Home » Letters » Do Buddhas Have Selective Compassion?

Question: Is the concept of 本命佛 (‘fundamental life’s Buddha’) a true Buddhist teaching? Based on this, is it such that a certain enlightened Buddha or Bodhisattva will have greater affinity with us than others? A family member bought a pendant with her so-called ‘fundamental life’s Buddha’ on it. Does it offer protection?

Answer: This article answers the first question in detail, on whether this belief makes sense: http://moonpointer.com/new/2010/03/are-the-enlightened-selective-protectors It is not true that Buddhas and Bodhisattvas have selective compassion; as they have equanimous, unconditioned and perfect compassion for all beings.

The more we are mindful of any Buddha or Bodhisattva and practise the associated teachings, the more affinity there will be. With no mindfulness at all, in past or present lives, there is no affinity. It is as simple as that. The Buddha never taught that there are any rigid astrological links between the enlightened and unenlightened.

Any pendant bought does not offer any spiritual protection if not consecrated with proper Dharma practice. Even if a consecrated pendant offers some protection, we should never become attached to it, lest it be lost or be not available later. It should serve as a reminder to be like a Bodhisattva or Buddha, to better practise and embody the Dharma, so that we truly bless ourselves and become a living blessing to others.

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