Extracted from the website of Buddhist Vajrayana Charity Funds Association and translated (拜懺) into English:
Repentance Worship Practice
|Repentance Worship Practice, also known as the Ceremony of Repentance, is the worship of all Buddhas and Bodhisattvas and the repentance of all committed sins and wrongdoings. Whether one is speaking about Buddhists or non-Buddhists, ‘Repentance Worship Practice’ is an appropriate formula to heal the heart.
Once we realise that we have done something wrong, we should firstly reveal it, which is to admit the mistake, and then proceed to Repentance Worship Practice. There are many types of repentance dharmas: such as Emperor Liang Huangbao Repentance(梁皇寶懺), Great Compassion Repentance(大悲懺), Water Repentance(水懺), Pure Land Repentance(淨土懺), Buddha Medicine Repentance(藥師懺), Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva Repentance(地藏懺), Thirty-Five Buddha Repentance(三十五佛懺), Dharma Lotus Samadhi Repentance(法華三昧懺), Golden Brightness Repentance(金光明懺), Vajrasattva Repentance(金剛薩埵懺) and so on. However, each repentance dharma has a different origin, and also with a different function, it is appropriate for practitioners to make their own choice.
As long as one pays close attention, it is not difficult to discover that the speech and behaviour of ordinary people often commit wrongdoings and create karma. It is the karma created by each individual (perhaps it is the legacy of past consciousness imported to the mind of this life) that leads human beings into the samsaric cycle of life and death. Just think, if one did not commit guilt and wrongdoings in one's past lives, one would not presently be a human being and also be an ordinary person. If one can sever all the guilt and wrongdoing in this life, one will immediately be in the realm of the Saint. Everyone's karma is the evil cause of the last ten odd years or a few decades ago, and even the evil cause of the previous life or numerous previous lives, and which eventually turns into the evil fruit, that leads to the current obstacles. These obstacles can impede our academic study, career progression, health, family and cultivation and so on.
Humans are helpless against the sinful karma from past lives because all acts from these past lives have already become a fact of present reality and cannot be changed. They are also equally helpless with the sinful karma committed in this life as they too have become a fact of life. The only way is to discontinue committing sinful acts from now onwards, to eliminate all evil deeds and stabilise future situations. Thereafter, one can think of a solution to erase the sinful karma of the past, and this method is via the Buddhist Repentance Worship Dharma.
When a person's health flashes a red warning light and the body suffers from ailments to the extent of terminal illness, one will rush to find a doctor today, then look for another doctor tomorrow and continue to rely on medicine for treatment in the hope that one may recover. However, many people fail to reflect, feel shame and repent the sinful karma that they themselves have once committed. Buddha Dharma deals with the cause of sickness, other than examining the present physiological and psychological factors, it also traces the link of karmic implications from past lives. This so called ‘karma’ includes the links of retribution of the past and the present. As a result of committing sins in the past, one faces the present karmic obstacles and is destined to suffer with illness, it is not easy to cure even with medicine. The most ultimate healing methods are only by putting efforts in cause and effect, reflection, review, repentance, karma-eradication and karma-transformation. Therefore, Buddha Dharma teaches us that apart from using medical treatment, it is more important to cure sickness through the Dharma way of “Repentance Dharma”. Sick people should often reflect on their own karma of body, speech and mind and must initiate the Bodhicitta. This is the only way to eliminate the evil karma that had once been created in one's past or present lives.
There are three kinds of humans in the world,
The second kind:
The third kind:
If one can most sincerely open up to repentance, carry out Repentance Worship Practice, and take this as the cleansing of one’s inner guilt and resentment; then this heart (mind), which has been tarnished with guilt and filth, will return to the pure heart of liberation and non-contamination. In this way, karmic obstacles will disappear and virtuous roots can develop and grow.
Of course, the best way to carry out Repentance Worship Practice is to worship in person. If you have not learned how to do this, or you feel that you have not worshipped enough, you can invite Buddhist monks and nuns to carry out the ritual and you may join in Repentance Worship Practice at the Dharma ceremony. You may also carry out Repentance Worship Practice on behalf of family and friends who have passed away, or you may courteously invite Buddhist monks and nuns to execute the ceremony for those deceased family member and friends.
Buddhist Sutra scriptures state:
With the mind dies and guilt disappears both become empty; this is known as the true repentance.