Worship and Devotional Life - Research Article from Encyclopedia of Religion

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Acts of Devotion

Devotion may be public or private. Public devotion is a social act that announces an individual's active participation in a Buddhist community. Private devotion confirms and strengthens an individual's consciousness as a Buddhist. In both cases it is ritualized and formulaic, but at the same time it is flexible and renewable.

Devotion is expressed through rituals that engage the "three doors" of body, speech, and mind. It is enacted physically through prostration, raising the hands with palms pressed together, and sitting with legs tucked behind. With speech one murmurs or recites formulas. The mental workings of devotion—the worshipper's wishes and aspirations—are ultimately private, but, as seen below, they have often been recorded in inscriptions.

The simplest act of devotion is homage in front of an image, usually of the Buddha, accompanied by offerings of flowers, incense, and...

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This section contains 7,073 words
(approx. 24 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Worship and Devotional Life Encyclopedia Article
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Encyclopedia of Religion
Worship and Devotional Life from Encyclopedia of Religion. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.
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