Meal Prayer

Requesting and offering prayers and aspirations for those in need.
Post Reply
Ngawang Drolma
Founding Member
Posts: 2230
Joined: Tue Apr 07, 2009 8:44 pm

Meal Prayer

Post by Ngawang Drolma »

A simple prayer to offer before a meal, to remain in awareness!

I offer this to the Teacher
Higher than any other,

I offer this to
the Dharma
Higher than any other,

I offer this to
the Sangha
Higher than any other,

I offer this to the abodes of refuge,
The Three Jewels, rare and supreme.

-Source unknown, posted by Sherab Zangpo at The Buddhist Lounge

Posts: 609
Joined: Mon Apr 06, 2009 6:21 am

Re: Meal Prayer

Post by thornbush »

From the Chinese Mahayana Buddhist Liturgical Chant:

Now, we offer these offerings
To the Pure Dharma Body, Vairocana Buddha,
To the Perfect Reward Body, Nishyanda Buddha,
To the Myriad Transformation Body, Sakyamuni Buddha,
To One of the Land of Ultimate Bliss, Amitabha Buddha,
To Future Arriving, Anticipated Next Birth, Maitreya, Honoured Buddha,
In all Tenfold Directions and Three Periods of Time Honoured Buddhas,
To Great Wisdom Manjusri Bodhisattva,
To Great Conduct Samantabhadra Bodhisattva,
To Great Compassionate Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva,
To Great Vows Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva,
To all Honoured Bodhisattvas Mahasattvas,
Maha Prajna Paramita!

The Three Virtues and Six Flavours,
Offered to the Buddha and Sangha,
To all in the Dharma Realm,
Now, we render this universal offering.

With this meal before us,
We vow for all sentient beings,
May Dhyana bliss be their food,
And Dharma's joy be their fill.

The Buddha saith to the Bhikshus:
While eating, observe the 5 Contemplations!
A confused mind and talk,
Renders the Faithful's Offerings indigestable,
O Great Assembly!
At the Bell's sound, be ye Mindful!
Amitabha Buddha!

Eating Reflections:
The Threefold Recollections
With this first spoon: I vow to cut off all evil
With this second spoon: I vow to cultivate all good
With this third spoon: I vow to save all sentient beings

The Fivefold Contemplations
Reflect! The labour involved in producing food for consumption
Reflect! One's own virtue and conduct sufficient to accept the offering
Reflect! Guarding one's Mind from trespasses, Greed being its chief
Reflect! Acceptably consumed, food likened to medicine, preserves the body
Reflect! Food consumed solely for consummating the Path

Mantra after Meal:Saptanam, Samyak Sambuddha Kotinam, Tadyatha: Om Cale Cule Cundi Svaha!

Verse after Meal:
Who practices making Offerings, reward is their certainty,
Who delights in Giving, peace and happiness is their surety,
Concluded is this meal, we now vow for all sentient beings,
May all be successful, exemplary in the Buddha Dharma!

Namo Fundamental Teacher, Sakyamuni Buddha! (Recite whilst returning back to Main Shrine or silently if alone)

Posts: 113
Joined: Thu Apr 09, 2009 7:07 pm

Re: Meal Prayer

Post by Drolma »

Five Contemplations before Meals

1. I contemplate how much positive potential I have accumulated in order to receive this food given by others.
2. I contemplate my practice, constantly trying to improve it.
3. I contemplate my mind, cautiously guarding it from wrongdoing, greed, and other defilements.
4. I contemplate this food, treating it as wondrous medicine to nourish my body.
5. I contemplate the aim of Buddhahood, accepting and consuming this food in order to accomplish it.

Offering Verses before Eating

Imagine the food as blissful wisdom nectar inside a vast jeweled vessel, and recite, "om ah hum" three times to consecrate the food. Offer it to a small Buddha visualized at your heart chakra.

Great compassionate Protector,
All-knowing Teacher,
Field of positive potential and good qualities vast as an
ocean --
To the Tathagata, I bow.

Through purity, freeing from attachment,
Through virtue, freeing from the lower realms,
Unique, supreme ultimate reality -
To the Dharma that is peace, I bow.

Having freed themselves, showing the path to freedom too,
Well established in the trainings,
The holy field endowed with good qualities --
To the Sangha, I bow.

To the supreme teacher, the precious Buddha,
To the supreme practice, the holy precious Dharma,
To the supreme guides, the precious Sangha,
To all the objects of refuge we make this offering(1).

May we and all those around us never be separated from the Triple Gem in any of our lives. May we always have the opportunity to make offerings to them. And may we continuously receive their blessings and inspiration to progress along the path.

By seeing this food as medicine, I will consume it without attachment or hatred, not to increase my arrogance, strength, or good looks, but solely to sustain my life.

As you eat, imagine that Shakyamuni Buddha at your heart experiences bliss. He radiates light that fills your entire body.

Verses after Lunch

om utsita bandi ashibya soha (to offer to the pretas)

I bow to the bhagawan, the tathagata, the arhat, the fully accomplished Buddha Victor of Precious Light, Brightly Shining Fire Light (Ratnaprabharaja Jvalanakaraprakatita).

nama samanta prabhara jaya tathagataya arhate samyaksam buddhaya namo manjushriye kumara bhutaya bodhisattvaya mahasattvaya maha karunikaya tayata om niralambha nirabhase jaya jaye lambhe mahamate daki dakenam meparishvadha soha

May all those who offered me food attain happiness of total peace. May all those who offered me drink, who served me, who received me, who honored me, or who made offerings to me attain happiness which is total peace.

May all those who scold me, make me unhappy, hit me, attack me with weapons, or do things up to the point of killing me attain the happiness of enlightenment. May they fully awaken to the unsurpassed, perfectly accomplished state of Buddhahood.

By the positive potential of offering food, may they have a good complexion, magnificence, and strength. May they find foods having hundreds of tastes and live with the food of samadhi.

By the positive potential of offering drink, may their afflictions, hunger, and thirst be pacified. May they possess good qualities such as generosity and take a rebirth without any sickness or thirst.

The one who gives, the one who receives, and the generous action are not to be observed as truly existent. By giving with impartiality, may the benefactors attain perfection.

By the power of being generous, may they become Buddhas for the benefit of sentient beings, and through generosity, may all the beings who have not been liberated by previous conquerors be liberated.

By the positive potential of this generosity, may the naga kings, gods having faith in the Dharma, leaders who support religious freedom, benefactors, and others living in the area live long, enjoy good health and prosperity, and attain lasting happiness.

Due to this virtue, may all beings complete the collections of positive potential and wisdom. May they attain the two Buddha bodies resulting from positive potential and wisdom(2).

Venerable Thubten Chodron - Pearl of Wisdom Book I, 5th Edition, 2004.

Ngawang Drolma
Founding Member
Posts: 2230
Joined: Tue Apr 07, 2009 8:44 pm

Re: Meal Prayer

Post by Ngawang Drolma »

Drolma and Thornbush, these are truly lovely. Thank you :namaste:

User avatar
Posts: 2634
Joined: Sat Mar 27, 2010 11:44 am

Re: Meal Prayer

Post by Aemilius »

The food prayers are useful and beneficial, but why does one always forget them after a while ?
"All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.
They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
Sarvē mānavāḥ svatantrāḥ samutpannāḥ vartantē api ca, gauravadr̥śā adhikāradr̥śā ca samānāḥ ēva vartantē. Ētē sarvē cētanā-tarka-śaktibhyāṁ susampannāḥ santi. Api ca, sarvē’pi bandhutva-bhāvanayā parasparaṁ vyavaharantu."
Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 1. (in english and sanskrit)

Post Reply

Return to “Prayers and Aspirations”