A Prayer for Ancestors throughout the Generations

By Venerable Master Hsing Yun 


Oh great, compassionate Buddha!

We would like to express to you 

Our gratitude to our relatives and 

Ask blessings for them throughout the generations:

We attribute our ability to live and work

In peace and contentment now

To the diligence and efforts of our relatives

Throughout the generations.

They left abundant fortunes for us

So that we can live a civilized life;

They established fine lives for us

So that we can enjoy a life of convenience.


For the happiness of future generations,

Some toiled as pioneers to cultivate the land, and

Some fought bloody battles to resist foreign aggression.

For the future of their descendant,

Some migrated overseas to toil and strive, and

Some devoted all their efforts to create and invent.


Oh great, compassionate Buddha!

Although our ancestors are gone,

Their example remains before our eyes.

We are willing to take as a model our ancestors' virtue of benefiting others;

We are willing to learn from our ancestors' example of solidarity;

We are willing to inherit our ancestors' model of determination;

We are willing to accept our ancestors' teachings and admonitions.


Oh great, compassionate Buddha!

In order to expand the boundaries and territory of our nation,

Our ancestors continuously fought battles everywhere;

In order to increase wealth,

Our ancestors continuously toiled.

All their past actions

Whether merits or mistakes,

Were intended for the good of future generations

Their bounty is higher than mountains and deeper than oceans.


Oh great, compassionate Buddha!

Please allow us to pray and repent for them;

Please allow us to pray for them to transcend suffering in future lives;

Please allow us to take refuge in the Triple Gem on their behalf;

Please allow us to ask for forgiveness on their behalf.


Oh great, compassionate Buddha!

May those who were in the lower realms of transmigration,

Be reborn as heavenly and human beings,

And hear the superior, wonderful music of the higher realms;

May those who were in the heavenly and human realms

Be able to take refuge and believe in the Triple Gem,

And never regress or become idle.


Oh great, compassionate Buddha!

Among our ancestors throughout the generations,

Some were unfortunate and died in despondency;

Some suffered injustice and died bearing resentment;

Some had talent but no opportunity to use it

And were disappointed all their lives;

Some endured natural and manmade calamities

And were separated from their spouses and children.


We pray to you, Buddha, to bless and protect them:

May they understand the cause and effect of karmic retribution from the three time periods of past, present, and future;

May they understand the right way of putting an end to karma according to circumstances;

May they transcend suffering in their future lives;

May their spirit attain purification.


Oh great, compassionate Buddha!

How fortune we are to have you to rely upon today.

We are also willing to take our ancestors' virtues as a model

To benefit and aid future generations.


Oh Buddha! Please bless and support us:

We are willing to avoid evil 

And to do good; 

We are willing to purify our intentions 

And become models for future generations; 

We are willing to contribute our strength 

And serve the masses; 

We are willing to benefit all human beings 

And not waste this life.


Oh great, compassionate Buddha,

Please accept our sincerest prayer!

Oh great, compassionate Buddha,

Please accept our sincerest prayer!


Namo Shakyamuni Buddha.