Showing Gratitude and Compassion on Mother’s Day and Buddha’s Birthday
The Anhe Branch Monastery of Dharma Drum Mountain (DDM/Fagushan) hosted a special festival at Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Hall in Taipei on 13 May 2007, which combined the commemoration of Buddha’s birthday with Mother’s Day.
The festival celebrated the Buddha’s compassion and was also an opportunity for DDM to pay tribute to mothers through an array of festivities and performances. Participants enjoyed Buddhist music, performances by DDM’s Drumming Group, magic shows and scrumptious Chinese Chan-style vegan cuisine. Participants were also invited to sound the Lotus Bell and bathe a small statue of Buddha. .
DDM’s Anhe Branch Monastery stressed that this Bathing Buddha Festival was unlike traditional practice because this festival gave people an opportunity to spend quality time with their mothers as well as celebrate Buddha’s birthday.
Venerable Guo Dong, the Abbot President of DDM, commended this event where Mother’s Day is no longer a simple feasting and gift-giving exercise but a meaningful occasion to pray and demonstrate their gratitude towards their mothers.
Venerable Guo Dong likened all mothers of the world to Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva (Guanyin), the Goddess of Compassion, who bear the suffering of their family members, demonstrate compassion and tolerance, protect their children and guide them towards a smooth and prosperous path through life.
A pre-recorded speech by Venerable Master Sheng Yen was also played at the festival. The Master said that the birth of Buddha brought compassion and light of wisdom to the world. “Buddha is like our parent in Dharma, who has shown us wisdom and compassion, whereas our birth parents have given us life, raised us and offered us a chance to be immersed in Dharma. We should therefore pray and show immense gratitude to them and vow to follow the Buddha’s path to live our lives for the benefit all people.”
(translated by Yu-Fen Florence Lee/edited by Jin Yang and DDM Australia Editing Team)