TOMB SWEEPING FESTIVAL TOPICS IV
Based on the Sutra of the Past Vows of Earth Store Bodhisattva, the assembly reflects the Buddhist spirit of great filial piety.
Earth-Store (Kṣitigarbha) Bodhisattva Dharma Assembly
Earth-Store Bodhisattva (Sanskrit：Kṣitigarbha) is one of the four principal Bodhisattvas in Buddhism. According to the Sutra of Past Vows of Earth Store Bodhisattva, eons ago Kṣitigarbha was once a maiden of the Brahman caste. To deliver her mother suffering in the hell due to her disbelieving in cause and effect and slandering the Three Jewels while alive, she performed various meritorious deeds and sincerely made offerings. Through her sincere filial piety, her mother benefitted from the merit she had cultivated and was thus rescued from the hell. She then vowed that, until the end of future eons, she would respond to sentient beings suffering for their offences by using expedient means to bring about their liberation. Another time, Kṣitigarbha was a woman named Bright Eyes. To save her mother from falling into evil paths, she vowed to become a Buddha only after all sentient beings are delivered and become Buddhas, and not to achieve the Buddhahood until all hells are empty.
Emulate and Internalize the Bodhisattva’s Great Vows and Great Filial Piety.
The focus of practice at the Earth-Store Dharma Assembly is chanting the Sutra of the Past Vows of Earth Store Bodhisattva, which illustrates the idea of gratitude and filial affection to parents in a profound sense. And upholding the Sutra will inspire practitioners to emulate and internalize the Bodhisattva’s great vows and great filial piety.
Fulfill Participants’ Aspiration to Repay Kindness and Show Gratitude
As April 4, 2017 is the Tomb-Sweeping Festival on the lunar calendar, the Compassionate Samadhi Water Repentance Assembly, the seven-day Amitabha Recitation Retreat for Repaying Kindness, and the Earth-Store Bodhisattva Dharma Assembly offer people an opportunity to practice repentance, recite Amitabha Buddha’s name, and chant the Sutra of the Past Vows of Earth Store Bodhisattva, while praying for their deceased relatives and loved ones to leave suffering behind and attain true happiness by also practicing repentance and reciting Amitabha Buddha’s name, based on the Buddha and Bodhisattva’s great vows in delivering sentient beings. These Dharma assemblies not only help fulfill participants’ aspiration to repay kindness and show gratitude, but also inspire them to develop their Bodhi-mind to universally help other beings.
Extended Video Selection I
Video: Should One Have Faith in the Sutras?
Buddhist sutras are records of the Buddha's teachings in different places and with different people, and therefore have different effects. Although the sutras are not necessarily all the words of the Buddha, they all represent the basic Buddhist principles and so are useful and beneficial.
Extended Video Selection II
Video: The Meaning of Sutras
In general, the essential teachings of the sutras are about the analysis of the mind and the resolution of affliction. The whole Buddhist canon contains a massive collection of sutras, but their basic principles are ""suffering, emptiness, impermanence and selflessness,"" and their main idea is to help us attain liberation from the sea of samsara.
Translation : Ina Wang (王慧雯)
Editor : Chang ChiaCheng (張家誠)
Photos : Dharma Drum Monasteries