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Guanyin Bodhisattva Dharma Service

Guanyin (Avalokitesvara) Bodhisattva universally saves and delivers all sentient beings. Commonly known for his compassion in hearing the calls for help and releasing people’s suffering by coming to their rescue in various manifestations, the Bodhisattva has been revered and worshiped since ancient times, especially by Chinese people, as the Goddess of Mercy, whom they can rely on and seek comfort from.

Master Sheng Yen, founder of Dharma Drum Mountain, also practiced the Guanyin Bodhisattva’s methods, and regarded DDM as a practice center dedicated to the Bodhisattva.

On March 27, 2016, DDM Buddhist Centre Malaysia held a Guanyin Bodhisattva Dharma Service celebrating the Bodhisattva’s birthday. Before the start of the ritual, the service supervisor, Ven. Chang Zun (常尊), explained about the contents and essence of The Chapter on the Universal Gate of the Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara in the Lotus Sutra. The venerable said that Guanyin Bodhisattva is a most endearing enlightened being to us, and that the Chapter represents one of the many approaches to practice the Bodhisattva’s methods.

The Chapter reflects the Guanyin Bodhisattva’s great vow. According to the Sutra, the Bodhisattva has the power to liberate people from many kinds of disasters and troubles, as well as the three poisons of greed, hatred, and delusion. On the other hand, he answers prayers. In addition, the Bodhisattva is able to explain the Dharma to different types of beings by appearing in various forms. These represent the virtuous deeds of the benevolent Bodhisattva. Disasters and troubles often reflect and result from people’s collective karma, with different karmic causes leading to different karmic results. The proper way to eliminate disasters and troubles is to purify our minds. The many Dharma methods are all meant to help us eradicate the five poisons, which are greed, hatred, delusion, arrogance, and doubt. Taking buying insurances for example, Ven. Chang Zun described the recitation of Guanyin Bodhisattva’s name as a more secure measure to safeguard our well-being, and therefore urged people to recite the Bodhisattva’s name more often as a daily regular practice. This requires our firm faith that the Buddha and Bodhisattva can and will protect us, as well as our steadfast devotion, patience, and perseverance. So when we encounter problems, we can make prostration to Guanyin Bodhisattva sincerely, praying for receiving his spiritual guidance to enlighten our wisdom. By reciting the Bodhisattva’s name constantly, we can naturally reduce our afflictions and bring peace to our mind. Meanwhile, along with the recitation and prayers, we should move further and learn the Bodhisattva’s practices and follow his example.

Bodhisattvas are enlightened beings engaged in the practice of Six Perfections: giving, morality, patience, perseverance, concentration, and wisdom. We should model the Bodhisattva’s spirit in propagating the Dharma and helping sentient beings. In our daily life, we should practice giving and generosity as an antidote to our greed, and use patience to accomplish our Dharma path. Also, we should uphold the precepts by refraining from evil and doing good, as well as practice Chan concentration to develop our wisdom.

After the Dharma talk, the venerable led participants to chant the Praise for Purifying the Water, the Chapter on the Universal Gate of the Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara in the Lotus Sutra, the Divine Mantra of Avalokitesvara, the Great Compassion Mantra, the Guanyin Bodhisattva Gatha, and the Praise for Good Will, as well as do prostrations while making vows. All the participating devotees were grateful for Guanyin Bodhisattva’s great compassion and supreme virtue. Through sincere chanting, they dedicated the merit to all sentient beings throughout the dharma realms.

Report: Pan Yanyuan(潘演緣)
Translated by Frances Liu (劉珮如) and edited by Chiacheng Chang (張家誠)

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