What is Merit in Buddhism - Is it wish Fulfilling? 108
Greetings! The concept of merit holds great importance in Buddhism.
1. What makes Buddha highly meritorious?
Buddha, due to extraordinary merit, even the slightest sound, like a bird's tweet, could break the cycle of Samsara.
2. Why do I lack merit?
However, for someone like myself, Tenzin Dhondup, even with exposure to countless valuable teachings on the Buddha Dharma, I remain in a state of slumber.
Merit in Buddhism
3. What is merit?
Any action that brings us closer to the truth is merit. Any action that takes us away from the truth has no merit.
4. What are the four truths?
- All compounded things are impermanent.
- All emotions are prone to suffering.
- All things have no inherent existence.
- Nirvana is beyond concepts.
5. Do the Four Seals and Four Truths have similarities?
The statements known as 'the four seals' were taught by Buddha. These seals are sometimes referred to as 'truths' by masters to avoid confusion with the four noble truths in Buddhism.
6. If one accumulates many merits, does it guarantee the fulfillment of one's wishes?
Having more merits can be the key to fulfilling our desires, but if those accomplishments lead to wealth, good health, and an absence of challenges, we may become entrenched in worldly existence.
We may become so focused on our success that we don't need to consider the possibility of liberation from Samsara. In doing so, we distance ourselves from the teachings of Buddha and negate any merit we may have accumulated, so let's call that Samsaric merit. What we need is the merit of walking towards Nirvana.
7. What is the merit of walking towards the Nirvana?
Buddhas, such as Jetsun Milarepa, have often encountered numerous obstacles in their Samsaric existence, prompting them to abandon Samsara and thus acquire walking towards Nirvana merit. This has been the case with many of the renowned masters of the past.
8. Why do masters abandon worldly success?
The masters understand that any achievement we attain in the cycle of rebirth is temporary, like a mud palace constructed by a child near the sea. Eventually, we must abandon all of our successes.
Therefore, they believe that these successes hold no significance and strive to search for something more profound called Nirvana, which is the essence of merit.
9. What is the process for gaining merit?
The acquisition of merit in Buddhist practices involves chanting, prostrating, meditation, scripture reading, and circumambulating the stupa.
Photo: Liberating by seeing the statue of Buddha Shakyamuni in Jokhang Temple
10. What is the king of merit?
However, it is essential to incorporate compassion and awareness into these practices. The most efficient, the king of accumulating merit, is through our minds. It is essential to maintain mindfulness in all our actions. When we cultivate the intention for the well-being and happiness of all beings, we create a multitude of positive merits.
11. Do we expect anything in return when we help others?
Our merit will increase daily if we don't anticipate anything in return when we make wishes for others or give something to them. The concept of merit helps us comprehend that practicing Buddha's Dharma is simple, as all Buddhist practices center on the mind, which is responsible for both happiness and suffering.
12. What is the starting point for engaging in the practice of merit?
To begin practicing merit, we can start by making aspirations. For instance, when we come across a fancy car, we can make aspirations that everyone has the opportunity to drive one. Similarly, when we encounter an attractive individual, we can aspire for everyone to be blessed with good looks. As we become aware of someone being unwell, may all those who are suffering from illness recover quickly, and may everyone enjoy good health. We should extend assistance by contributing donations or any other form of aid, and we should do so without anticipating any compensation or expecting benefit in return.
13. What are some ways to engage in merit while traveling in Tibet?
Making aspirations is an everyday occurrence for Travelers visiting Tibet, and merit plays a crucial role in this. By wishing for great weather for sightseeing at places like Mount Everest and Mount Kailash for other fellow Travelers, we can create better weather for our journey. Practicing merit is effortless when we do not expect to receive anything in return.
14. What are the positive merits?
When you are happy, may everyone be as satisfied as me. When you are sad, may no one become sad like me. We can easily create many positive merits. May good things happen to all beings or that person. If such thoughts arise, we are making positive merits, and good things will occur to us because of our good intentions.
Photo: Buddha Vajradhara Dorje Chang (Shakyamuni in tantric form)
15. What are the negative merits?
When we are happy, may no one become as satisfied as me. When we are sad, may everyone or that person become even more hurt or sad than I am. If we have thoughts wishing negative things to happen to others or even to ourselves, we are creating negative karma, and negative things will happen to us due to our evil intentions.
16. Where does merit have its starting point?
Merits originate from three avenues: the mind, body, and speech. However, the most significant merit is generated from the mind as it is the origin of both speech and body. I recommend visiting Siddhartha's Intent for more information regarding merit.
17. As we accumulate more merit, what are the effects?
By consistently filling our minds with positive thoughts, we accumulate substantial good karma and steer our minds toward enlightenment. This practice brings us closer to the ultimate teachings of Buddha. With a gradual understanding of Buddha's teachings, the desire to seek enlightenment arises within us. As we delve deeper, we realize that all sentient beings were once our mothers in one of our previous lives. This leads to further valuable thoughts, such as questioning the pursuit of personal happiness when our mothers are enduring suffering.
Our goal is to practice Buddha Dharma with the intention of achieving enlightenment for all Sentient Beings. The main objective of Mahayana Buddhism is to liberate all Sentient Beings from the Samsara.
May all Sentient Beings' minds be enriched by the Bodhicitta, by the merit of this article. As a novice Buddhist, I ask for the forgiveness of Guru, Buddha, and Bodhisattvas for sharing my limited understanding of merit.
I appreciate you for reading all the way through. If you enjoyed it, sharing it can benefit me and more seekers. Also, check out my other article regarding the advantages of meditation and understanding Karma. :) If there is anything I can do to improve the article, let me know by leaving a comment. Your feedback is highly appreciated.