The Scripture of the Fo...

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The Scripture of the Founding Master

Chapter Nine: Sending on Spirits in Transition

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A disciple asked, “Since long ago, offspring, relatives, or friends have made offerings to the buddha image or invited spiritual mentors to give a dharma discourse or recite Buddhist scriptures on behalf of the spirit of their deceased associates. What effect would result from these practices; and would there be any difference in their effect when they are performed by people with differing degrees of sincerity and power of the Way?” The Founding Master said, “To offer supplication and offer donations on behalf of the deceased spirit indicate one’s sincerity. They say ‘sincerity can move heaven,’ and the effect of the supplication will be made manifest according to the extent of one’s sincerity. Also, the potent effect of delivering dharma discourses or reciting Buddhist scriptures will vary according to the degree of the spiritual mentor’s power of the Way. As a result, some spirits return unawares to wholesome destinies only after undergoing all the unwholesome karma they had accumulated in their past lives; some are relieved of their karmic obstacles and return directly to wholesome destinies; some, in the intermediate state where the road ahead is unclear, at first can’t find the road to their future life but discover it later on; some temporarily remain bound by their attachments, but are able to let go of them and become free to enter the realms of the heavens or human beings, thereby enjoying blessings and happiness. However, if an offspring is not completely sincere or the spiritual mentor’s power of the Way is deficient, the means so applied may not have much effect on the numinous capacity of the spirit. This is because without utmost sincerity, the true potency will not be made manifest, just as in farming there will not be much crop to harvest without the farmer’s full dedication and ability.”