Q: Dear Master Lu, my family members do not believe in Buddhism, but I would like to perform life liberations on their behalf. What should I do?
- If your family members do not believe in Buddhism, or are even opposed to your learning Buddhism, then performing life liberations on their behalf would be less effective. However, performing a life liberation for them would be better than not performing it at all.
- When you use your own money to perform a life liberation on behalf of others, you can say the following prayer to Guan Yin Bodhisattva beforehand, “May the Greatly Merciful and Greatly Compassionate Guan Yin Bodhisattva forgive me, <your full name>, I am now using my money to perform life liberation for <full name of the family member or friend>.” You can then purchase fish, and perform the life liberation.
- Alternatively, before you perform the life liberation, you can say the following prayer at your altar: “I, <your full name>, will give <amount of money> to <full name of the family member or friend>. Please regard this money as his/hers.”
- Once you arrive at the site where the life liberation will take place, it is best not to mention your name again. If you frequently state your name, or think about your name in your mind, then a portion of the merits and virtues from performing the life liberation would be allocated to you. Simply say the following, “<full name of the family member or friend> has purchased <amount of fish>. May the Greatly Merciful and Greatly Compassionate Guan Yin Bodhisattva protect and bless <full name of the family member or friend>… (followed by the rest of the prayer).”
- After you have performed the life liberation on behalf of others, it would be best if you let them know the quantity of fish that you have released for them. However, if they are completely against the practice of performing life liberations, then it would be best not to mention anything to them at all. This is to prevent them from creating karma of speech.