Do spells composed for pursuers of vows really work? How about drinking ashes astir in water to alleviate physical discomforts?


Use of mantra in a spell as response to a personal vow in no way

accords with the Buddhist mode. No information on spells is found

anywhere in all twelve divisions of the Tripitaka. Spells are in fact

a Chinese custom and were passed on to Japan where they were

also adopted.

From the Buddhist angle, the correct way of treating a vow is through

meditation. Focus will power until all thoughts be relinquished in a

state of purity and calm, resonate with the awakened one, convey

vow in mind through prayer, repeat the Buddha' s name, and retain

the dharani. As well, summon the force of accessory condition through

giving, preceptive abidance, patience in humiliation, select progress,

samadhi, and prajna, collectively termed six paramitas. Such is the

state of fulfillment for the vow in mind.

As for use of ashes astir in water for medical purposes, it is also a

wholly nonBuddhist act. Whether paper with mantra written for a spell

be burned before a shrine, mixed with water, and then used for internal

or external treatment works or not is utter happenstance. When sick, the

smartest way to go is consult a doctor and take the right medications.