Repentance Prayer Text

88 Buddha PDF file of the prayer in English.

Here’s an audio file. Please pardon my vocal but I just want to try my best to share the tune in my mind. Watch out for the Volume. It is loud (I don’t know why…..)

Pardon the sound quality too, it’s recorded with a 10 dollar microphone.

Remember to Adjust the volume…..

Shrine Setup

If you have a Buddhist altar, then this prayer can be said in front of the altar. If not, you can setup a temporary altar by printing the image of the 88 Buddha.

The altar is the focal point during this chanting practice. If you do not wish to set up an altar, it is also fine, just imagine the Buddha(s) in front of you.

Offerings to be placed at the altar can include incense, flowers and fruits or other items as mentioned in the prayer text.

Repentance Ritual

This prayer Text is performed with visualization and prostration.

The act of prostration is to bring forth the mentality of repentance and humility. It is also an act of refuge in Buddhist practice. Refuge in Buddha brings forth great merits, therefore act of prostrating and taking refuge in Buddha will bring forth positive energy in our mind.

If you are doing this in a group, additional musical instruments such as a prayer gong or the qin or similar chimes can be used as “sound marker” to ensure the assembly performs the prostration in a coordinated manner.  The sound marker is denoted by this symbol ◎

This is important because if we are in a tight space, coordinated actions will save you the mess of bumping into each other.

Prostration: This is an important part of the practice but should be attempted only if your health permits.

Alternative such as sitting on a chair and simply bowing with humility is acceptable too if there are health constraints.

For the able bodied, this is good work out. Also, do not rush. Pace yourselves and be considerate of others if you are the chanting leader.

Names of Buddha: You can recite the English name or the Romanized Sanskrit names. The Chinese had been reciting in Chinese for hundreds of years to great effect. What is important, is our mental attitude.

Mental Attitude.

  1. Humility – Accept that we are not the best person in the world and we need to constantly improve ourselves. (more patience. more hardworking, more kindness, more compassion, more friendly, more resolute etc. Only you know what needs to be improved)
  2. Repentance – We are equally clueless today and the day we are born. We cannot remember our past lifes. Misdeeds that were done cannot be remembered. Misdeeds were done without our awareness. All misdeeds create new karma, karma for future suffering. There is a need to bring forth a mind of repentance. Buddhist repentance ceremony does not go into personal details. Whatever comes up in your mind depends on your frame of mind. If you are in repentance mode, you will be surprised at what may pop up. We all want to be happy. Therefore any nasty things that we did will pop up automatically.
  3. The opportunity to do good is always there, greater good is to do good with the welfare of others in mind. Therefore, do not have to dwell in the past. The light is bright. There is hope as long as we give up our past misdeeds and do not repeat our mistakes. Resolve to improve.
  4. We have potential to be Buddha. However, we need to put in earnest hard work to improve. Do not entertain despair. Believe that we have the innate nature for perfection.
  5. Rejoice that we have the wisdom to do repentance. Many people and beings do not have such opportunity
  6. Last but not least. The most important. Believe in the unfathomable power of the Buddha and Bodhisattva. They are also within us. Believing in them and believing in ourselves as having the wisdom to believe in them.


At the end of the repentance, there is this silent humility but also a sense of hope for our future.


Categories: Chanting, Scriptural

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