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Honoring dead at Buddhist temple? 2017/3/25 14:20
My friend, brother and mentor passed away last year. I wish to offer prayers to him when visiting Koyosan. I am bringing his picture with me when I do, with the intention of leaving it at temple in Koyosan. Is there an appropriate way of doing this (I will not leave his picture behind if there s not)?

What is the proper way to offer him prayer - to honor the dead - when visiting a temple?

No matter how simple the gesture - it would mean the world to him.

Thank you.
by banmanb2  

Re: Honoring dead at Buddhist temple? 2017/3/25 17:47
Koyasan appears to be a destination for many foreigners, leading me to believe there will be English-speaking monks there. Maybe you can ask one of the monks what the appropriate course of action would be. I'm sure they would guide you properly.
by John B digs Japan rate this post as useful

Re: Honoring dead at Buddhist temple? 2017/3/25 17:54
Sorry to hear of your loss.

If you just want to quietly pray for his soul, you can just do so - at the main temple building, there will be a place where people go up stairs, throw in some coins, and put their hands together to pray. You can bring his photo with you, but you cannot just leave it there.

If you are asking about the proper procedures that the locals do for giving prayers to family members who passed away: we would ask the Buddhist priest of the temple who prayed at their funeral to give prayers on certain occasions of the year, when their souls are said to return to pay us visits. In that case we would take the photo in a photo stand and their "ihai" (the wooden plaque with the Buddhist name of the departed) to the temple to have a prayer given, or ask the priest to come to our home. (There will of course be a fee - they never call it a fee, but, well, there is.)

So... I do not know if your brother was Buddhist to begin with, and if so what sect of Buddhism (different temples belong to different sects. The main temple in Koyasan is Shingon), and I do not know temples do this generally, but you would have to ask the temple in person if they could give a prayer for your deceased family member. You would have to tell them his Buddhist name (given upon funeral), his name, his age, when he passed away, etc. (they usually say these as part of the prayers), and see if you could ask for a fee to have some prayers given by the priest properly. They should be able to burn the photo for you (to send the prayers along with the smoke to heaven) too, but I do not know if this is something you want. And I do not know if giving prayers is something they can just do at your requested time.
by AK rate this post as useful

Re: Honoring dead at Buddhist temple? 2017/3/27 03:38
Thank you all - you've been incredibly helpful. Best!
by banmanb2 rate this post as useful

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