Great Merit Generated from Livestreaming of the Dripping Ceremony by Bhikkhus at the Theravada Altar of LJM Water-Land-Air Dharma Assembly 2021
Encompassing rituals of three vehicles in Buddhism- Theravada, Mahāyāna and Vajrayāna traditions- has always been a special feature of the Water-Land Dharma Assembly by the Ling Jiou Mountain Buddhist Society (LJM). In the face of a still lingering COVID-19 and political unrest in Myanmar, the signature LJM Water-Land Dharma Assembly event moved online for live streaming and digital sharing. From August 20 to 26, 11 Bhikkhus in Myanmar performed 6 Dripping Ceremonies for merits, and LJM followers around the world tuned in to partake in the Theravada gathering, and transferred the merits to benefit all sentient beings in the sound of chants in Burmese ‘Sadu! Sadu! Sadu!' full of Dharma delight to help participants accumulate virtuous feed for their spirituality.
Combination of Rituals Representing Three Buddhist Vehicles Signals Paradigm For Buddhist Dharma Functions
LJM Founding Abbot, Dharma Master Hsin Tao, possesses the triyana qualifications officially certified as follows -- the Linji school of Chan Buddhism for Mahayana, and receive Arahant percepts from Thathanabaing of Burma U Guo Tha Qla and the inheritance of the Katok Monastery of the Nyingma tradition for Vajrayana. Thus accordingly, the LJM Water-Land Dharma Assembly is a Triyana monastery with all three Buddhist traditions intact and present. The Inner and Outer shrines feature respectively the Emperor Wu of Liang Altar, the Avatamsaka Sutra Altar, the Medicine Buddha Altar, the Lotus Sutra Altar, the Surangama Sutra Altar, the Pure Land Altar, the Classic Scriptures Altar, augmented with the Arhat Altar for Theravada and the Tantric Altar for Vajrayana. All the three major Buddhist traditions are presently accessible to benefit everyone in learning Buddha’s teachings. Thus it can be said that LJM pioneered the tradition in promoting Buddhism the Triyana way.
It used to be the case that Burmese Bhikkhus would be invited to perform the Theravada practices at the LJM Water-Land Dharma Assembly. For its digital version 2021, four Theravada altars were set up in three places in Taipei, Yangon, and Mandalay for the Dharma event. A total of 11 Bhikkhus of Myanmar led by Ven. Bhaddanta Kumara, Dr. Bhaddanta PANDITAVARABHIVAMSA, and Ashin Kumuda, who is the Deputy Rector of the Buddhist Pariyatti Sasana University in Mandalay, were at hand for the live streaming of the rituals.
Dedicating Merit of Water-Dripping Ritual to All Sentient Beings
Ritual functions for the LJM Water-Land Dharma Assembly at the Theravada Altar began in the morning of August 20 and lasted for seven days. Digital sharing by the Bhikkhus’ reciting sutras and scriptures including the Patthana, the Karaniya Metta Sutta, the Maha Paritta, the Maha Mangala Sutta, the Ratana Sutta , and the Dhajagga Parittam continued to benefit all participants online.
‘Water droplets dripping into the sea to form an ocean of merit’ sums up the notion of the Dripping Ceremony. For the six rituals over the span of seven days, participating LJM masters and registered participants for in-person participating held a silver water kettle to slowly drip the water into a silver cup to symbolize the accumulation of virtues-cum-merits bit by bit over time to ultimately dedicate the merit to kins and sentient beings. During and throughout the entire duration, their compassion knew no boundaries for their bodhicitta to reach all corners of the world.
Besides reciting sutras and chanting mantras to share Buddha’s teachings, the Bhikkhus greeted virtual participants from Malaysia, China, Japan, Australia and Taiwan, recognizing their effort to transcend time and space for merits to be earned, accumulated, and dedicated.
COVID-19 PPEs And Other Relief Dispatched To Benefit Myanmar
The Theravada Altar of the LJM Water-Land Dharma Assembly reached completion of its mission on August 26, and the word came that the Rector of the State Pariyatti Sasana University at Mandalay, Dr.Bhaddanta PANDITAVARABHIVAMSA, passed away. Dharma Master Hsin Tao took to the Internet right away to offer condolences and share insights on guarding against the pandemic for self-preservation. Master Hsin Tao unveiled that more life-rescuing ventilators, TCM capsules for COVID-19 prevention and protection will be delivered to the two Pariyatti Sasana universities in Yangon and Mandalay, without failing to stress that facial masks be worn at all times for self-protection. The Master further asked Deputy Rector Ashin Kumuda to shoulder more than his fair share of the duty to educate the young in Buddhism.
Master Jing Nian, LJM residential Master serving as an instructor at the Theravada Altar, pointed out that Master Hsin Tao gave the instruction to pay posthumous tribute to the late Dr.Bhaddanta PANDITAVARABHIVAMSA with a candlelight vigil. All LJM masters would recite in full the Diamond Sutra for merit dedication, added Master Jing Nian. The Burmese Bhikkhus expressed gratitude to the LJM for the profound grace, while offering to stress the importance of the motto ‘To never neglect the duty of doing good in life’.