Home » Letters » Should Buddhists Pray To Tai Sui?

Question: As Buddhists, do we have to be concerned about ‘offending Tai Sui (太岁 diety/dieties)’? Is there the need to make offerings for the purpose of appeasement?

Answer: Praying to Tai Sui is not a Buddhist belief or practice; it seems to be Taoism-related? Some say it is astrology of planetary-moon energy, which evolved to be deified, personified into worship of god/s. What we know for sure is that as the Buddha did not teach about it, it cannot be of much significance, even if true. The Buddha called fortune-telling low arts, as the real answer to any problem is Dharma practice. Anyway, even if there is some validity, there is the difficulty of knowing which fortune-telling system or fortune-teller is accurate. Even more tricky is the fact that our karma and thus destiny change dynamically according to what we do, way beyond when we are born.

What the Buddha taught is that for real good fortune, we should practise the Dharma diligently in all aspects of life to better ourselves and create positive karma, which can dilute the effects of negative karma, which is why we have suffering. Merely going through a short prayer ceremony to ‘appease some god/s’ who might otherwise be ‘offended’ to solve the ‘problem’ does not make sense. It is a bizarre idea that there should be a need to pray to some diety/dieties who can be repeatedly offended simply by millions of people being born in ‘conflicting’ years and times. This sounds like ‘pettiness’ due to not being ‘bribed’? (This happens to be the direct opposite of all Buddhas and great Bodhisattvas being impartially and unconditionally compassionate to all beings.)

Just because a belief or practice is popular does not guarantee any truth in it. For example, most thought the Earth was flat. Only the Chinese pray to Tai Sui. What happens to the billions of others born on the ‘wrong dates’? Countless have gotten on fine without praying to Tai Sui. This should be sufficient proof that it is not essential to pray to Tai Sui. In the mean time, there has never been solid proof from statistics showing those who do not pray to Tai Sui get into all kinds of trouble. Naturally, those who fear losing out might rationalise that it seems better to pray since there is no harm doing so. Such poor reasoning will lead to adherence to ever-increasing needless rites and rituals, gradually imagining much have been ‘accomplished’ by following them… while neglecting to focus more on genuine Dharma practice that is the true game-changer. Life is too short for misplacing priorities!

For Buddhists, as an over-arcing principle, we take refuge in Triple Gem. We seek the blessings of the fully enlightened Buddhas. We adhere to the perfect Dharma teachings. We learn from the noble Sangha. At no point should there be the need to succumb to fear of real or imaginary gods and ghosts if our spiritual refuge is strong and aligned with our integrity and Dharma practice. The more sincerely we practise the Dharma with right understanding, the more will we realise that the Dharma is already adequate in its own right, with no need for distracting extraneous practices of externalist paths.

Related Article:
Do Buddhas Have Selective Compassion?

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6 Responses to “Should Buddhists Pray To Tai Sui?”

  1. Bro
    I have a doubt and please help to clarify ?.
    As a devotee, when we pray to Buddha and Bodhisattvas and asked for blessing for Good luck and suffering.Do the praying and asking for blessing really answers or because of cause and condition and impermanence of all natures that bad luck and suffering will not last forever and what is important for our layman to practice and have the right views.

  2. Re: ‘when we pray to Buddha and Bodhisattvas and asked for blessing for Good luck and suffering’

    Reply: True Buddhists do not pray for good luck as they understand sincere prayers can help create good karma via purification of the mind. Good karma is not random luck at all, as it doesn’t exist. Everything is based on cause and effect. And true Buddhists do not pray for suffering too.

    Re: ‘Do the praying and asking for blessing really answers’

    Reply: Yes, if done sincerely.

    Re: ‘or because of cause and condition and impermanence of all natures that bad luck and suffering will not last forever’

    Reply: As everything is based on cause and effect, even prayers can create new causes to alter effects. Yes, suffering does not last forever, but prayers can expedite its cessation, though best with other relevant practices too.

    Re: ‘and what is important for our layman to practice and have the right views.’

    Reply: Prayers are very important too because there are often times when even having right views is not enough due to weakened determination in times of crises like severe sickness and dying.

  3. Bro Sthog
    Thanks for your advice, Is there any examples,documentary,video or scientifically to prove that prayers can be answered and change the causes.

    For meditation, I know it is scientific prove by research houses and practice of eight fold paths and ten virtue really benefits us.

  4. nianforen 1 January 2014

    Here are 20 cases of prayers working in many ways, and they are just the tip of the iceberg:

    02. 念佛保康寧。周乃勳




    Namo Amituofo

  5. Thanks, nianforen
    I have watched some of the youtube click and it is very meaningful and inspiring and will continuous to finish all the clicks.
    Do you or any brothers have discourses from Buddha or venerable on this topic.


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