Q: Dear Master Lu, the burial sites of our ancestors are in a bad state of disrepair since we have not maintained them for years. We would like to repair or relocate them. What should we do?
- Generally, it is best not to relocate burial sites. But you can repair the headstones instead.
- Before you begin the repair work, you can say the following prayer: “May the Greatly Merciful and Greatly Compassionate Guan Yin Bodhisattva protect and bless me, <your full name>, so that my deceased family member will not be upset. On <the date> I will repair the burial site of <full name of the deceased >, as an act of filial piety, please protect and bless me.”
Before you visit the burial site and commence the repairs, you should recite the following sutras and mantras as soon as possible (repeat the above prayer before you recite):
- The Eighty-Eight Buddhas Great Repentance 49 times;
- The Great Compassion Mantra 7 times;
- The Heart Sutra 7 times;
- The Xiao Zai Ji Xiang Shen Zhou 49 times;
- The Ru Yi Bao Lun Wang Tuo Luo Ni 49 times;
- 7 Little Houses for the “Karmic Creditor of <your full name>” and 21 Little Houses for <full name of the deceased>. You should burn these Little Houses before you visit the burial site.
- If you have no choice but to relocate the burial site, generally it is better to do so in the morning on a sunny day. You should recite 21 Little Houses and address them to <full name of the deceased>. You can burn them in advance or on the day of the relocation. Also recite the Eighty-Eight Buddhas Great Repentance 49 times.
- On the day of relocation, you can offer three incense sticks at the original burial site, followed by the burning of the Little Houses. Then you can relocate the burial site.
During the process of relocation, you can continuously recite the Great Compassion Mantra and the Heart Sutra at the original site (but you should not recite the Heart Sutra at the burial site if you have not made the incense offering). While you recite the Great Compassion Mantra, you must not have any disrespectful or defensive thoughts. It is best to empty your mind of any thoughts.
- On the way from the original burial site to the new burial site, you should only recite the Great Compassion Mantra.
- Once you have arrived at the new burial site, you can first offer three incense sticks, followed by continuous recitation of the Great Compassion Mantra and the Heart Sutra, before proceeding with the burial service.