A Prayer for Our Armed Forces

By Venerable Master Hsing Yun
Founder of Fo Guang Shan

Oh great, compassionate Buddha!

Battle drums roll, cannons rumble,

Wars continue here,

And battles are imminent there;

Some may resort to force as a result of different ideals;

Some struggle and fight with others out of a conflict of interests;

Some may wait for the chance to invade others merely to oppress the weak;

Some may occupy others to expand their territory;

Some may launch wars to wipe away national shame and avenge their nation;

Some may mobilize troops to make a show of force to parade their superiority and


Some may dispatch armies to subdue others in order to uphold justice;

Some may console the people by punishing the wicked and driving out the enemy.

Oh great, compassionate Buddha!

Under the rumbling of cannon and gunfire,

In some places there are people who

Bleed so much on the battlefield

That their blood flows like a river;

In some places the earth is scorched and ravaged by war;

Many people suffer from extreme privation;

Throngs of homeless and famished people roam the countryside;

Many homes are destroyed;

Many families are broken up.

Oh great, compassionate Buddha!

In the human world, nothing is more precious than life;

Yet war causes some fires of life to be extinguished,

And the light of so many lives are dimmed.

Oh great Buddha!

To defend the nation and protect the people:

Our air force risks the surprise attack of stray bullets;

Our navy battles against surging billows and enemy warships;

Our army fights bloody conflicts on the battlefield;

Our armored troops display their brave, dashing appearance;

And our logistics units provide support behind the lines.

They stand by their posts day and night to maintain battle readiness;

They sacrifice their precious lives in exchange for the people’s survival;

They risk their lives, brave untold dangers,

And defend the nation’s territory with their precious blood.

Oh great, compassionate Buddha!

With your great blessing and support,

May they become invincible warriors, for the preservation of peace;

May they become great heroes, for the promotion of justice.

Oh great, compassionate Buddha!

May our armed forces:

Understand both themselves and their opponents, and avoid danger;

Be well-versed in the art of war and uphold justice;

Exercise compassion and wisdom and achieve victory through martial virtues;

Possess courage and kindness and win the war without fighting a battle.

May they defend our nation

With the spirit of fearlessness;

May they guard the people

With the courage of great compassion.

Oh great, compassionate Buddha!

Please bless and protect our armed forces:

May they be spared from sacrificing for their country;

May they be free from the misery of illness;

May they be free from the troubles of natural disasters;

May they be free from the infection of serious disease;

May they bring peace and security to the nation;

May they safely return to their families.

Oh great, compassionate Buddha,

Please accept our sincerest prayer!

Oh great, compassionate Buddha,

Please accept our sincerest prayer!

(Excerpted from “A Prayer for Pilgrimage 朝山祈願文)” from Pearls of Wisdom: Prayers for Engaged Living by Ven. Master Hsing Yun)