Q: Dear Master Lu, I have previously had an abortion, miscarriage and ectopic pregnancy. How should I recite Buddhist scriptures to help the spirits of the children ascend to a higher spiritual realm? I have already named the child that I miscarried and set up a spirit tablet for the child on my altar. Is this alright?
- If you have had an abortion, miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy, you need to recite at least 7 to 21 Little Houses for each child as long as they were not born alive. Generally, it takes at least 7 Little Houses to send each child away and 21 for them to be reborn in the human realm. However, if the child was destined to claim karmic debts from you, you may need to offer more Little Houses.
- After having burnt the Little Houses, if you dream about a child dressed beautifully and leaving happily, or being led away by someone else, it means that the child has left. Conversely, if you dream about a child in an unfavourable condition, then you have to offer more Little Houses to help the child ascend to a higher spiritual realm.
- To recite Little Houses and help the spirit of a child ascend to a higher spiritual realm, you should address the Little Houses to “Child of <full name of the mother>”. Generally, you should write the full name of the mother. If you do not know the full name of the mother, you can write the full name of the father. You should not address the Little House in any other form. Do not write “Aborted child of <full name>” or “Miscarried child of <full name>”, etc. If you do not follow the proper way of filling out the Little House, the child’s spirit would not be able to ascend to a higher spiritual realm.
- Never name any aborted or miscarried children. Also avoid setting up spirit tablets for them on the altar. Otherwise, it will be very difficult for the spirits of the children to be reborn. Even after performing recitations of Buddhist scriptures, it will still be difficult to help their spirits ascend to a higher spiritual realm.
- If you have set up a spirit tablet for the child, and have now decided to invite it off the altar, then you should recite at least 21 Little Houses for the child before removing the tablet. Address the Little Houses to “Child of <full name of the mother>”.
On the day that you remove the tablet, you should recite the Great Compassion Mantra 7 times, the Heart Sutra 7 times, and the Eighty-Eight Buddhas Great Repentance 7 times. Say the following prayer: “May the Greatly Merciful and Greatly Compassionate Guan Yin Bodhisattva protect and bless me, <your full name>, help me to give the Little Houses to my child.” After burning the Little Houses, wrap the tablet with red fabric and store it flat in a clean and tidy place. It is important to note that the tablet should not be burnt.