The Purpose of Going to Pagoda

Update: 12/08/2015
Ask: What does the main purpose of going to pagoda?

The Purpose of Going to Pagoda


From the past upto now, Buddhists came to pagoda regularly, either every day or every week, fortnight with many purposes, directions and identifications for different levels of understanding.

Most people came to pagoda to worship Buddha and praying. They prayed for their children passing the exam, doing a good business, and getting away from danger, live in harmony, ect. Some people go to pagoda to pray for blessing. They bring a bunch of banana or incense to worship the Buddha for praying many things. They made offerings to the Three Jewels for geting good fortune in next life. Some people even arrive at the pagoda to consult the oraclesa and divination. They came to pagoda for their purpose of folk beliefs.

Moreover, some people go to pagoda to eat steamed glutious rice and sweetened porridge or because of the crowd there; especially some old friends meeting to talk and sharing old stories. It used to be said: “Childdren feel happy at home; the older at pagoda”. There are some people who came to pagoda in friendly spirit of looking for Monks to share their sorrows, for the purpose of sharing their emotion and confidence.

Some people come to pagoda every day just to do charity work. They come there in early morning to cook and prepare meals for Venerables. In retreat or worship days, they present at pagoda to cook, clean the Buddha statues, sweep, grow flowers and care for plants, which is for merits.

Some people would rather come to the pagoda for chanting or attending the repentance ceremonies in fortnightly.

All of the purposes have just mentioned above are not wrong, but they do not include in the main reasons why people arrive there. Therefore, people reach at the pagoda for many years but they still feel worried, nervous and painful. They do not know how to stop bad feeling or be outgoing. Sometimes, more charity they do, more upset they get. They even are stricter after a time doing the charity than the ones who have just come to pagoda.

The above activities only attain small fortune and benefits, but they could not help the Buddhists reach the most crucial purpose of practicing and pray for enlightenment.

In fact, the primary purpose of coming to pagoda can be summarized in some words “Coming to pagoda to find the Dharma”. The Buddhists, after taking the refuge of Three Treasure and retaining five precepts, which is not completed. They have to come to pagoda frequentenly to meet Monks asking the meanings of Sutra and following the guidance of Monks with right practice path suitable for their standards. Practicing to increase their wisdom and merciful spirit, avoid the superstition in Buddhism and get happiness in their life.

Translated into English by Nguyen Kha Vi.

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