DDM Global News

Bathing the Buddha to See the Buddha’s Mission

On May 2, 2021, from 2:00 to 3:15 p.m., Dharma Drum Mountain Chan Meditation Center (CMC) in New York conducted the Bathing the Buddha ceremony via YouTube Live, to celebrate the Buddha's Birthday. Following the monastics' guidance, hundreds of attendees wholeheartedly chanted verses of praise in commemoration of the Buddha's birth. During the ceremony, CMC's monastics and volunteers bathed the statue of Prince Siddhartha with fragrant water, while reciting "Na mo ben shi shi jia mo ni fo" (Homage to Original Teacher Shakyamuni Buddha). Also, they prayed for world peace and harmony and that the COVID-19 pandemic could end soon.
After the ceremony, Venerable Chang-Hwa, Director of CMC, gave a Dharma talk in both Mandarin and English. She quoted what the Buddha taught in the Lotus Sutra as saying, "All Buddhas appear n the world simply for one reason: that is, to open sentient beings' views , demonstrate Buddha nature through daily examples, provide methods for sentient beings to directly see the Buddha nature, and, help sentient beings exercise Buddha nature for the benefit of others. As reflected in the Verse of Bathing the Buddha, "I now sincerely bathe all the Buddhas, who have cultivated pure wisdom, dignity, and virtuous merits. May sentient beings free themselves from afflictions, and realize the same true essence of all the Buddhas." The Buddha revealed the truth of "suffering, emptiness, impermanence, and no-self"; he also taught that all sentient beings have the Buddha-nature, and showed people the path to buddhahood.

By pointing out this truth, the Venerable stressed that, as Buddhist practitioners, we should constantly remind ourselves of the reason why we wanted to become Buddhists to begin with; why we need to follow the Buddhas example for our practice; what the Buddha actually taught; and how to apply the practice to truly awaken to and enter the Buddha's knowledge and insight. She also urged people to make good use of their hard-to-obtain human form to diligently engage in practice; leave behind their deluded thoughts and attachments; see the Buddha nature; and, finally, to use their Buddha mind to help and deliver other sentient beings.
With the pandemic still prevalent, CMC will remain closed to the public to avoid possible cluster infections. Ven. Chang Hua reminded everyone to continue to observe disease prevention measures and stay alert. She also led participants to dedicate the merit to India, which has been badly hit by a surge of new cases, and pray for the pandemic to subside, so that the world can again enjoy peace and well-being.

***Celebrate the Buddha's Birthday Online HERE (with E-cards, video and so on)!!!
***Reading Attendee's Sharing HERE!!!***

Text:Yang Heng (楊恆)
Photo: Yin Ting
Translation: Hsiao Chen-an
Editing: Chang Chia-Cheng (張家誠), Keith Brown