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Q&A 152. Spiritual substitutes

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Q: A psychic medium once mentioned that if you want a child to have a long lifespan, then you need to find a “spiritual substitute”. Could Master Lu please advise us regarding this issue? If a spiritual substitute has already been employed, would this affect the child? What should we do?


  • The practice of employing “spiritual substitutes” to cure illnesses or burning dummies is a way of falsifying one’s record in the underworld. It is against the Buddhist rules and considered an act of deceit by the underworld.
    Suppose you owed someone money and you tried to escape the debt. Does that mean you no longer need to repay the debt? No one can escape from the justice system in heaven. Once officials from the underworld check your personal file and find out, you will be in danger of losing your life.
  • If you are practising Guan Yin Citta Dharma Door, then the best solution is to recite Buddhist scriptures and cultivate your mind. You should persistently perform daily recitations, recite Little Houses, and eliminate karmic obstacles by yourself. At the same time, you should perform life liberations, make vows, and perform meritorious deeds. You can also pray to Guan Yin Bodhisattva to protect and bless <the child’s full name> with good health.
  • It will be more complicated if a spiritual substitute has been employed. The substitute’s spirit may have entered a place that is neither in the human realm nor in the underworld, as it is assuming another person’s identity. It is important to help the spirit of the substitute ascend to a higher realm as soon as possible. The spirit may even have additional demands. Therefore, you must sincerely repent and correct your wrongdoings in order to be forgiven by Buddhas and Bodhisattvas.
  • One needs to recite the Eighty-Eight Buddhas Great Repentance specifically for this matter. You can recite it 7 times per day for three months, and then gradually reduce the number after three months. Say the following prayer: “May the Greatly Merciful and Greatly Compassionate Guan Yin Bodhisattva have mercy on <the child’s full name>, and forgive him/her for offending spiritual beings. Please forgive <the child’s full name> and help him/her to eliminate calamities and disasters.” Meanwhile, parents also need to recite the Eighty-Eight Buddhas Great Repentance 3 times per day for one month to repent of this wrongdoing. In addition, the parent needs to continue reciting Little Houses for their own karmic creditors.
  • You will also need to recite Little Houses for the substitute’s spirit. Recite at least 49 Little Houses for the first batch, followed by 21 Little Houses for each of the three subsequent batches. Address the Little Houses to the “Karmic Creditor of <the child’s full name>”.
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