Letters

Should We Dedicate Merits To Karmic Creditors When Sick?

patient with iv line
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Question: When sick (but not dying), should we only dedicate (回向) our Dharma practices, such as mindfulness of Buddha (念佛) to karmic creditors (冤亲债主)?

Answer: This idea arises from thinking that all sicknesses arise from karmic creditors, with some being ‘haunting’ unseen beings ‘causing’ them. However, most sicknesses are not from karmic creditors directly, although sicknesses still have karmic origins. That said, since we are the ones who create evil karmas, we are always our primary karmic creditors (who ‘create’ more karmic creditors).

For example, through much meat consumption, which directly or indirectly demands the killing of many animals, evil karmas are created, which can be expressed in terms of sicknesses. Thus, if dedicating meritorious virtues (功德) (or merits) to karmic creditors only, while still consuming much flesh, one is unlikely to get better.

It is thus better to dedicate merits to all beings, who will include karmic creditors, including oneself. Doing so is a compassionate practice, ideally based on the Bodhi Mind (菩提心: Bodhicitta), which makes it more meritorious, in turn creating more merits for dedication. Helping all unconditionally is the best way to help oneself.

Related Articles:

Who Are Your Karmic Creditors?
https://thedailyenlightenment.com/2018/10/who-are-your-karmic-creditors

Should Merits Be Dedicated To Karmic Creditors Only?
https://thedailyenlightenment.com/2021/06/should-merits-be-dedicated-to-karmic-creditors-only

Please Be Mindful Of Your Speech, Namo Amituofo!

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