Q: Master Lu, are the effects of reciting the Eighty-Eight Buddhas Great Repentance for the purpose of accumulating merits and virtues different from the effects of reciting it for the purpose of eliminating karmic obstacles?
- Sutras and mantras can be seen as medications that Buddhas and Bodhisattvas prescribe to us. However, for them to be effective, we need ingredients that can enhance their efficacy. The overall purpose of reciting the Eighty-Eight Buddhas Great Repentance is clear— to eliminate karmic obstacles. However, the prayers said before reciting this sutra can vary depending on the individual.
- If you are reciting the Eighty-Eight Buddhas Great Repentance to eliminate karmic obstacles, you can say the following before you recite, “May the Greatly Merciful and Greatly Compassionate Guan Yin Bodhisattva protect and bless me, <your full name>, help me to repent and eliminate karmic obstacles.”
If you do not have many karmic obstacles, your recitation of the Eighty-Eight Buddhas Great Repentance will automatically be transformed into merits and virtues. In fact, the process of eliminating karmic obstacles itself increases your own merits and virtues.
- When the black patches of karmic obstacles on your body are greatly reduced, you will become cleaner and purer. This makes it easier for the sutras and mantras that you recite, including the Great Compassion Mantra, the Heart Sutra, and the Eighty-Eight Buddhas Great Repentance, to be gradually stored within you.
- Why do some people find performing recitations ineffective or not efficacious? It is because they have accumulated far too many karmic obstacles. Therefore, it is very important to recite the Eighty-Eight Buddhas Great Repentance to eliminate our karmic obstacles. If your karmic obstacles are activated and transformed into spirits, then you would need to recite Little Houses and address them to the “Karmic Creditor of <your full name>”.