As long as we are sentient beings, we have a karmic back load to be purified. If we consider just the unwholesome actions that we have performed in this life alone, it should give us pause and an urge to find a method to purify them.
The Confession to The Thirty-Five Buddhas is a very effective way to remove our karmic obscurations and it can be recited daily. It is also an effective way to help a dying or deceased person to clear their karma as you visualize that they are saying it with you, you are confessing for and with them.
Sutra of the Three Heaps
Also known as the “Thirty Five Buddhas”
Because it is taught (by the Buddha) that this section on the confession of sins has the power to purify even the sins of immediate consequence, it is very important to recite this Sutra of the Three Sections. Begin by visualizing clearly before you the thirty-five Buddhas and, with a sincerely pentinent frame of mind, in their presence recite:
All sentient beings continually take refuge in the Teacher.
We take refuge in the Buddha.
We take refuge in the Dharma.
We take refuge in the Sangha.
We bow before the Bhagavan, the Tathagata, The Arhat, the fully enlightened Buddha Shakyamuni.
We bow before Dorje Nyingpo Rabtu Jompa.
We bow before Rinchen Otro.
We bow before Luwangi Gyalpo.
We bow before Pawo’i De.
We bow before Palje
We bow before Rinchen Mai.
We bow before Rinchen Da’o.
We bow before Tongwa Donyo.
We bow before Rinchen Dawa.
We bow before Drima Maipa.
We bow before Payjin
We bow before Tsangpa
We bow before Tsangpay Jin
We bow before Chu Lha
We bow before Chulay Lha.
We bow before Palzang.
We bow before Tsenden Pal.
We bow before Ziji Thaye.
We bow before O Pal.
We bow before Nya Nyen Mepai Pal.
We bow before Semai Chi Bu.
We bow before Maitok Pal.
We bow before the Tathagata Tsangpay Ozer Nampar Rolpar Chenpa.
We bow before the Tathagata Pemai Ozer Nampar Rolpa Ngonpar Chenpa
We bow before Norpal.
We bow before Drenpai Pal.
We bow before Tsenpal Shintu Yongdrak.
We bow before Wangpo Tokgi Gyalsten Gyi Gyalpo.
We bow before Shintu Nampar Nonpai Pal.
We bow before Yul Lay Shintu Nampar Gyalwa.
We bow before Nampar Nonpai Shekpa.
We bow before Kun Nay Nagwa Kopai Pal.
We bow before Rinchen Pema Nampar Nonpa.
We bow before the Tathagata Drachompa Yangdakpar Dzokpai Sangye Rinpoche Pema la Rabtu Shukpa Riwangi Gyalpo.
I pray to you, the Victorious Ones, the Tathagatas,
The Arhats, the completely enlightened Buddhas,
And however many there be like you in the worlds of the ten directions.
All of you Sugatas, the Buddhas who stay and care for us,
Please turn your attention to me.
Before you, I confess with repentance all the sinful actions
I have done in this life and in one samsaric life after another
Throughout all my lives without beginning or end,
And all the sinful actions that I have gotten others to do
Or have been glad to see done:
Stealing, getting others to steal, or being glad to see stealing
From shrines, from the Sangha, or from the (exalted) Sangha in the ten directions;
Committing the five sins of immediate consequence,
Getting others to do so, or being glad to see them done;
Wholeheartedly taking up the path of the ten unvirtuous actions,
Getting others to do so, or being glad to see them do it.
These and whatever else I and other living beings have done
While obscured by the veils of karma have caused birth in hell,
Birth as an animal, birth in the realm of the hungry ghosts,
Birth in borderlands where the Dharma is not present,
Birth in wicked cultures, birth as a long-life god,
Birth with unsound faculties, and birth as one holding wrong views.
These, and whatever we have failed to do
Which would have been pleasing to the Buddhas -
Whatever karmic obscurations there are -
All of these I confess openly and remorsefully,
Not hiding or concealing anything,
Before the eyes of the Buddhas, the Sugatas
Who are primordial wisdom, who are the eyes,
Who are the witnesses, who are the perfect model -
Who know, who see.
I vow never to do them again.
All Buddhas, Sugatas, I pray that you turn your attention to me.
I dedicate whatever roots of virtue that I possess
In this life and in one samsaric life after another
Throughout all my lives without beginning or end -
Even the smallest generosity of giving a handful of food to an animal,
Having kept moral discipline, and remaining chaste,
Giving rise to supreme bodhicitta and unsurpassable wisdom -
Whatever roots of virtue there are in all of these,
Gathering them all together in their entirety,
I dedicate them totally and completely
To that beyond which there is nothing superior,
Above which there is nothing higher, the highest of the high -
To unsurpassable, complete, and perfect enlightenment.
Just as the Buddhas of the past have completely dedicated,
Just as the future Buddhas will completely dedicate,
And just as the present Buddhas now completely dedicate -
In the same way I also dedicate my virtue completely.
I confess each and every one of my sins.
I rejoice in all merit.
I entreat all the Buddhas to turn the wheel of Dharma
And pray that they remain in this world.
May I attain what is most perfect and supreme,
The unsurpassable wisdom!
To the most perfect of men, to the Victors who live now,
Who have lived in the past, and who are yet to come -
The praise of whose qualities extends like a limitless ocean:
With hands joined in prayer, I go for refuge.
I confess each of the ten unvirtuous actions -
The three of body, the four of speech, and the three of mind.
I confess all of the sins I have ever committed
From time without beginning until now
With my mind overpowered by the negative emotions -
Such as the ten unvirtuous actions
And the five acts of immediate consequence.
I confess each and every sin I have committed
With body, speech and mind
While overpowered by desire, anger, and stupidity.
Through having recited the Confession of Faults,
May the five sins of immediate consequence
And whatever other sins I have done
While overpowered with ignorance be completely purified.
With palms joined, I confess any faults and all sinful actions
(Committed by) myself and all living beings.
May we never do them again.
May the karmic obscurations be completely exhausted!
Whatever virtue I have accumulated through making prostrations,
Offerings, confession, rejoicing, urging the Buddhas
(To turn the wheel of Dharma), and praying (that they remain in this world)
All of this, however small, I dedicate for the sake of enlightenment.