and you are an ordinary person, it is
very common to make mistakes, but are you aware of your
mistakes? Have the courage to face it to make amends? That is
the most important basic.
If you want to
be free from sin, want to be freed from birth and death, and
love the truth, let's learn and practice the Buddhist
penitents carefully. The first is to improve the personal
life, then the life of sentient beings is less suffering and
happier. Due to the correction of errors, the first sin will
be cleared, the new sin will not arise. So in the Bible, it
- If you
repent, your sins will be eliminated, blessings will be born,
and good roots will increase, not because Buddhas or
Bodhisattvas will erase your sins.
So what is
word Sanskrit is Ksamayati, which means to repent or regret
the error and seek forgiveness.
means repenting of past errors, and feeling a great sense of
shame and remorse for the transgressions we made in the past
(repent misdeeds and mental hindrance or karmic obstacles).
Reform means turning away from future errors, resolving to
improve oneself, and never making those mistakes again. If you
know the old mistake is wrong, now you apologize, but still do
it later, it is not the true meaning of repentance in
taught that sins are created by your mind, and no one has the
right to reward or punish you. Those who sow bad seeds will
eat bad fruit, and those who plant good seeds will enjoy good
fruit. Sins that have been created from the heart must also be
repented from the heart. The words are clear, reasonable, and
consistent with the experiment. So if you want to be free of
sin, you must follow the true repentance methods of Buddhism
and practice. In Buddhism, there are four dharmas of
repentance, some of which are physical and some of which are
a- The form of
repentance: This repentance belongs to the form, which means
that you have to set up an ashram and invite the monks with a
pure mind to prove it, so it is called the form of repentance.
When you enter the ashram, you must honestly confess your sins
and vow not to do them again in the future. Such a sincere
repentance, when your precepts are purified, that is, your
sins are gone.
Contemplation of repentance: This method belongs to
visualization and is more difficult than the previous one.
Buddha formulated this method for those who practice at a high
level, either where there are no monks, or there are but they
are not pure. To practice this method, you must go to the
statue of a Buddha or Bodhisattva, sincerely bow, present the
sins committed, and make a vow to repent, not to repeat them.
Do this from 1 day, 3 days, 7 days, 49 days, and forever until
you see a good sign: It's like seeing a halo, a precious lotus
flower, seeing a Buddha, a bodhisattva coming to pat your
head, or apparitions, or another good image, then your
repentance is successful.
c- Worship and
repentance: This method of repentance also belongs to
phenomena, compiled by the Master Bat Dong of the Song Dynasty
in China. He withdrew 53 Buddha titles in the Fifty-Three
Buddhas Sutra, that is, from Buddha Universal Light to Buddha
Nhat Nhat Phap Trang Man Vuong. And withdraw 35 Buddha titles
in the Sutra of Medicine King, Medicine Upper, with the Dharma
body of Amitabha Buddha. Then add in the verse Samantabhadra
Great Vow which becomes this penitential rite. A total of 108
prostrations indicate the elimination of 108 defilements. This
penitential rite, if anyone sincerely pays respects, will
eliminate the afflictions and sins created, in the present
life as well as in many past lives. Vairocana Buddha said:
- If sentient
beings hear the name of these 53 Buddhas, they will not fall
into the three evil paths for hundreds of thousands of kalpas.
- Once upon a
time, during the reign of Buddha Dieu Quang, I went to
practice in order to attain the end of the Dharma. Because of
predestined circumstances, I heard the name of these 53
Buddhas and sincerely bowed to avoid suffering in the path of
birth and death for many kalpas. The remaining 35 titles of
Buddha, from Buddha Shakyamuni to Buddha Buu Lien Hoa Thien
Tru Ta La Tho Vuong, in the Buu Tich Sutra, says:
- If all
sentient beings, either committed the five transgressions or
ten evils, could not repent for eons, only professing the name
of these 35 Buddhas and bowing down to them, how many sins
would be eliminated?
The titles of
the Buddhas have such inconceivable merit, that's why the
Dharma Master Bat Dong composed them for a penitential ritual.
The Dharma of prostration and repentance is now practiced by
Contemplating the self-repentance of the mind: This method
belongs to the essential element of repentance, very high and
difficult, and only the superior can practice it. This method
of contemplation includes:
Contemplating the mind does not arise: As the Diamond Sutra
says: The past mind is not possible, the present mind does not
exist, nor does the future mind.
in the three periods (past, present, and future) without mind
then deluded thoughts come from nowhere. If false thoughts are
not there, then sins are also not. Kinh says:
- Sins that
arise from the mind, they also die from the mind. If this mind
does not arise, then sin will not exist, that is true
Contemplation of dharmas that do not arise: That is to observe
the true appearance of dharmas that do not arise. The word
"real" means that the sign is not born, does not die, is not
real, is not false, from ancient times to the present day. It
has always been like that, not changed by time or space, from
time immemorial, so it is called reality.
It is also
known as suchness or true mind. When the reality is received,
the false appearances are gone. At that time, those false sins
no longer exist. In the Universal Worthy Sutra, it is written:
- If you want
to repent, you must contemplate the true nature of the
dharmas, then sin will be completely destroyed.
If you can
repent like this, if you can do such prostrations, then you
will definitely eliminate sins and create blessings. You
cannot doubt that. The Forty-two Chapter Sutra teaches that:
- Giving to an
evil person is not as good as giving to a good person. Giving
to good people is not equal to giving to people who keep the
precepts. Giving to those who keep the precepts is not equal
to making offerings to the Srota-apanna, even to the Buddhas.
Making offerings to the Buddhas will have great merit.
above, bowing sincerely is also an offering, not necessarily a
material offering. As in the following passage:
- While the
World-Honored One was staying at Rajagaha, he entered the
great compassion samadhi where the Buddhas reside, and then he
emerged from concentration and contemplated the world. He saw
right in that city in the area of the people of Chandala, an
old woman about to die, and bad karma that led to hell
appeared to her.
compassion, the Buddha wanted to make her create good karma
leading to heaven, he thought:
- I will take
her to heaven.
immediately went to Rajagaha with a large assembly of bhikkhus
to beg for food.
At that time
the old woman Chandala, walking out of the city with her cane,
saw the Blessed One approaching, and when she faced him, she
stopped. The Buddha also stopped and stood right in front of
her as if to prevent her from going forward.
Venerable Maha-Moggallana knew the mind of the Master and also
knew that the old woman's life was about to end. He then urged
her to pay respects to the Blessed One...
listened to the Venerable's words, filled with emotion, she
generated faith in the Guru and immediately bowed down to the
Buddha with the five parts of her body close to the ground.
And, exulting in the presence of the Buddha, she stood still
with one mind, with her head bowed. The Buddha said:
- This is
enough for her to go to heaven.
Buddha, together with a large assembly of monks, entered the
city for alms. Immediately after that, a cow ran away with the
calf, rushed towards the old woman, took her horns, and rammed
the old woman to death on the spot.
Then she was
reborn in the Thirty-third heaven. She was accompanied by an
entourage of one hundred thousand fairies.
Nikāya, Volume II, Chapter II - Cittalatā)
The poor old
woman did not have anything to offer to the Guru. Before that,
she did not know the Three Jewels and did not have faith. Only
after hearing the urging of Venerable Mahamaudgalyayana, did
she begin to pay respects to the Buddha. The Buddha said:
- This is
enough for her to go to heaven,
In the show,
the Buddha knew this clearly as a natural result. And it is
true that the old woman after her death was reborn in the
heaven of the Thirty-three, that is, Traiyastrimsa-deva. By
prostrating, the old woman's sins were eliminated, blessings
were born, and when she changed from a state that was about to
fall into hell, she could be reincarnated as a goddess in
This fact is
also completely consistent with the teachings of the Buddha in
many other sutras. You should know that all basic sins and bad
karma are created by the mind, and good karma and good roots
also arise from the mind. Practicing purifying the mind is the
basic practice for all good karma, so you can't belittle
The law of
cause and effect operates with complex, mutually affecting
causes and conditions, not simply as a problem of addition and
subtraction between the values of good and evil. The Buddha
taught that only the Buddha could fully comprehend the karma
of all sentient beings. That is, there are countless factors
that go into play, not just as simple as what you see.
Also in the
Khuddaka Nikaya, a beggar girl begged for some leftovers
including a piece of burnt rice. She offered this piece of
burnt rice to Maha-Kasyapa, and that very night she died,
being reborn in the Nirmanarati realm. If you do a simple
subtraction, that piece of burnt rice can't subtract a lot of
bad karma, so how can you create blessings and be reborn in
can know that whether a crime is serious or light, a blessing
is great or small, not only by the appearance you see on the
outside but also by whether your mind is good or bad, whether
your heart is sincere or not. If you believe and understand
that, then worship and repentance will have great benefits, no
you do prostrations to the Buddhas with confusion, doubt, and
uncertainty in the results of your prostrations, then even
hundreds of thousands of prostrations will not do you any
good. Because bowing like that means there is no sincerity in
the heart. Without a sincere heart, it is not possible to help
purify the mind, it is not possible to have sensitivity to the
other powers of the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas.
Avatamsaka Sutra, Samantabhadra Bodhisattva says:
- If the sins
of sentient beings have a form, all space will not contain it
sins of sentient beings have been piled up for thousands of
eons and passed down through time, by heredity, customs,
habits, etc. For example, greed, you are a newborn, no one
teaches for you, and yet you know! No one told you to be
angry, but when you meet something against your will, you
scowl and then yell. Those bad qualities are once with the
body and very deep, and hard to get rid of. In the Sutras,
they call them natural cleaving, also known as long-standing
seeds. These bad seeds also cause other sins to arise, which
in the Suttas are called discriminating defilements or
beginningless seeds. Distinguishing defilements can be easily
eliminated, but Natural cleaving is very difficult to
eliminate. They are like owl grass, its roots go deep and
crawl very far. If the gardener despises it, it will not be
easy to destroy it.
So you should
not repent while the mind is not reverent! On the contrary,
you must do so:
a) Those bad
qualities gradually weaken, due to the strength of sincerity
b- Then cut
off bad qualities and prevent them from being reborn.
This is the
appropriate method of repentance to develop virtue, to
eliminate old sins. Because in each of you's heart is not full
of evil. If a bad character has existed since time immemorial,
then a good character has existed since time immemorial. Each
of you has Buddha nature, which is the seed of all good deeds,
which has been buried under many layers of desire and
delusion. Now that you want to eliminate desire, you must
create conditions for Buddha nature to sprout leaves, flower,
and bear Bodhi fruit. The conditions for the growth of the
Bodhi sprout are good deeds such as
Compassion, Joy, Equanimity, Generosity, Precepts,
Forbearance, Effort, etc. If you develop those good qualities,
of course, bad qualities have no ground to grow.
scriptures it is taught:
- The person
who has made mistakes and knows how to repent, that person is
the light that illuminates the world, the moon out of the
This is an
essential part of the penitential method, because only when
you are aware of your mistakes will you be able to correct
them to stop them. On the contrary, if you are ignorant and
obstinate, then you will innocently continue to commit crimes.
For people who have made mistakes but do not repent to quickly
put an end to that sinful mind, sins will accumulate more and
more in the body, just like water flowing into the sea
gradually becomes deeper.
It is from
such profound meanings, and with such great effects, that the
word repentance is considered a proper noun, a term used in
Buddhism, and is one of the most important and indispensable
method of practicing repentance is very necessary and very
important, helping your mind to be purified and eliminate
karma, then good signs also arise from there.
You must be
determined to repent so that the bad qualities will gradually
decrease and then gradually come to an end. When the bad
character has ceased, you must vow to do many good deeds in
order to grow good seeds and eliminate old sins. Apply the
beautiful virtues such as Love, compassion, joy, equanimity,
generosity, and patience in life.
Then you will
know how to rejoice in the joys of others; know how to love
and forgive those who have committed mistakes. If you want to
eliminate those evils, you must create conditions for the seed
of Buddha-nature to rise and blossom and bear Bodhi fruit.
there are people in life who commit serious sins that are
almost incurable. They always live with fear, anxiety, and
almost complete loneliness because no one dares to contact
them, talk, etc. However, everything in life is relative,
nothing is fixed. Above all, it is still your own effort, you
must always diligently correct mistakes, not rely on, or
negatively let go with the flow of karma. The method of
repentance in Buddhism does not mean baptism like other
religions do, but it means admitting mistakes and correcting
them. The meaningful chanting method helps people to know what
is good and what is unwholesome, and prostrations show your
sincere, repentant attitude:
- Thanks to
the method of repentance, people have the opportunity to
change their hearts to become better.
- Thanks to
the method of repentance, it is possible to make people live
more peaceful and happy lives.
So you are the
one who wants to get rid of all sins, free from birth and
death, samsara? Are you a lover of truth? If you are someone
who wants to have a good life, and a good body, and think
about the joys and sufferings of others, then try diligently
and actively practice true repentance in Buddhism. In order to
first improve your own life, then bring happiness and
eliminate suffering to everyone. So, join me in praying for
together to develop sincerity
cultivate the virtue of resoluteness to eliminate bad
eliminate sins and generate blessings
Go straight to
the place of liberation and happiness
If you have any recommendations,
please e-mail to: