Buddhism Your Questions Answered (171 FAQ)

Q&A 43. Hunting and its impact on family members

Q: Dear Master Lu, my late grandfather was a hunter. Would his karma of killing animals affect me? How can I resolve it?

A:

  • If your ancestors were hunters, the tremendous negative karma accumulated from killing other beings would be passed on to future generations. This is very difficult to resolve, and generally affects the next three generations.
  • You must recite the Amitabha Pure Land Rebirth Mantra.  Estimate how many years your grandfather (or other family members) had hunted for, and approximately how many animals would have been killed per week.  Then calculate how many recitations of the Amitabha Pure Land Rebirth Mantra you should complete for each animal that was killed.
    Based on this calculation, the sum of the Amitabha Pure Land Rebirth Mantra recitations may be in the range of 10,000 to 20,000 times.  You should always complete more recitations than the estimated sum.
  • It is best to recite the Amitabha Pure Land Rebirth Mantra during the daytime and on sunny days.  Avoid reciting this mantra after 10pm or during extreme weather conditions, such as heavy rain, thunderstorms, and lightning.
    Before reciting, you should say the following prayer: “May the Greatly Merciful and Greatly Compassionate Guan Yin Bodhisattva protect and bless me, <your full name>, help the spirits of the deceased animals, large or small, whose death my family members’ actions caused, ascend to a higher spiritual realm, and help me to eliminate karmic obstacles.”
  • During the period that you are performing recitations, you should frequently drink the Great Compassion Water, which is blessed by Guan Yin Bodhisattva.
  • This is known as repaying karmic debts. There is a saying that goes, “The son repays his father’s karmic debts, and the wife repays her husband’s karmic debts. If the karmic obstacles are not eliminated completely, then future generations will continue to repay the rest.” Therefore, you should also recite more of the Eighty-Eight Buddhas Great Repentance and Little Houses.
  • In addition, you should vow to stop killing and eating any freshly killed creatures for the rest of your life. You also need to perform life liberations in large quantities.
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