Specific Instructions on Showing Respect to the Three Jewels
What Can We Do?
1. When you are visiting tourist sites, collect admission tickets printed with images of the Buddha, pagodas, temples and words from the scriptures, do not throw them away. For those who are capable, please pick up admission tickets thrown to the ground by other tourists. For those who are more capable, please pick up tickets discarded into the garbage dump. For those who are much more capable, please communicate with the gate-keepers for taking used tickets, and for those who are still with greater capability, please find the relevant department and tell them that printing such tickets will make many people easily commit non-virtuous karma in demeanors and persuade them not do print any more.
2. When you go to the temple to burn incense and bow to the Buddha, please pick up and preserve discarded trademarks printed with images of Avalokiteshvara Bodhisattva and so on, persuade others to show respect to the Three Jewels, and explain detailed as above.
3. Explain the situation to the related managerial staff at the temple and persuade them to treat the discarded images of the Three Jewels properly or ask them to hand the discarded images over to you. Try to stop people from littering and burning images of the Three Jewels and tell them the reason.
4. Call or send messages to manufacturers who use images of the Three Jewels on their product packing and try to stop them. For example, the image of Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara is emblazoned on the packing boxes of “Guan Yin Cookie”; the picture of Maitreya Buddha is printed on the boxes of moon cakes; trademarks of monk garment factories, especially those of incense manufacturers, advertisements of manufacturers of Buddhist statues, etc. are the same issue.
5. Others such as worn-out sutras and sutras and images of the Buddha belonging to believers passed away should be handled properly, like giving them to those who need them. Certificate of refuge and so on should not be incinerated with the body of the deceased.
6. Persuade others to do the things listed above.
7. When you see others doing the above things, rejoice in their deeds, praise them, and use the internet to promote and encourage such good deeds.
8. Vow to respectfully clean a certain number of images of the Buddha or collect and offer a certain number of images of the Buddha.
What to Do after Collection?
1. Classification of the images of the Buddha:
Category A: To those suitable for recirculation or distribution should meet the following requirements: The workmanship should be properly made, complete and undamaged, not disrupted by other irrelevant designs or images; pictures including some ordinary people backside should not be circulated. Images of the Buddha should be bathed, repaired or framed up and decorated before distribution.
Category B: Those to be preserved in mountain caves: excluding the images of category A. For example, those that are broken and cannot be repaired and those improperly made. Wrap them up with cloth and write down the number of images included, then dispose them in three ways: (1) store them in a box by yourself; (2) put them in an empty mountain cave or in an empty place in the attic of your house; (3) send them to a temple.
(1) Going for refuge: recite the homage verse.
(2) Cutting: Leave as much margins as possible around the image of the Buddha and cut them into shapes of squares or rectangles. This applies to paper advertisements, wall calendars, admission tickets etc. in which pictures of the Buddha are printed together with those of the product. For independent pictures of the Buddha, you should not cut the edges.
(3) Ablution: Chant three verses of ablution first, then wipe the images at the beginning with wet cloth and then with dry cloth, make it clean. At this time, imagine you are clearing the karma and delusional hindrances of yourself and all living beings.
Verse of offering ablution to the Buddha:
诸佛相续本清净 纤毫尘垢而亦无 为超生死涅槃故
The purity of the Buddha’s mind stream is fundamentally pure,
It is without even the tiniest speck of dust or dirt.
In order to surpass life and death and achieve nirvana,
奉请如来澡浴身 如彼大觉降生时 诸天供养天净水
We offer the ablution to the Buddha.
Just as all the celestial beings offered clean heavenly water
At the time of the Buddha’s birth
So now we offer clean heavenly dew
To bath the Buddha’s body
The Buddha’s body, speech, and mind are free from afflictions,
In order to purify the karmic hindrance of body, speech, and mind of sentient beings
We ask the Buddha to purify the three kinds of karmic hindrances of sentient beings
With the bathing water of His body, speech, and mind.
嗡 萨瓦达塔嘎达 阿必肯嘎得 萨嘛耶喜耶阿吽
Ohng sa wa da da ga da a bhi ken ga dei sa ma yeah xi yeah ah hong
Note: This practice especially can remedy the interference of nonhumans and remove all kinds of evil karma committed by oneself; it can clear away various kinds of obstacles in practicing the path and generate sufficient favorable conditions in this life.
(4) Category A: Repairing, framing and decorating for circulation.
Category B: Images of the Buddha with the same type or same specification should be cut in the same size, wiped clean, put together, and then carefully wrapped up with yellow cloth and tied up. Or you can divide them into batches and put them in small boxes with the number stickers on each box, then put all these boxes together in a big outer case taking one image as a sample sticking on the box. Write down the total number of images as well as the words “For storage in mountain cave.” on the outside of the big outer case. As for packing boxes printed with images of the Buddha, you can wipe them clean, put other images of the Buddha in them, and then wrap them up with yellow cloth.
Images of the Buddha on admission tickets, business cards etc. should be classified into Category A and B and should be dealt with as stated above.
Images of the Buddha and those of temples should be kept separately.
Dedication of Merits
A. All good roots from worshipping, praising, and making offerings to Buddhas,
From requesting that Buddhas dwell in the world to turn the Dharma Wheel,
From compliantly rejoicing, from repenting and reforming,
I transfer to living beings’ attaining the Buddha’s way.
I vow to eradicate the three obstructions and all afflictions,
I vow to obtain wisdom and obtain true understanding,
I make a universal vow that the obstacles of my offenses will be totally eliminated,
And that in life after life we shall constantly practice the path of the Bodhisattvas.
I vow that when my life approaches its end,All obstructions will be swept away;I will see Aimitabha Buddha,And be born in his land of Ultimate Bliss and Peace.
I vow always to meet Thus Come Ones face to faceAnd the hosts of disciples who gather around them.I will raise offerings which are vast and great,Untiring to the end of future eons.
I will hold high the subtly wondrous BuddhadharmaAnd illuminate all the practices of Bodhi;I will be ultimately pure in Samantabhadra’s way,Practicing until the end of time.
Ending the sufferings of the paths of evil,And to everyone equally bringing joy,May I for eons like the motes of dust in all landsEver benefit all in the ten directions.
May the sins of destroying Buddhist pagodas and temples, of destroying images of the Buddha and the sutras committed by myself and all father and mother-like sentient beings be eradicated and purified, including the sins committed by those who burned and damaged the sutras and images of the Buddha in history. May I and others accumulate the good qualities that will lead to the realization of Buddha’s physical body and truth body, etc.
B. You may add other eulogy expressing your own wishes.
Translators’ Note: Translations of quotations from scriptural sources are mostly borrowed from existing sources unless they cannot be accessed. We used mainly the following sources for reference.
1. The Great Treatise on the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment
2. Sagely City of 10,000 Buddhas Daily Recitation handbook
3. Buddhist Dictionary Online.