In the rich tapestry of human experience, prayer emerges as a profound and timeless thread, transcending cultural and spiritual boundaries. Whether providing solace, guidance, or fostering communion, prayer holds a unique resonance globally, its significance undeniable in every religion of mankind including Buddhism.
But what makes a prayer effective? How do you ensure effective prayers when you chant the verses or sing the hymms? Its main effectiveness lies in intention, sincerity, and the chosen method.
No doubt, sincerity and faith in performing the prayers are part of the magic ingredients, but you will also need to ensure you are chanting the right and suitable prayers. This article will guide you on the effective Buddhist suttas and mantras suitable for daily chanting, as well as the hindrances to effective prayer that you should be aware of.
The Importance of Practicing Prayers
For all religions of mankind, prayers form an important part of our cultivation and and training. Without the power of prayers, any religion would be devoid of good guidance and beneficial practice.
Prayers are especially an avenue to seek solace and effective intuitive power to guide for better protection and good blessings. These powerful prayers are necessary to fortify ourselves against any impending danger of accidents or mishaps the more we chant any powerful prayer of protection.
Prayers also help to calm our mind, heart and body. Effective prayers can also increase our pranic energy, a Sanskrit word for life force and eventually enhance our circulation of blood thereby maintaining a good healthy body.
The Key to Effective Prayer: Selected Sutras and Mantras for Powerful Prayers Session
In Buddhism, if we want to create an effective prayer verse chanting, one must begin with just important basic prayers of both Mahayana and Theravada teaching.
We encourage Buddhists to include these powerful prayers in their daily chanting:
- Homage to the Buddha
- Namo Amitabha mantra
- Mangala Sutta (The Discourse on Blessings)
- Ratana Sutta (The Discourse on the Jewels)
- Karaniya Metta Sutta (The Discourse on Loving-Kindness)
- Mahajayamangala Sutta (Great Verses of Joyous Victory)
- Tai Pee Chum (大悲忏)
- Da Bei Zhou (白衣大士神咒 or some call it 白衣观音大士灵感神咒)
Both Mahayana and Theravada suttas and mantras should be chanted simultaneously as they are intertwined in growth. The last and most important effective prayer to perform is the Almighty prayer, which should be chanted when we are about to go to sleep. This powerful Almighty prayer is precise and blesses our mind to attain the positive growth of living on this earth.
Best Time for Effective Praying
Many Buddhists may wonder whether there is any proper or best time for chanting. While there aren’t strict rules to chanting at only certain times when you achieve higher cultivation levels, for normal lay people, it is pertinent to perform our prayers both in the morning and evening without fail to create an effective prayer.
This is even more so when we have a good and concentrated mind whenever we recite any prayer. Using prayer beads during chanting can assist with better concentration on the prayers.
A word of caution is that, we should never perform any prayer while our mind is wandering elsewhere and full of worries and wavering thoughts. Having too many worries, overthinking and having a wandering mind are among the hindrances to effective prayer, hence we should be mindful of our condition when performing prayer chanting.
We need to train our mind to be calm whenever we are about to chant and leave those worrisome thoughts aside. Otherwise, it will defeat the purpose of an effective prayer.
Additional Tips on Creating Effective Prayers
Apart from choosing the right sutras and mantras for chanting, there are several things that you should bear in mind in order to procure the effectiveness of prayers.
Be consistent in your chanting. The longer we practice our chanting, the better is the outcome of our development.
We also need to prepare our mind to have patience, endurance, tolerance and calmness whenever we start our incantation to overcome our initial stage of restlessness and lifeless chanting.
At the same time, our chanting must be vibrant and clear. Ultimately, we should feel a sense of joy and peace upon the completion of our chanting.
Of course, all these beneficial traits will take years or even decades to achieve this remarkable experience. All these daily incantations accumulating over the years will impound our mind to be more alert and conscious of our surroundings.
Gradually, we will be alighting our conscious mind along with our subconscious, and this very mixture will then become a potent and enlightening mind that every human craves in this world.
Final Thoughts on Effective Prayers
In our careful observation, we have discovered that anything of natural mixture is more ideal and allows for better growth. This is evident in the case of children of mixed marriages, whereby these children tend to have prettier features. Similarly, any consumption of food would taste better if the cooking is done with a mixture of cooking oils, mixed sauces and mixed chilly pastes.
In much the same way with prayers, we have finally discovered that an assorted mix of carefully curated prayer verses to chant will ultimately create an effective prayer. We have overcome the dilemma of finding the right mix, for we have highlighted the specific Buddhist prayers to be chanted in the aforementioned section in this article.
Hope you will have a clearer idea of how to create an effective prayer session at the end of the reading! Namo Amitabha, and Sadhu Sadhu Sadhu!