When I was in still elementary and going to a Christian school, my Christian teacher told us that when Buddhist (collectively referring to Taoist and Buddhist) pray they light an incense because the incense smoke brings the prayer the wishes to heaven. Of course, given that she is our teacher, a lot of us believe this. and later on I found out that this is a very common beliefs amongst non – Taoist or non – Buddhist, but more than that this is also a common belief amongst Taoist and Buddhist as well.
There is no truth to that belief. When we chant – a – mantra, or recite – a – sutra, or even pray, we don’t need to light incense for the Buddhas or Bodhisattvas to hear our prayer. In fact, the sutra says even before we say our heart’s wishes or desires, the Buddhas and the Bodhisattvas already know them. We only light incense as an offering to the Buddhas or Bodhisattvas or Taoist Gods.
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