Q: Today is the fifth day of the Chinese New Year. How do we welcome the Bodhisattva of Wealth? What sutras and mantras should we recite?
- Master Lu mentioned the following during one of his Dharma talks: On the fifth day of the Chinese New Year, keep in mind that we should not openly state that our wish is to become wealthy. Many people make incense offerings and pray for wealth on the fifth day of the Chinese New Year, but are unable to have their wish fulfilled. It is because they have said their wishes out loud. Many people like to talk about the good deeds that they have done. For example, “I have helped many poor people”, “I have donated such and such amount of money”, or “I have made such and such contributions”, etc. It is best to refrain from doing so. On the fifth day of the Chinese New Year when the Bodhisattva of Wealth is visiting us, avoid saying things such as, “I want to get rich.” If you say this, then it is very likely that your wish to become rich would not be fulfilled.
Master Lu hopes that everyone will be truly well, not just to become wealthy. Ultimately, money cannot bring us happiness. Many people are very wealthy, but they are not happy. A truly wise person would pray for peace and safety. There is a Chinese saying: “Being safe and well itself is a blessing.” We should not be greedy. Once a person becomes greedy, they will experience sorrow, poverty and suffering. As Buddhists, we should not be greedy.
- Generally, during the daytime on the fifth day of the Chinese New Year, you can recite the Cundi Dharani 108 times and the Heart Sutra 21 times. Before you recite, you can say the following prayer: “May the Greatly Merciful and Greatly Compassionate Guan Yin Bodhisattva and the Bodhisattva of Wealth protect and bless me, <your full name>, so that I will have a smooth career and improved financial situation.”
- You can also say the following prayer: “May the Bodhisattva of Wealth protect and bless me, <your full name>, so that I will have a smooth career and improved financial situation.” You can then recite the four types of sutras and mantras included in the Little House (namely, the Great Compassion Mantra, the Heart Sutra, the Amitabha Pure Land Rebirth Mantra and the Qi Fo Mie Zui Zhen Yan). The number of recitations for each sutra and mantra can be the same as that of the Little House. But you do not have to fill out or burn the Little House.
- However, as people attain different levels of spiritual practice, their wishes will also vary. If you are still praying for wealth, and blessings in the human and heaven realms, you could also recite and offer 7 to 21 Little Houses to the Bodhisattva of Wealth, and address them to the “Bodhisattva of Wealth.”
- In addition, it is best if you can vow to practise the giving of money. This will help your prayers to the Bodhisattva of Wealth to be more effective.