Praying at Maha Bodhi Temple?


Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa worships at Jaya Shree Mahabodhi Temple during his visit to Bodhgaya on February 10, 2020. Sanjay KUMAR / AFP

In yesterday’s (11th) The Island there was a news item captioned "Mahinda prays at Maha Bodhi Temple", which prompted me to write this short note. I do not believe that we Buddhists pray to the Buddha. I believe Buddhists worship the Buddha in obeisance and in gratitude for the guidance He gave us, without expecting any material benefits in return from Him. We expect only to acquire and accrue merit by worshipping the Buddha.

The Concise Oxford Dictionary defines the word ‘prayer’ as ‘a solemn request for help or expression of thanks addressed to God or another deity’. In my opinion it is the people who believe in a creator god who offers prayers to that god seeking material benefits. We Buddhists do not believe in a creator god.

SLAS (Retired)

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