A Prayer for Buddha’s Birthday

By Venerable Master Hsing Yun
Founder of Fo Guang Shan

Oh great, compassionate Buddha!
We are here to celebrate with sincerity and respect
Your birth into this world.
You, with one hand pointed to the sky
And the other pointed to the earth,
Issued the declaration of being
The uniquely honored one in the world.

You took seven steps,
Clusters of lotus flowers appeared,
And used the pure and clean Dharma water
To wash away the stains of the earth.

From the moment on,
There was promise in the human world.
From that moment on,
There were the Buddha’s teachings in the human world.

Oh great, compassionate Buddha!
In order to receive the joyous occasion
Of your birth to the world with respect,
In some places it is full of joyful atmosphere,
People decorate with lanterns and colored hangings,
In some places, people hold parades,
And the sounds of gongs and drums shake the sky,
Monasteries hold the ceremony of bathing the image of the Buddha,
Devotees and their families celebrate your birthday.

This is how your followers commemorate
Your gracious kindness!
This is how your followers remember
Your blessing and protection with gratitude!

Oh great, compassionate Buddha!
Please sympathize with our imperfections in virtues and merits;
We can only chant your great, sacred name mindfully,
As though remembering our own kind mother.

Oh great, compassionate Buddha!
We are willing to use our entire lives to expound and propagate the Truth;
We are willing to devote our entire lives to liberate all sentient beings.

Oh great, compassionate Buddha,
Please accept our sincere prayer!
Please accept our sincere prayer!

(Excerpted from “A Prayer for Buddha’s Birthday (佛誕節祈願文)” from Pearls of Wisdom: Prayers for Engaged Living I by Venerable Master Hsing Yun)

I now sincerely bathe all Tathagatas,
Gaining merits of pure wisdom and majesty;
May beings be free from defilements in all,
Thereby attain Tathagata’s pure Dharma body.