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DDM Buddhist Center Malaysia Presents over 300 Devotees a Buddha Bathing Ceremony

Dharma Drum Mountain Buddhist Center Malaysia (DDMBCM) organized a Buddha bathing ceremony on 3 May 2015, drawing 300 devotees and more to participate in for cultivating and sharing the merits and virtue.

This year, focusing on the theme of elegance and simplicity, the Dharma service was decorated with two prince Siddahartha’s statues set on both sides of the Buddha’s desk for bathing purpose.

Before beginning, the Jianxiang (監香), functioning as a supervisor in a service, Ven. Chang Jian (常鑑) explained the origin of Vesākha (Buddha’s Birthday). Ever since the Buddha left his palace to become a practitioner, he preached immeasurable Dharma to all living beings after attaining enlightenment, even nirvana. To commemorate his great spirit to ferry over sentient beings on the ocean of sufferings, Buddhists of later generations agreed that the 1st full moon day in May should be Vesākha. Ven. Chang Jian continued to say, “to bathe the outer Buddha’s statue is in essence to bathe our inner worry and mind; for that reason, in addition to commemorating the Buddha, we should purify our deeds of body, speech and mind too in order to maintain every intention pure, and then realize Buddha’s compassion by real actions in daily life, which purifies the society indirectly. By transferring the merits to our parents, relatives and karmic creditors met in past lives through bathing the Buddha’s statue, meant to rescue them from sufferings, we save all sentient beings within six planes of existence as well. It can be easily seen that how profound a simple but solemn a Buddha bathing ceremony could be to a Buddhist”.

As the ceremony began, the director of DDMBCM Ven. Chang Zao (常藻), together with the Yuezhong (悅眾) under Dharma Service Affairs Division, in charge of Dharma instruments, led participants to chant verse in praise of Amitabha and repeat Shakyamuni Buddha’s sacred name (nán wú běn shī shì jiā móu ní fó) earlier than Buddha bathing ceremony, in which attendees held lotus-shaped electronic lamps instead of candles in both hands, representing one’s heart was lighted up, on the one hand; on the other hand, signifying one’s aspiration to budhi-mind in praying for blessings for the world. In the middle of devoting the lamp, DDMBCM suddenly underwent “blackout”; nevertheless, no influence was impacted on attendees who kept moving toward Buddha and sincerely devoted their “heart light” against the never-ending voice of Buddha’s name under the guidance of Weina (維那), the monastics for discipline, thereby adding sense of wonder and miracle to the ambience. Later on, monastics and Yuezhong directed the public to make vows and worship the Buddha devoutly in hopes of modeling ourselves after Buddha’s compassion and wisdom. All in all, everyone felt tranquil physically and mentally during the whole process.

After the ceremony, monastics even gave longevity peach buns to attendees, inviting them to enjoy the well-prepared healthy and delicious vegetarian lunch downstairs.

For the Center is not spacious enough, monastics and lay followers are actively raising funds for a new center, and the enthusiastic response from the public much increased fund-raising team’s confidence.

Since the ceremony coincided consecutive holidays in early May, numerous participants came with their family, making the Center even warmer.

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