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Buddhist Wedding Ceremony: Marriage of Spiritual Companions with Bright Future of Great Light

Having organized a Buddhist wedding ceremony in 2015 for the first time, Dharma Drum Mountain Malaysia Centre held another one on July 10 this year. Zeng Huansheng and Lin Jiahui, a newly-wed couple, were classmates at the Five Lectures for Learning Buddhism back in 2013. Since then they had participated in the Centre’s activities together, and decided to get married with a simple and solemn Buddhist wedding ceremony, to be conducted at the Center.

The founder of Dharma Drum Mountain, Master Sheng Yen, once said that purification of the world starts from the purification of family, which in turn should begin with the purification of marriage. To establish a Buddhist family is to enhance happiness and well-being in family through the religious faith, with the couple acting as companions on the bodhisattva path practicing pure actions together. The Buddhist wedding ceremony is meant to inspire a Buddhist family life in which people gradually realize DDM’s vision of “uplifting the character of humanity and building a pure land on Earth.”

Ven. Chang Zao (常藻), director of Dharma Drum Mountain Malaysia Centre, gave blessings to the couple by wishing them a good journey toward another milestone in their life. The 37 relatives and friends of the couple also witnessed the wedding ceremony, celebrating the couple establishing a Buddhist family. The venerable and the ceremony leaders then led everyone to recite the Heart Sutra, chant the name of Guanyin Bodhisattva, and transfer the merit as a blessing. Afterwards, the couple took refuge in the Three Jewels—the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha—and received the Five Precepts, formally becoming Buddhists.

The ritual of the wedding ceremony signifies that the couple has established a new relationship and is about to take up the responsibility to start a family. As a gesture to show gratitude to their parents for the kindness in raising them, the couple performed the thanking-the-parents ritual to express their deepest appreciation to their parents.

As a Dharma talk, the venerable explained that chanting the name of Guanyin Bodhisattva reminds us to emulate and act like the Bodhisattva, view every individual as a beneficial friend to help us grow and learn, as well as benefit other people by modeling Guanyin Bodhisattva’s compassion and wisdom. Life after getting married is different in terms of experience and responsibility, in that there are many new things to learn and adapt to. Therefore, the venerable encouraged the new couple to keep this principle in mind all their lives.

The newly-wed knelt down to take their wedding vow, symbolizing the union of two separate lives who will keep their promises, take up responsibilities and obligations toward each other, and share their lives together. Family is a place for caring love to reveal, not for critical reason to rule. Many people may have great expectation for marriage, but they tend to forget that when there is too much rationality there will be less care and love. Marriage is also subject to the law of causes and conditions. We should ask ourselves to develop the mindset that we reap what we sow, and be clear about gender roles in marriage: tolerance, not indulgence; support, not control; comfort, not interrogate; listen, not accuse; understand, and unravel; apologize and appreciate; admit and correct faults; be considerate and understanding.

Towards the end, the venerable presented the newly-wed a Dharma gift of Master Sheng Yen’s calligraphy that reads “Great Happiness” on behalf of Dharma Drum Mountain, and, along with the attending guests, once again wished them all happiness.

Reported by Guo Xiuhua (郭秀花)
Translated by Frances Liu (劉珮如)
Edited by Chiacheng Chang (張家誠)

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