The 25th Ling Jiou Mountain Water, Land and Air Dharma Ritual ends with the successful completion of the Rite of Sending-off-the-Holy-Ones

The 25th Ling Jiou Mountain Water, Land and Air Dharma Ritual ends with the successful completion of the Rite of Sending-off-the-Holy-Ones
Dharma Master Hsin Tao and VIP Guests light up Lamps for Homage to Buddhas and pray for good Deeds by Virtue of People’s purified Hearts.

“The focus of a virtuous heart is capable of penetrating the endless darkness” is perhaps a befitting footnote on a grand Buddhist ceremony the present story is about. The 25th Ling Jiou Mountain (LJM) Waterland Dharma Ritual came to a successful closing in the afternoon of August 15, 2018, with a successful completion of the Rite of Sending-off-the-Holy-Ones. Throughout the duration of the 8-day-7-night Dharma Ritual, LJM followers participated in the procedures of the Ritual in respect and rejoice, for which repent, veganism, chanting the names of Buddhas, and reciting Buddhist scriptures was required. The participants, thus in a tranquil state of mind, prayed that all sentient beings be granted his/her rightful solemnity and that comfort and relief be granted to all suffering souls. When the time came for the Rite of Sending-off-the-Holy-Ones to be performed, some six thousand devout followers were at hand and paid undivided attention in their prays for the blessings of the Buddhas and the Bodhisattvas for the sentient beings to leave sufferings and beget happiness, for social harmony, national stability, and a world at peace without calamities.

Present for the send-off ceremony were ranking officials from both the central and the local government, including: Home Ministry Civic Department head LIN Ching-Chi on behalf of the Minister HSU Guo-Yong, Taoyuan City Deputy Mayor YOU Jien-Hwa on behalf of Mayor CHENG Wen-Tsan, Legislator CHAO Cheng-Yu, Congresswoman CHEN-LAI Su-Mei, Taoyuan City Councilman SU Jia-Ming, Taoyuan City Government Sports Bureau Chief HSIA Jin-Hsing, Taoyuan City Government Civic Bureau Deputy LIN Hsiang-Mei, among other dignitaries.

Home Ministry department head LIN Ching-Chi said that ‘it is commendable that the LJM Buddhist Society has been dedicating itself to public causes consistently over the years. Moreover, it has been contributing to social good based on its philosophy that honors all religions and as a result, greatly contributes to Taiwan’s social harmony that deserves to be highly respected.’

Taoyuan City Deputy Mayor YOU Jien-Hwa expressed gratitude that the LJM Waterland Dharma Ritual has been staged regularly on an annual basis in Taoyuan.

‘Already 24 times in the past, the LJM Waterland Dharma Ritual has become one of the most looked-forward-to events of Taoyuan, and I am here to thank the LJM Buddhist Society on behalf of our constituency that blessings have been granted to our citizens, while fortune and positive energy tag along. We are happy that all Buddha functions have run their full circle successfully, and that we are here to bid farewell in respect so that the Buddhas and the Bodhisattvas continue their protection for Taiwan and for Taoyuan after they return to the heavenly realm. We pray that we will have a strong performance to show and that people stay happy and safe.’

Following the remarks by central and local government representatives, LJM Founding Abbot Dharma Master Hsin Tao reciprocated as the host by sharing a sermon on the occasion and said that ‘the LJM Buddhist Society is grateful for the support by all participating followers and volunteers, and in particular, the credit goes to the Taoyuan City Government for all the assistance extended to help make it a complete and successful Waterland Dharma Ritual.’

On that note, Dharma Master Hsin Tao continued to stress that ‘the Rite of Sending-off-the-Holy-Ones means basically that the heart be returned to its origin. When the heart is home, life becomes firm and stable, and people lead a life that is clear-headed with understanding. After the successful completion of the Waterland Dharma Ritual, we ought to make our Bodhicitta the focus of our daily life and let go of all fixations and obstacles to stay alerted and always ready to do good and help others. Thus accordingly, our Bodhicitta materializes in daily life in a positive cycle of purity and good deeds.’

The LJM is a well-known monastery dedicated to the worship of Guan Yin. As 2018 marks its 35th anniversary and the 25th annual staging of the Waterland Dharma Ritual, 25 Guan Yin statues from popular temples and reputable shrines of northern Taiwan were invited to be respectfully situated upon the venue’s main East entrance for public worshipping and help enrich the overall experience. An estimated crowd of 100,000 people came during the Dharma Ritual to pay homage for a rare and blessed experience. Following the successful completion of the send-off, the loaned Guan Yin statues will be respectfully returned to their respective origin after formalizing a strong liaison with the LJM.

The solemn Rite of Sending-off-the-Holy-Ones marks the final Buddha function at the closing of the Waterland Dharma Ritual. Performances of the Dragon’s Dance, the Band of Drum Beats, and the Lion’s Dance were in the lead of the ceremonial parade. With incense sticks, flowers, lamps, and banners as offerings in their hands, participating LJM followers chanted the names of Buddhas in utmost respect and gathered up in slow pace at the East entrance plaza, all the time visualizing that their ancestors leave sufferings for happiness, and that souls of all Six Destinies get to be reborn in the Pure Land of the West. With that, the 25th LJM Waterland Dharma Ritual came to a complete and successful closing.