Are there any rituals in Buddhism? Do rituals in itself can be become a source of attachment? The more grandiose the ritual , the more the merit! If there is a ritual, what is the right way of conducting a ritual that doesn't invoke materialistic thoughts and actions.

2 Answers 2


Mr/Mrs 8CK8,

The meritorious rituals in brief:

  1. Giving or Generosity (Dāna)
  2. Moral conduct or Virtue (Sīla)
  3. Meditation or mental Development (Bhāvana)
  4. Respect or Reverence (Apaciti)
  5. Service in Helping others (Veyyāvaca)
  6. Transference of Merit (Pattānuppadāna)
  7. Rejoicing in otherʼs Merit (Abbhanumodana)
  8. Expounding or Teaching the Dhamma (Desana)
  9. Listening to the Dhamma (Savana)
  10. Correcting one’s View (Diṭṭhijju-kamma)

once one has entered the Dhamma, the stream, all those thing will be natural and no more performing as a ritual and habit is needed. He/she has abounded the fetter of being attached to rites and rituals.

How all this ritual are good and best made and learned, one would learn best at a monastery (Wat pali Vatta: that which is done, which goes on or is customary, i. e. duty, service, custom, function vata: a religious duty, observance, rite, practice, custom) or being in association with those who practice it in daily life.

So for example, if you would feel that you like to ask a question, you would address certain person, persons in a proper moment, fold your hands, ask for pardon to disturb, or great, or bow, what ever the situation and the people in front of you. You would take a lower seat. You would ask if it is ok to ask and then, invited, you would go on. Just one sample with many many more details in regard of Savana here.

People who tell that rituals and merits are child stuff and just bind are mostly (1) not able to perform the basics, (2) try to get the fruits without a seed and simply try simulate sublime stages. They would be much to greedy to do such things and make scarifies. Otherwise it would be that modern world is full of Ariya disciples. (who btw. would not stop to do such when it is proper and within their community)

What you are doing and how you are doing things are also rituals and habits but mostly no good habits, so the first, before even thinking of letting go all, is to change to good rituals. You final aim is to give up all kind of kamma, but not before you start your work and reach the working place.

What is the right way of conducting a ritual that doesn't invoke materialistic thoughts and actions

What ever is inspired by a confident heart, by a faithful heart, by a devoted heart, a staunch heart, will conduct a mist beneficial ritual. And confident, faithful, devoted, staunch to what? Confident, faithful, devoted, staunch in regard of the Buddha, in regard of the Dhamma, in regard of the Sangha, in regard of your own virtues results.

Since Dhamma and defilements of the worlds beings are timeless, and the todays situation is the same like in Buddhas times, it might be good for you to learn about the different of Uposatha. Like in this times there have been people performing the Uposatha like cowherd, thinking simply on fruits and how to get them and the much more dangerous branch with is most dominant to day since there is such as lay-Buddhism is the tradition of the ninganthas, the jains, who today bear the clothes of the Buddha, teaching meditation, anatta and abhidhamma. Certainly and with reason even called thieves by the Buddha:

At the end of the night, he resumes the consumption of his belongings, even though they aren't given back to him. This counts as stealing, I tell you. Such is the Uposatha of the Jains, Visakha. When this Uposatha of the Jains is undertaken, it is not of great fruit or great benefit, not of great glory or great radiance.

There was a lady who came to the monastery to perform meritorious rituals and the Buddha explained here of what rituals are of benefit:

Muluposatha Sutta: The Roots of the Uposatha

(Note: this answer has not been given with the agreement to be means of trade or the purpose of/for trade and/or keep people trapped and bound. How you handle it lies in your sphere, but does not excuse the deed here either.)


Are there any rituals in Buddhism?

Culturally there is. E.g. Kandy Esala Perahera. Even morality or even service or even generosity sometimes maybe in the form f a rite or ritual. There can be some merit in doing something as a rite or ritual but the results are not the best you can reap. Dana Maha-p,phala Sutta discusses this in the context of generosity. (Giving in account of tradition is akin to a ritual.)

Do rituals in itself can be become a source of attachment?

Yes. This is one fetter than binds you to Samsara.

The more grandiose the ritual , the more the merit! If there is a ritual, what is the right way of conducting a ritual that doesn't invoke materialistic thoughts and actions.

The results are decided on your metal volition and that of the beings gaining benefit. More grandiose the ritual the effort put into it is more an at a certain point the intensity of volition may diminish and may not be as meritorious as a more simpler act with more intense volition.

Say I have a pen which I am attached to. When I see it I get present sensations or experience. Now I decide to give it which can have either pleasant or neutral sensations. If the recipient is happy receiving the gift you may feel more happy or experience more pleasant sensations. By truly knowing the sensations are impermanent, unsatisfactory and non self only can you pratice true giving. Also having initial and sustained awareness of the thoughts of giving can intensify the results. Likewise of any other act which can be in form of a rite or ritual can be turned into something more fruitful.

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