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How Should Buddhist Images Be Worn?

Jan. 16 | Question: Is it alright to wear images, names and mantras of Buddhas or Bodhisattvas on clothes, socks, shoes and such? Answer: it is best not to wear prominent Buddhist imagery in the above ways, as we are far from holy, thus possibly tarnishing the...

Can I Offer Dead Animals To The Buddhas?

Jan. 8 | Question: Is it alright to offer food with meat to the Buddha?  Answer: It is not a good idea to offer any dead sentient being to any Buddha, as each Buddha loves each sentient being like an only child, such that he would never wish anyone to have...

Can We Take Refuge On Behalf Of The Deceased?

Jan. 1 | Question: Can we take the Threefold Refuge and receive the Five Precepts on behalf of deceased loved ones? Answer: While going through the above ceremonies, we can think of ourselves as doing so with departed loved ones (or even all beings). However,...

Does The Donor Or Deceased Gain Merits From Post-Death Donations?

Dec. 26 | Question: Who benefits from the merit-making when a donation is made to the temple which accommodates the deceased’s niche – the donor or the deceased? Answer: If the donor has no intention to benefit anyone else, all the merits go to the donor. If...

Is It Bad Karma To Report Inconsiderate Parking?

Dec. 19 | Question: When I see inconsiderate drivers parking at lots reserved for the handicapped, I consider reporting their cars. If they get fined, will I have negative karma? Answer: If you will create negative karma for doing so, all parking attendants will...

What Does ‘Tathāgata’ Mean?

Dec. 12 | Question: What is the meaning of ‘Tathāgata’? Answer: ‘Tathāgata’ is Sanskrit for ‘Thus Come One’ (如来), which means ‘as if came; also as if gone’. This is an alternative term for addressing Buddhas....

Can Accidental Mention Of Death Cause Actual Death?

Dec. 4 | Question: There was accidental declaration of an informant of a death as the deceased. A family member of the informant is now worried that unfortunate things might happen. What can be done?  Answer: You should get the one who made the mistake to...

Should We Offer Food Even Long After Departure?

Nov. 27 | Question: When offering food during Qingming season and such, many will say aloud – ‘May so-and-so to come and eat.’ Is this right?  Answer: There is no need to call anyone by name. Simply offering the food with the clear intention along...

How To Handle Workplace Non-Listeners

Nov. 19 | Question: How do I handle a slightly senior co-worker, who is not exactly my superior, but tells other colleagues that I will do this and that. When I do not handle the ‘promised’, she tells them that I am calculative. Yet, if I do, it...

How To Handle Someone In A Rush?

Nov. 8 | Question: I was sick at at a clinic. There was a patient there who complained that she had wasted time waiting for an hour, asking if the next in line can let her go first, so that she can go home to take care of her child. Everyone remained silent....

How Should Buddhists View Politics?

Nov. 1 | Question: What is the Buddhist view of politics? When there is social injustice due to politics, how should Buddhists approach it as concerned citizens? Answer: The Buddha personally, after renouncing his royal status, also renounced all political...

Are Cordyceps Considered Vegetarian?

Oct. 25 | Question: Are cordyceps considered vegetarian? Answer: There are cordyceps that are grown out of the bodies of caterpillars, usually sold retaining the form of caterpillars. As the definition of what is ‘vegetarian’ is that it must be free...

Does Blood Donation Break Any Precept?

Oct. 17 | Question: Does blood donation break any Buddhist precept? Answer: Voluntary donation of blood does not break any precept at all. In fact, it upholds the spirit of the First Precept, as not only is there no killing, there is its opposite – the...

Can Chanting Where The Deceased Are Not At Benefit Them?

Oct. 11 | Question: Is it alright to practise chanting at other temples or Buddhist centres, where ancestral tablets of deceased loved ones are not placed, while still benefiting them? Answer: Yes, as dependent on the factors that follow… Unless there...

Is Lab-Grown Meat Ethical?

Oct. 4 | Question: Is lab-grown meat (i.e. cultured meat; clean meat; in vitro meat) ethical from the Buddhist perspective? Answer: It must be noted that starter cells from animals are used in the initial stage of growing lab-grown meat. Though its production...
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