Making wish and Buddhism

Hi all,

In other religion it’s seen to be normal to include your wish in the prayer. There are also many Buddhists include their wish when they’re performing wholesome deeds, for example, you wish to be reborn in happy states, etc. In numerous occasions, Buddha said in the Sutta, you reap what you sow.

Therefore my understanding is making wish is unnecessary. But I think it’s quite humane to make a wish, there are teachers say you need to make a kind of wish or aspiration on what you do, you need a goal, basically.

Since there is contradiction, do you think making wish is necessary? Thanks.


I can only speak for me, but No i do not make wishes or do prayer in my cultivation of the dhamma. To gain enlightenment it is only up to me if i can make it by cultivating the dhamma in a right way, so no need to wish or pray to Buddha for this.
My action, speech and thought will deside if i do make it or not.


As most unenglightened person think, they desire happiness and avoid suffering. Have you ever made a wish that you want to avoid or reduce suffering? Can you talk a little bit more about that?


One can always wish to suffer less, but that only lead to more suffering. To understand the 4 noble truths and live by the 8 folded path, is the way out of suffering. But one must do the effort one self. And always think of how others may react to our speech and action


Overall, I find my life is better when I’m meditating compared to when I’m not. My only wish is to not make any more wishes. A wish suggests I can find solutions in samsara when due to impermanence no solution will last. Some people create one good situation and hopefully another after that. However good karma is they way to materialistic success.


I think some wishes are skilful.
Cf. Mettā Sutta:

Wishing: In gladness and in safety,
May all beings be at ease.
Whatever living beings there may be;
Whether they are weak or strong, omitting none,
The great or the mighty, medium, short or small,
The seen and the unseen,
Those living near and far away,
Those born and to-be-born—
May all beings be at ease!

I’m not sure if this sort of wish is what you were asking about though, @SC1100.


Yes, I’d say that this is exactly what one should wish.

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MN8 One Might Wish covers a lot of wholesome wishes, starting with:

A mendicant might wish: 'May I be liked and approved by my spiritual companions, respected and admired.’ So let them fulfill their precepts, be committed to inner serenity of the heart, not neglect absorption, be endowed with discernment, and frequent empty huts.


AN10.2 tells us of a wishless and natural dependent origination of all ingredients of the sort of spiritual freedom Buddhists usually aspire for and practice towards:

“Mendicants, an ethical person, who has fulfilled ethical conduct, need not make a wish: ‘May I have no regrets!’ It’s only natural that an ethical person has no regrets.
When you have no regrets you need not make a wish: ‘May I feel joy!’ It’s only natural that joy springs up when you have no regrets.
When you feel joy you need not make a wish: ‘May I experience rapture!’ It’s only natural that rapture arises when you’re joyful.
When your mind is full of rapture you need not make a wish: ‘May my body become tranquil!’ It’s only natural that your body becomes tranquil when your mind is full of rapture.
When your body is tranquil you need not make a wish: ‘May I feel bliss!’ It’s only natural to feel bliss when your body is tranquil.
When you feel bliss you need not make a wish: ‘May my mind be immersed in samādhi!’ It’s only natural for the mind to be immersed in samādhi when you feel bliss.
When your mind is immersed in samādhi you need not make a wish: ‘May I truly know and see!’ It’s only natural to truly know and see when your mind is immersed in samādhi.
When you truly know and see you need not make a wish: ‘May I become disillusioned and dispassionate!’ It’s only natural to become disillusioned and dispassionate when you truly know and see.
When you’re disillusioned and dispassionate you need not make a wish: ‘May I realize the knowledge and vision of freedom!’ It’s only natural to realize the knowledge and vision of freedom when you’re disillusioned and dispassionate."


Thanks for your reply. As stated previously, hope oneself to be reborn in a happy destination is also a kind of wish, although one may not speak it out loud but it is a wish, nevertheless. Not everyone wishes they want to attain nibbana, regardless it can be attained by mere wish or not.

Can wish increase the chance of experiencing positive and desired result?


Yes. Per DN33.

The heart’s wish of an ethical person succeeds because of their purity.

However, note the caution also given regarding wishes:

As they’ve settled for less and not developed further, their thought leads to rebirth there.

Therefore, you might wish yourself into the deva realms, but would that end suffering? Maybe…not.

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Wishing for something = attachment to some condition that is different from the way things are, and for me, seems contrary to the Dhamma.

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