repentance ［懺悔］ ( kshama or deshanā; sange): Also, apology. An act of acknowledging one’s faults, shortcomings, or past misdeeds, and seeking to correct or make amends for them. In Indian monasteries, a gathering called uposhadha was held every half month, at which members of the Buddhist Order who had violated the precepts apologized before the Buddha or before the other monks with the aim of purifying their minds. In addition, an annual ceremony called pravārana was performed at the end of the rainy-season retreat (three-month retreat). At the ceremony held on the last day of the retreat, monks publicly repented the errors they had committed during that three-month period. In the Buddhist community, various rules concerning the practice and ceremony of repentance were set forth as the vinaya, or rules of monastic discipline. With the rise of Mahayana, however, less emphasis was placed on monastic rules, and the meaning of repentance changed accordingly. The Universal Worthy Sutra, regarded as the epilogue to the Lotus Sutra, states, “If one wishes to carry out repentance, sit upright and ponder the true aspect. Then the host of sins, like frost or dew, can be wiped out by the sun of wisdom.” In short, since one’s wrong acts ultimately stem from ignorance of the true nature of life, to awaken to that nature, or the true aspect of all phenomena, and bring forth one’s inherent Buddha wisdom, thereby purifying one’s life, is the ultimate act of repentance.