A Prayer for the Buddha's Birthday

By Vernerable Master Hsing Yun

 

Oh great, compassionate Buddha!

We are here to celebrate with sincerity and respect

Your birth into this world. 

When all the flowers bloomed during the warmth of spring, 

Exotic flowers were contending in beauty and fascination in the Lumbini garden; 

Everyone in Kapilavatthu was rejoicing, 

Gentle breezes spread the fragrance, 

All birds sang in unison; 

From that moment on, 

There was promise in the human world, 

From that moment on,

There was Dharma in the human world. 

With one hand pointing to the sky

And the other pointing to the earth,

You declared the you were 

The uniquely honored one in the world. 

As you took seven steps, 

Clusters of lotus flowers appeared, 

And you used the pure and clean Dharma water 

To wash away the stains of the earth. 

Immediately, 

Muddy mountain streams became crystal clear,

Burned-out torches were rekindled.

The heavens played wonderful music,

The earth displayed rare, auspicious signs;

All these portents welcomed your arrival to this world.

 

Oh great, compassionate Buddha!

Because of your birth in this world, 

Your forty-nine years of teaching the Dharma 

Will hold sway for far more than three great kalpas. 

The more-than-three-hundred gatherings in which you taught the sutras 

Will benefit more-than-countless sentient beings! 

Oh great, compassionate Buddha!

It was you who broke the castle system,

You who preached the doctrine of dependent origination and the equality of all beings,

You who opened all beings' minds to to Buddha's wisdom and views,

You who awakened all sentient beings from ignorance.

 

Oh great, compassionate Buddha!

 

In order to receive respectfully the joyous occasion

Of your birth to the world,

In some places, people decorate with lanterns and colored hangings,

Full of joyful atmosphere;

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, as

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 the imperfections of our virtues and merits;

We can only chant your great, sacred name mindfully,

As though remembering our own kind mother.

Oh great, compassionate Buddha!

We kneel before you,

We pass our hands over your golden body,

We offer our sincere devotion, and

We pray and hope that your virtue brightens the world.

May the Dharma lasts for ever.

Please allow our vision to to correspond with yours,

And clearly see and understand the suffering of all beings;

Please allow our speech to correspond to yours,

And delight in saying wonderful and kind words;

Please allow our actions to correspond to yours,

By being willing to help our friends;

Please allow our thoughts to correspond to yours,

And concentrate on benefiting all beings.

 

Oh great, compassionate Buddha!

We offer our entire lives to expound and propagate the Truths; 

We offer our entire lives to liberate all sentient beings.

 

Oh great, compassionate Buddha,

Please accept our sincere prayer!

Oh great, compassionate Buddha,

Please accept our sincere prayer!

 

Namo Shakyamuni Buddha.