A special gift from His Majesty, King of Thailand

On the 12th October 2008, a presentation ceremony of the Phra Sassada Buddha statue was held in the Grand Buddha Hall of Dharma Drum Mountain World Center for Buddhist Education in Jinshan Township of Taipei County. The statue was a special gift from His Majesty, King of Thailand.

The Phra Sassada Buddha statue is one of 19 statues that were carefully hand crafted by Thai craftsmen in commemoration of His Majesty, King Bhumibol Adulyadej's eightieth birthday. Each brass statue, shrouded in gold will be enshrined in Buddhist organizations in nineteen different countries. DDM is the first Buddhist organization to receive this honor from His Majesty.

Dharma Drum Mountain (DDM) founder, the Most Venerable Master Sheng Yen, the Abbot President, Venerable Guo Dong and the Deputy Abbot, Venerable Guo Hui were all present to witness this grand ceremony. Other honorable guests from Thailand included Phra Tham Varajaraya, Phra Prom Wachirayan, Phra Chajyos Nenchatee, Mr Idanont Thsiarry and Mr Phallop Thiarry.

Before the Thai-style sacred consecration ceremony (Kai Guang), Thai Venerables held a special ritual before the Buddhas in the Grand Hall with the chanting of the Sutras to deliver their warmest blessings to His Majesty, King of Thailand, the Most Venerable Master Sheng Yen, the Sangha community and the people of Taiwan.

The ritual of unveiling the statue started at 10:30 a.m. as the veil was gracefully pulled down jointly by Venerable Guo Dong, Venerable Guo Hui, Phra Tham Varajaraya and Phra Prom Wachirayan. There was a serene atmosphere filled with the sound of the holy recitation of "Namo Amitofo" by the devotees presented.

The Phra Sassada Buddha statue weights 57 kilograms and is 126 cm in height, and 70 cm in width. Most importantly, as a special gift from the Supreme Patriarch of Thailand., a holy relic of the Buddha Sakyamuni is enshrined in the topknot of the statue.

The Most Venerable Master Sheng Yen said in the ceremony that he wished to express his utmost gratitude to His Majesty, King of Thailand for his generosity and to the Thai Venerables in escorting the statue with the precious relic all the way from Thailand. Although there are many different Buddhist sects in the world, Buddha Sakyamuni is the founder, and all Buddhists are united in sharing his teachings and in promoting peaceful co-existence amongst humanity.

Venerable Guo Dong expressed his gratitude by affirming that Buddha is the incarnation of equality, peace and compassion; thereby encouraged all devotees to adhere to the Dharma and to emulate the compassion of Buddha for a peaceful society.

DDM invite you and friends to visit us and to share in the Dharma's joy and pay homage to the Phra Sassada Buddha in the Grand Buddha Hall.

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

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