A Prayer for Repentance

By Venerable Master Hsing Yun
Founder of Fo Guang Shan

Oh great, compassionate Buddha!
I kneel before you with the greatest sincerity,
To confess and repent:

From innumerable kalpas,
I may have produced unwholesome physical karma of
Killing, stealing, sexual misconduct, and lying;
I may have produced unwholesome verbal karma through
Speaking harsh and divisive speech;
I may have produced unwholesome mental karma
Through boundless greed, anger, and ignorance.

Oh Buddha!
I can only rely on your awe-inspiring majesty and protection
To grant me the strength to repent;
I can only depend upon your purifying water
To wash away my unwholesome karma.

In my past:
I was unable to distinguish the good from the bad;
I was ignorant of cause and effect,
And confused about right and wrong;
I often clung to wrong views
And thought myself correct.

To protect my own benefits,
Many a times I did not offer a helping hand to the suffering sentient beings that I saw;
Nor did I sympathize or offer help to those who are old and weak.
Because I was jealous of the achievements of others,
I exaggerated their mistakes, and forgave my own behaviors.

I did not offer enough devotion and support to my parents;
I did not offer enough trust and honesty to my friends;
I did not offer enough respect and love to my teachers;
I did not offer enough protection and tolerance to my children.

Oh great, compassionate Buddha!
The unwholesomeness of my actions are infinite.
I kneel before you today
With utmost sincerity,
To confess honestly and to repent.

Oh Buddha,
Guide me with your compassionate light,
I pray that I am able to remedy:
Greed and desire with joyous giving;
Anger and hatred with loving-kindness and compassion;
Suspicion with honesty and trust;
And arrogance with modesty.

Oh Buddha, starting from today,
I vow to emulate your conduct by:
Giving others faith;
Giving others joy,
Giving others hope,
Giving others convenience.

From today on,
I vow to follow your teachings and:
Benefit self and others
Through the Five Precepts and Ten Wholesome Deeds;
Strengthen the cultivation of merit and wisdom
Through the Threefold Training;
To repay the people with,
The Four Type of Kindness;
And benefit all sentient beings
With the Four Means of Embracing and the Six Perfections.

Oh great, compassionate Buddha,
Please accept my sincerest repentance and vows!
Oh great, compassionate Buddha,
Please accept my sincerest repentance and vows!

(Excerpted from “A Prayer for Repentance (懺悔祈願文)” from Pearls of Wisdom: Prayers for Engaged Living I by Venerable Master Hsing Yun)