THE DHARMA DISCOURSES O...

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THE DHARMA DISCOURSES OF CARDINAL MASTER CHŎNGSAN(CHŎNGSAN CHONGSA PŎBŎ)

Part Two: Dharma Discourses

Chapter Two: The Way of Propriety

10

10. The attendant asked again, “How does the merit from dharma rituals accrue to the spirit of the deceased?” The Master replied, “We conduct dharma rituals for the following reasons. First, the deceased will develop affinities with the community of pracititioners of the Way. Second, if the sponsor, officiant, or participants pray singledmindedly, then, according to the principle of the nonduality between the Dharmakāya Buddha and us, the karmic obstacles of the deceased spirit can naturally melt away. Third, if a spiritual mentor who has the power of the Way recites scriptures and Buddhist sūtras or expounds the dharma, the path to wisdom may possibly open for the deceased without the latter’s knowing it. Fourth, if we make donations that contribute to public-service tasks, it will help the deceased enjoy blessings in the other world. Fifth, in addition to that one-off ritual, if the related parties perform many other public services for the deceased’s sake, cultivate all kinds of good deeds, and have descendants who join in the practice of the Way and attain the power of the Way, then their hidden virtue will also reach that deceased spirit. These are all made manifest according to the principle of nonaction and spontaneity, hence they cannot be judged only by what occurs at the ritual site.”