YEAR OF NEWS :
Monday, April 25, 2016
The Origin of Bathing the Buddha
Over 2,600 years ago in ancient India, Queen Maya of Kapilavastu gave birth to Prince Siddhartha, who later became Shakyamuni Buddha, under the ashoka tree in Lumbini Garden. The newborn Prince, pointing one hand up at the sky and the other downwards to the earth, said, “In heavens and on the earth, I am the singularly supreme.” This meant that, having gone through three great incalculable eons of practice and about to attain Buddha-hood in the human realm, he was the most superior among all the heavenly and human beings. At that very moment, two streams of pure water came down from heaven to bathe the Prince’s body. Since then, Buddhists have been celebrating the Buddha’s birthday by performing the Buddha Bathing Ritual.
DDM’s abbot president Ven. Guo Dong paid a visit to Malaysia from July 9 to 14 with the company of Dharma Drum Mountain Sangha members, to meet with the devotees from Ipoh and local monasteries, as well as conduct Refuge Ceremonies and give lectures, sharing joy and wisdom. He was also invited to give a speech for the inauguration of Puzhao Buddhist Vihara and the 45th anniversary of the Young Buddhist Association of Malaysia.
In order to help displaced teachers and pupils affected by the earthquake in Nepal continue with school safely before the upcoming rainy season, DDMSWCF will set up 100 units of Temporary Learning Center (TLC) in the worst-hit mountain regions by working with the local government and NGOs. More than a temporary shelter for local residents, the TLC can also serve their education and care needs.
Disasters at home and abroad in recent years have caused many people to lose their loved ones and livelihoods, affecting societies and human mind a great deal. Sharing the humanitarian spirit as an integral part of global community, most people in Taiwan are willing to contribute their shares of care for the victims.
Inside the Dharma instrument practice room at the Dharma Drum Degui Academy (法鼓德貴學苑), located near Ximending (西門町), Taipei City, the peaceful and pure Buddhist chanting echoed, performed by a group of young people practicing chanting and Dharma instruments in concentration, who are members of DDM’s Mind-Tide Buddhist Music Team (心潮梵音團隊), whose aim is to pray for blessings for suffering people through their transcending Buddhist chanting in praise of the Buddha’s virtues.
DDM Social Welfare & Charity Foundation (DDMSWCF) recently assisted the fire brigade of Keelung City and Taitong County by donating fire alarms to those in need in order to restore public’s confidence as well as peace of mind. Fire-alarms were installed to enhance safety measure in the homes of elderly who resides alone, low-income households as well as people with disability.
As a young scholars’ platform for academic exchange to further explore studies and research on Chinese Buddhism, the “Young Scholars Forum on Chinese Buddhism,” co-organized by Chung-Hwa Institute of Buddhist Studies (CHIBS), Dharma Drum Institute of Liberal Arts (DILA), and Sheng Yen Education Foundation, was officially opened in the Education and Administration Building at DDM World Center for Buddhist Education at 9 A.M., on June 26.
We all know that in dreams people confuse dream phenomena with reality by engaging in those scenarios. They don’t realize that it is only a dream until they wake up. What most people don’t know is that our daytime activities are also a dream, in which our minds are constantly engaged in images from our memories and regarding those as real. How can this all be a dream?
The DDM Social Welfare & Charity Foundation (DDMSWCF) and several Taiwan-based charities went deep into earthquake-stricken Nepalese mountainous areas again from June 11 to 14. In addition to showing care and concern, they also donated clothes and stationery that schoolchildren would need at the beginning of the new semester. On behalf of all students, the abbot of the local Tibetan Buddhist monastery, a Palyul branch monastery in Nubri, presented khatas, a traditional ceremonial scarf in Tibetan Buddhism, to volunteers as a token of their appreciation and blessing in return.
The first Dharma Drum Institute of Liberal Arts (DILA) Graduation Ceremony was held at the International Conference Hall of DDM World Center for Buddhist Education on July 13 2015. Twenty-three graduates of bachelor, masters and associate degrees took part in this ceremony that was permeated with Buddhist culture.
In the wake of the devastating earthquake and incessant aftershocks that have hit Nepal, an ancient Buddhist land, in April, the country’s remote areas, so far still isolated due to broken roads, are now in urgent need of humanitarian relief aid. While responding to their tragedy by expressing the care and concern from people in Taiwan, as well as providing immediate aid through donations and other resources, DDM is also concerned for the affected people’s needs in remote stricken towns and villages. Meanwhile, in response to a letter from Mahavaipulya Buddhist Association in Taiwan (臺灣大方廣佛學講修學會, MBAT), DDM promised to offer financial support to reconstruct “Ngagyur Memorial School,” located in a suburban area of Kathmandu, for the orphans from Nubri, a mountainous area in Nepal.