One of the most common question people ask me is as to why do we need to recite sutras loudly? And is silently reciting it will not have any effect?
First, the Buddha or Shakyamuni (also spelled as Sakyamuni) Buddha himself said that merely having a sutra around us would already have some effect. Or simply holding a sutra will already give us some blessing; so silently reciting it will definitely have some merits that may translate to wonderful blessings.
But why do Buddhist monks encourage us to chant it loudly or with voice? The truth is I myself believe in loudly reciting the sutra. And by loudly I don’t mean that we have to recite it at the top of our voice, but we don’t murmur either, it has to be recited with voice and as comfortably loud as possible. The key word here is comfortable. I believe in this because it is what my Guru Lama told me to do, and as my study about Buddhism went deeper I began to see the merit in loudly reciting the sutra, and I also saw that it is what the Buddha himself taught us to do, and it is what the Buddha also did when He still has a physical body.
But again why do we have to do it?
Buddhists believe in unseen entities and hungry ghosts. These unseen beings may be former humans or other spirit beings. They are simply around us, even though we don’t see and feel them. However, they may see or feel us.
We recite the sutra loudly primary because of them. Some of these beings lives in a lower realm, and they might not be able to access sutras. By loudly reciting a sutra they get to ‘hear’ the sutra and learn more about Buddhism. We even bless them simply by loudly reciting a sutra. And by blessing them we also get to gain more merits. And by continue reciting the sutra loudly, we might even help these beings get reborn in a better realm, and if we become that channel we will also gain bigger merits.
Furthermore, by loudly reciting the sutras, we vocally utter the very words of the Buddha, and even if it has been translated to English or any other language, there are still some degrees that those are the very words of the Buddha some 2,500 to 3,000 years ago. And simply doing that Heavenly Beings gets attracted by those words and listen to us, thus they hover over us and they also become instruments in giving us more blessings. They will ‘conspire’ to do what is best for us.
The above two reasons are what the Buddha Himself said in His sutras. So you see, whether we recite it loudly for heavenly beings to ‘bless’ us, or we recite it loudly to help bless those in the lower realms, at the end either of the two we still get blessed!
I know that when reciting the sutras, some people find it quite weird, because it is like reading a storybook. In a way it is because we get to read the real stories of what happened before and what the Buddha directly taught His disciples. But that’s the beauty of it, because we get to ‘witness’ thru reading the Buddha’s ways.
One reason I started this ‘Recite A Sutra’ series is because I believe you, as a reader will get a lot of blessings if we simply recite a sutra. The blessings that we get in reciting a sutra may vary from wealth luck to financial luck or money luck, or from family luck to descendant luck. The protection luck that we get is also enormous, regardless of the sutra that we recite.
But of course it is very important that we treat the sutra, no matter if the printing is bad, as a very holy object that it is.
You can read all the other post about the ‘Recite A Sutra’ Series:
- Invite Wonderful Blessings in Your Life by Reciting A Sutra!
- Recite A Sutra (1): Create Harmony and Peace Thru The Powerful Sutra Called ‘The Heart of Prajna Paramita Sutra’!
- Recite A Sutra (2): Get Healed or Good Health, Create An Aura of Protection, Attract Wealth, With the Power of ‘The Medicine Buddha Sutra’!
- Recite A Sutra (3): For Protection & Unlimited Blessings of Auspiciousness Recite One of the Most Powerful & Highly Revered Sutra Both in Tibetan & Chinese Buddhism Called ‘The Diamond of Perfect Wisdom Sutra’!
- Recite A Sutra (4): Attract Auspiciousness and Cure Bad Feng Shui with “The Noble Stack of Auspiciousness Sutra”.
- Recite A Sutra (5): In Times of Conflict Recite the Powerful Protector Sutra Called “The Golden Light Sutra”!
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