Master Jun Hong Lu’s Discourse (Question 320)
10 July 2019
WHAT TO DO IF THE INCENSE IN THE CENSER NOT LIT?
In a previous radio programme, a fellow Buddhist friend asked, ‘When offering incense, the incense had already been placed in the censer, but it was found that the incense was not lit. As such, can the incense be taken out and be lit once again?’ Master Lu answered, ‘No. If it is taken out, it must be thrown away. Incense cannot be lit twice as this action means “a double heart”’.
Another fellow Buddhist friend asked, ‘When the incenses have been burnt half way, but one has not been lit, what should we do?’ Master Lu answered, ‘If the incense has not been lit, then light it again, and apologise to Bodhisattva immediately. It’s OK if you have to take the incense away and light a new one, but it is better to use the original one which has just been offered to Bodhisattva. Since that incense is to be offered to Bodhisattva in the first place, if it can be lit up then continue burning it. Although this incense cannot be successfully offered to Bodhisattva, we still have to continue burning it, because our heart still is paying respect and offering to Bodhisattva. Do not change to a new one, the heart towards Bodhisattva has to remain loyal and unwavering’.
What is the difference between these two methods?
If the incense was not lit or stopped burning after it was offered in the censer, it can be lit again directly with a lighter, but the incense cannot be taken out then placed into the censer once again.
If it is taken out of the censer, then it cannot be an incense used for offering to Bodhisattva; it can only be thrown away.