About Performing RecitationBuddhism Your Questions Answered (171 FAQ)

Q&A 126. Transcribing and burning scriptures

Q: Dear Master Lu, a fellow Buddhist practitioner told me that transcribing sutras can help eliminate our karmic obstacles. I have even burnt a portion of the sutra.  Now that I am following Guan Yin Citta Dharma Door, I would not think about burning sutra booklets again. What should I do with the sutras that I transcribed in the past?

A:

  • The practice of transcribing sutras itself is fine. However, it is not encouraged because if you make a mistake, or if you have unwholesome thoughts during the process of transcribing, then it would be disrespectful to Buddhas and Bodhisattvas.
  • For the sutras that you have transcribed, you should never burn them. You can wrap the sutra booklet with red paper or fabric, and store it aside for 6 months to a year. You can then recite the Eighty-Eight Buddhas Great Repentance 7 times before you dispose of them.
  • If you have already burnt the sutra booklets and constantly feel guilty about it, then it means that negative karma has been stored in your eighth consciousness, and you will undergo karmic retributions.  You must recite the Eighty-Eight Buddhas Great Repentance 21 times to repent. If you do not have any special feelings or you do not feel guilty about it, then it is fine. However, you must never burn sutra booklets again.
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