Special Topics

Q&A about Mantra Recitation: Q5: Can a wish be fulfilled by reciting a mantra?

A5: Reciting mantras can make people's wishes come true, but this is not the initial intention of reciting mantras for Buddhists. When practicing generosity, we must have the right mindset that the "three aspects of giving are empty": there is no giver, no receiver, and nothing that is given or received. Practicing generosity in this way is a giving without the expectation of any returns. The same also applies to mantra recitation. Reciting mantras is a means to help us attain a calm and focused mind; therefore, it is not performed with the aim of obtaining anything in particular. We should recite mantras with right mindfulness. When reciting mantras, if we expect something in return, our mind will be obsessed with what we long for, thinking: "When will my wish come true? How many times have I recited the mantra?..." This mentality not only makes us worry too much about gains and losses, but also causes us to lose the true meaning of mantra recitation.

Many people may initially recite a mantra because they made a wish, and, finally, were able to fulfill their wishes. However, this is not the main purpose of reciting mantras, but rather the additional benefit of reciting them. Many mantras serve the functions of fulfilling wishes, eliminating obstacles to practice, and developing wisdom, but these are all vows made by the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas in order to save sentient beings from suffering, thereby encouraging people to have faith in the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas and learn Buddhism. Most importantly, mantras encourage people to learn to make vows just as Buddhas and Bodhisattvas have, as well as to be firm in their initial intention of practicing Buddhism and following the Bodhisattva Path.

Extended Reading:

Dharani Recitation Practice: Learning the Spiritual Codes of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas

Understanding the Structure of Dharanis

How to Choose Which Mantra to Recite?

The Methods of Reciting Mantras

Q&A about Mantra Recitation: Q1: What is the difference between chanting the Buddha's name and reciting the mantra?

Q&A about Mantra Recitation: Q2: Will mispronunciation of the mantras impact its meritorious effect?

Q&A about Mantra Recitation: Q3: Is the chanting of a mantra effective only when we know its meaning?

Q&A about Mantra Recitation: Q4: How can reciting mantras eliminate karmic obstacles and prevent disasters?

Q&A about Mantra Recitation: Q5: Can a wish be fulfilled by reciting a mantra?

Resource: Issue 356 of Life Magazine, Dharma Drum Publishing Corporation
Photos: Issue 356 of Life Magazine, Dharma Drum Publishing Corporation
Bright Su
Editing: YKL, Keith Brown