In Buddhism, confession serves as an
aid for spiritual and psychological health. It is believed that
acknowledging shame and remorse frees the guilty conscience, thereby
removing a barrier to spiritual progress. It is also thought that
declaring wrongdoings prevents repetition of the sins.
Papadesana is part of the supreme
worship known as
anuttara puja, or “seven-fold worship,”
- Vandana (obeisance, bowing
puja (worship) – paying homage to the Buddha.
- Sarana-gamana (going for
refuge) – committing to the path to enlightenment by seeking
“refuge” in the Buddha,
dharma or spiritual community.
- Papadesana (confession of
- Punyanumodana (rejoicing in
merit) – honoring one's own and others' positive qualities.
- Adhyesana (prayer,
yacana (supplication) – requesting the
assistance of those who are more enlightened.
(surrender) – the declaration of altruism and self-denial.
Some sources separate vandana and puja
as distinct steps, while others separate adhyesana and yacana – in
each case creating a seven-fold path of worship. The goal is
bodhicitta, a mind dedicated to others and to attaining
enlightenment. It is similar to the ultimate goal of yoga –
enlightenment and unification with the yogi's highest nature.