The Vesak Ceremony and Mother’s Day Celebration at Dharma Drum Mountain

To celebrate the birth of Buddha Sakyamuni and Mother’s Day, Dharma Drum Mountain has had specially prepared a number of activities at DDM World Center for Buddhist Education in Jinshan Township, Taipei County, on every weekend in the month of May.

The activities included the Vesak (Bathing the Buddha) Ceremony, ringing the Lotus Bell, making passage around the Lotus Bell, worshiping the Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva, and other activities that relate to the birth of Buddha. We warmly welcome you to DDM World Center with your family and friends and to join in the activities so that your life is enriched with Buddha compassion and wisdom.

In the Vesak Ceremony Venerable Guo Dong, the Abbot President, proclaimed that the Dharma symbolized Buddha’s wisdom and compassion, and Vesak Ceremony signified the purification of the mind from ignorance, hatred and greed. This is the true spirit of the Vesak Ceremony. The Venerable encouraged all participants to reflect on their mental state and strive for the purification of mind through the action of pouring water over the infant Buddha statue.

The origin of Vesak: Buddha Sakyamuni was born in the Garden of Lumbini, located near the present day of Kapilavastu , Nepal. His mother was Queen Maya and the baby infant would be the crown prince of the Sakya tribe. At the time of his birth, his mother was traveling home to see her parents and had stopped in the lush garden to rest. After his birth, the infant Siddhartha took seven steps, each treading on a lotus flower and he announced that he had come into this world to become a Buddha. At this point, flowers rained down from heaven and the nine celestial dragons sprang fragrant rain from their mouths. After the bath, the infant prince was purified in body and mind.

The ceremonial altar is decorated like a flower garden representing the Garden of Lumbini. In the ceremony, monks and lay devotees use a ladle to pour fragrant water three times over a statue of the infant Buddha. Water is poured over the shoulders of the Buddha statue and this action serves to enforce our desire for pure thoughts and actions in our daily life. The ceremony symbolizes the washing away of greed, hatred and ignorance and purification of one's heart and mind. Vesak day is a day to remind ourselves of the Buddha's life, and what it is that is worth striving for!

Finally, pilgrims were invited to the Lamp Lighting initiation, which symbolized lighting up the light of wisdom in people’s minds.

These activities strive to promote awareness in DDM Spiritual Environment Protection ethos and to remind members to observe the correct decorum of the mind, speech and action to bring about a peaceful world.

And to celebrate Mother’s day on 6 May 2007, DDM invited residents living in Jinshan Township to DDM World Center with their mothers to celebrate this important day. Mothers were invited to participate specially designed games with their children, and to the delight of all they were treated to tasty cakes prepared by DDM volunteers.

(translated/reported by Jin Yang/edited by DDM Australia Editing Team)

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