What is a Buddhist Shrine?

In most religions, shrines act as holy relics which attract the practice of pilgrimage. Shrines are places for groups and an individual to practice worship. In Buddhism, a Buddhist shrine is a focus point for Buddhist practitioners to perform worship and meditation. It is a place where Buddhist monks and lay people give offerings and pay veneration to the historical Buddha or one of the bodhisattvas.

A Buddhist shrine varies from regions, but it may contain the following basic elements:

  • The Buddha statue.
  • The Buddha image or the statue of one of the bodhisattvas is a symbol of Buddhist religion. As long as the space is enough, many images of the Buddha can be placed.

  • Fresh flowers.
  • As decorative arrangements, flowers play a role in linking the spirit of the shrine with the objects on it.

  • Candles and incenses.
  • Regularly lit candles on the shrine and combine candles with incenses which give out fragrance.

  • Purified water and food.
  • Use clean bowls and fill them with clean water. Food should also be offered in order to pay homage to the Venerable.

  • A shrine cloth.</strong
  • > If possible, arrange a shrine cloth on the table.

  • Scared objects.
  • Apart from some common objects to make a shrine, an individual can put something special on the shrine according to one’s perception. As long as an individual well understands the purpose of the shrine, anything special is available to decorating the shrine.

How to Make a Shrine?

To build a shrine, the overall idea is to create a special place to position the shrine, then decorate it with scared objects in a revered manner.

The Buddha image should be higher than the other objects around the image. With regard to the objects on the shrine, it depends on the group and individual, since it is the group themselves or the individual himself to worship and attain spiritual enlightenment. Holy objects and offerings are encouraged to put on the shrine. In short, the way that one makes a Buddhist shrine is a reflection of one’s understanding of the shrine worship.

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