The Fourth Transmission of Bodhisattva Precepts at Dharma Drum Retreat Center in NY, USA
---Over one hundred and thirty people received the bodhisattva precepts to purify themselves with Venerable Master Sheng Yen.
One hundred and thirty four lay practitioners from the United States, France, Canada and Great Britain received the bodhisattva precepts at Dharma Drum Retreat Center in New York on 19 November 2006. The transmission ceremony was presided personally by Venerable Master Sheng Yen and the Abbot President of Dharma Drum Mountain, Venerable Guo Dong.
Many local Dharma upholders and DDM Fashis including Venerable Guo Ming, Venerable Guo Jun, Venerable Guo Qian and Venerable Guo Kai were in attendance at this solemn ceremony.
The transmission of bodhisattva precepts was conducted over the course of three days from 16 to 19 November 2006 at Dharma Drum Retreat Center in Pine Bush, New York. Venerable Master Sheng Yen began the formal transmission ceremony in the morning on 19 November amidst the beautiful sound of sutra-chanting.
Although the majority of participants were Chinese living in the New York district, 29 Caucasians also received the bodhisattva precepts to accumulate merits on the path to Buddhahood. The solemn ceremony was conducted in both English and Chinese. The chanting of the sutra was conducted in Chinese and the pledge of bodhisattva precepts was read in both Chinese and English. More importantly all participants demonstrated a sense of unity and commitment despite the language barrier.
Prior to the formalities of the ceremony, Venerable Master Sheng Yen explained that in the Mahayana tradition, one begins to learn the Dharma upon accepting Buddhist teachings, and a Buddhist practitioner must start by walking the bodhisattva path. "A bodhisattva is a person who aspires to Buddhahood while seeking to enlighten all sentient beings on the path," the Master said.
Venerable Master Sheng Yen encouraged all participants to emulate the spirit of bodhisattva, practice bodhisattva precepts and always treat others with the compassion of bodhisattva.
The purpose of taking the bodhisattva precepts is to learn to become a bodhisattva, to emulate the spirit of bodhisattvas by regulating personal behavior, practicing and cultivating virtue in order to deliver all sentient beings. These practices help to purify the actions of our body, speech and mind and allow us to accumulate merits on the path to Buddhahood.
This is the fourth transmission ceremony of the bodhisattva precepts held at Dharma Drum Retreat Center in New York. Besides the record-breaking number of one hundred and thirty four participants, there were also twelve DDM Fashis attending the ceremony. Hence Venerable Master Sheng Yen described this transmission ceremony as an unprecedented event.
(Translated by Jin Yang/Edited by Agnes Chow)