Thanksgiving Prayer

Thanksgiving Prayer

Date Posted:
October 2011

In 2010, Rinpoche wrote the following letter and sent it to all the Sangha of Sera Je Monastery. Rinpoche asked for this letter to be read out to the Sangha as dedication after they did pujas and prayers. The prayer is for all the turkeys that have been killed for Thanksgiving, as well as for all animals killed and all sentient beings, especially the ones doing the killing. Translated by Ven. Pemba Sherpa (FPMT Board member, co-director and resident teacher, Cham Tse Ling, Hong Kong). Lightly edited by Ven. Holly Ansett.

Although the letter writing may not be clear, please read it slowly.

In the Southern Continent in particular, the great Dharma king of three realms Lama Tsongkhapa’s unified pure refined gold-like teachings of sutra and tantra, not letting them degenerate through extensive hearing and contemplation the perseverance, the extremely precious greatly kind objects of refuge—the assembly of ocean of learned Sangha community—I offer this letter of request.

I, by the name of Thubten Zopa, am making a humble request to all of you, gathered here.

Today is Thanksgiving Day in the United States of America. At the beginning there were only the native Indians living here and no white people. Then white people from Spain and later England came and settled here. And that’s how the white community came into being in the USA. Those early white settlers they farmed and enjoyed the crops and they felt that all this was due to the kindness of the God. Therefore to say thank you to God, Thanksgiving was celebrated. So this is the history behind Thanksgiving Day.

Thanksgiving was started over 500 human years ago. It is celebrated by killing the bird that is known as a turkey, by so many people. This killing on this day is a bad tradition that is harmful for oneself and others.

On Thanksgiving Day over 65 to 66 million birds (turkeys) are killed for the American people to eat. If one human being got killed then it is shown on television and newspapers, broadcast as widely as possible, and they spend so long to analyze the reason to kill. But when an animal dies or gets killed, it seems the recognition is that it is just food to be killed and eaten. There is no thought and recognition that the animal is a sentient being—like us human beings, who also wants happiness and does not wish for suffering. It is very sad. Over 65 to 66 million turkeys are killed.

I, on behalf of all the turkeys, request your prayers and protection.

Please pray for them. Please guide them from the lower realms.

I, representing all of them, make requests to you, all Sangha community upholding the teaching of Buddha, compassionately, please help us the pitiful turkeys, who are now going through extremely terrifying fear and suffering in the lower realms. Please guide us to Buddha field or lead us to attain birth with the eight freedom and ten richness, so that from very young age we are able to enter into the precious teachings of Buddha, get ordained and meet a fully qualified Mahayana guru, thereby our body, speech and mind never to face any unpleasantness and negativities, but always find places of pleasantness and positivity, whereby we are able to enter Sera Je Monastery and train thoroughly in the principles of the common path—the three principal paths, and train in the uncommon path—by receiving the four initiations, that sows the seed of the four Kayas thoroughly in the mental continuum and through the practice of generation stage—ripening the mind, and through the practice of completion stage—liberating the mind and thereby attaining the resultant state of the union of holy body and mind, with the precious union of seven-limb embracing very quickly.

I, from the core of my heart make this request with vast, profound and swift prayers and dedication to actualize this.

I request the following prayers to be recited:

For all these, please offer many lights in the altar and offer Rs 20 per Sangha. May this cause all beings to attain Buddhahood quickly.