Many of you may think of worshiping Buddha at home. Some may even build a small shrine for Buddha worshiping as well. In worshiping Buddha, or Saints or any other Astral man, there are a few key points we need to comprehend. As follows:
(i) Why should we worship an Astral man?
Because Astral man is a lot more capable and advanced that Rough men (who are us). Worshiping them is the best way to obtain their help and blessing for us in our life. Astral men in higher level in the invisible space, like Buddha, Saint, High Buddha or Upper Buddha, are very capable. The higher level they dwell, the more capable they are.
(ii) How to make our prayer heard by Astral men?
First of all, we need to be sincere in our worshiping. We need to show our utmost respect and gratitude to the Astral man we worship. Astral man like Upper Buddhas are men of the most sublime and lofty qualities. They are benevolent, compassionate and always helping those who do good for the community and believe in them.
Secondly, we need to have an altar or a worshiping place that are sacred. It means that when we come there to worship and ask for their help, our prayer needs to be efficacious. It reached and is heard by the one worshiped. For the altar to be sacred, the incense bowl and the statute (or picture) of the one worshiped must be sacred.
This article will help you establish your altar and incense bowl for worshiping Upper Buddha. It is written based on the teaching of Prof. Dich-Van Van Quang HUGO HAMA Buddha.
1. Asking for permission from the Upper Buddha
For worshiping the Upper Buddha at home, it is necessary to comprehend this principle: which Buddha you are allowed to worship, not the Buddha you like. It means that the Upper Buddha chooses the worshiper but not the worshiper chooses the Buddha himself. For this, you should find someone who has the ability to ask which Buddha you can worship. Between husband and wife, ask for the Upper Buddha of the husband. Most of monks are not able to help you with this. So you can do it by yourself: go to the temple, sit in front of the main altar, and beg for Am (Yin) Duong (Yang) lot to ask the Buddha. Put two coins in the palm of your hands, state you name and your home address, then say, “Lord Buddhas, May I ask please: can I worship this Upper Buddha (say name of the Buddha) at home? If Yes, please give me one tail one head; if No, please give me two tails”.
After saying these words, shake the coins several times in the palms of your hands and drop them on the plate. You can ask buddha and after buddha until you got the Buddha name determined. If no Buddha name is determined, it means that you cannot worship Buddha. It may be due to Karma from past incarnations, or the crime committed in this incarnation (see below).
On the Buddha altar at home, worshiping one Upper Buddha is enough. You can worship maximum two Upper Buddhas. Statue of Upper Buddha of higher grade should be placed higher than the other. Only one incense bowl is needed for both. You can worship either Buddha statue or picture.
Here are the Upper Buddha from planet Earth that Earth men can worship:
Please note that all the Buddhas mentioned above are called Upper Buddhas, we cannot call them Bodhisattva (please do not call Avalokiteśvara Bodhisattva but Avalokiteśvara Upper Buddha). You also need to call them by correct names as mentioned in this article (read more about Upper Buddha here).
2. Establishing the altar
3. Sanctifying the incense bowl and the Buddha statue for worshiping the Upper Buddha:
It is necessary to comprehend the principle: the statue, picture and incense bowl all must be sacred; it means that the Buddha has accepted the statue, the picture and the incense bowl. For monks in the pagoda, only high-ranking bonze can invite the Buddha to accept the incense bowl in front of the main altar. For being able to invite the Upper Buddha to accept the statue or picture, that bonze must attain Cao Tang Bo Tat (High Virtue Bonze Bodhisattva) or higher. At this point you will see that, for most of the Buddha altars at home, whether worshipping Buddha statue or picture, maybe only the incense bowl is sacred; and the statue or picture of Buddha is just for solemnity, not sacred, because the number of monks attained Cao Tang Bo Tat level or higher is too small. However, a sacred incense bowl for worshiping the Buddha is OK. Resident cultivator must attained La Han (Arhat) level or higher to be able to invite Upper Buddha to accept statue or picture; Cao Tang Bo Tat level can invite the Upper Buddha to accept the incense bowl. Every shaman or medium cannot do the work of sanctifying the incense bowl for worshiping Buddha. Those who asked for the help of these persons must have the incense bowl re-sanctified.
Then, you also need to find the right picture and statue for each Upper Buddha. Each of the Upper Buddha above have different statue for worshiping. You should select the right picture and statue so that the Upper Buddha worshiped will accept it when it is sanctified.
Not following the above mentioned things, the Buddha altar will not be sacred. If the altar is sacred, but the worshiping is not serious, the Buddha will withdraw from the altar as well. So you can see that worshiping Buddha is not easy.
There should be an incense bowl and Buddha statute or picture on the altar for worshiping. The person who prepares the incense bowl needs to have the capability to invite the Buddha to accept the incense bowl and the statute or picture to make these items sacred. For doing so, the preparer needs to have high energy, equivalent to Cao Tang Bo Tat (High Virtue-bonze Bodhisattva) level or above. You need to seek help from these persons. Most of monks in pagoda today have not attained this level yet so they can only invite Buddha to accept the incense bowl. However, for worshiping Buddha, only sacred incense bowl is acceptable. In case the Buddha does not accept the statute or picture, it still can be used for worshiping.
You need to understand: Cao Tang Bo Tat (High Virtue-bonze Bodhisattva) is a level in the invisible space. Those who attained this level means when they die, their Astral will return and dwell in this level in the invisible space. (read more about space levels here)
This does not mean monks as their ranking in the pagoda, e.g elder mọnk, master monk, most venerable, venerable monk. A venerable monk may only be at lower level like De level or Deity, much lower than High Virtue-bonze Bodhisattva. Venerable or the most venerable are ranking given by the Buddhism Association in accordance with seniority: rank is increased after several years of practice. It does not mean the progress or their Astral in the invisible space.
4. Chanting Buddhism Sutra in front of Buddha altar at home
You don’t need to burn incense on the Buddha altar everyday. You can burn incense and chant names of Buddhas on the 1st and 15th days of the lunar calendar. You also don’t need to chant Buddhist sutra everyday (including in pagoda). Chanting names of Buddhas is enough. Whichever Buddha that you worship, it’s considered that you are worshiping all 7 Upper Buddhas of our planet Earth so you need to chant the names of all of these 7 Buddhas. You can use bell and wooden fish for chanting name of Buddhas one by one. Chanting name of one Buddha after each strike on the bell and then chanting names of all Buddhas one by one along continuous strikes on the wooden fish.
5. Those who falls into any of the type below cannot worship Buddha
"There are physical and invisible (subtle) spaces co-existing in this universe"
"There are Rough men living in the physical space and Astral men living in the invisible space. The Astral men are a lot more capable than the Rough men"
"The big mistake of mankind (Rough men) so far is we are not willing to cooperate with the invisible space"
Professor Dich - Van Van Quang HUGO HAMA Buddha