Precepts for the Deceased at the Ling Jiou Mountain Water, Land and Air Dharma Ritual sees added Memorial Tablets with Names of the Departed for Good Cause
The 25th Water, Land and Air Dharma Ritual of Ling Jiou Mountain (LJM) is an 8-day-7-night event, and the ‘Precepts for the Deceased’ was the focus of the Buddha function in the evening of August 13th dedicated to the dead of all ten directions. And the names of the fatalities at a Taipei Hospital inferno a few hours earlier were added right away for inclusion for the grand rites of liberation. Tens of thousands of LJM followers gathered up at the Taoyuan Arena to dedicate merit and virtue as a contribution to helping sentient beings of the netherworld leave their suffering. Dharma Master Hsin Tao presided over the ritual and led the audience in praying for the deceased and injured victims as well. New Taipei City mayor Eric CHU Li-Lun proceeded to the Inner Shrine for his prayer session and a pledge of a donation in the form of lighting up an oil lamp as an homage to the Buddha.
The Precepts for the Deceased is a very important Buddha function of the Waterland Dharm Ritual(Shuilu Mahapuja). High ranking monks are usually entrusted with direct charges of Dharma practice of bearing the precepts on behalf of the deceased of all Six Destinies for them to be spared of the malicious karma committed by action (body), speech (mouth), and thought (mind) to rise above the karmic cycles. The LJM Waterland Dharma Ritual has its core and base in Taiwan, and the power of its liberation rites perceived and believed to be global. It has become a firmly established tradition for the LJM Waterland Dharma Ritual to always have additional memorial tablets with names of the departed for a good cause to accommodate the souls of the deceased of major disasters of the year. Such as Taiwan’s mega-quake, the 911 tragedy of New York, the tsunami that devastated many cities in Asia, and war victims, etc., so that the deceased can leave their suffering and beget happiness, and as a humble contribution of LJM’s to world peace.
The LJM Founding Abbot, Dharma Master Hsin Tao, said that the Precepts for the Deceased provides a good opportunity to pay for your filial piety, settle karmic wrongs and entanglement while transforming the life energy. It is hoped that by virtue of the precepts of purification that all sentient beings, dead and alive, would be empowered to transform their hearts’ worries and fixations and therethrough enhance the positive cycle. The general public would be best advised to arrive early for the Precepts for the Deceased to dedicate the merit and virtue for the filial piety, to settle karmic scores of wrong-doing and entanglement, while benefiting from the transformation of the life energy that positively impacts the karma of ourselves, of the families, as well as of the businesses by bearing the precepts on behalf of the dead.
The ritual was set to begin at 6:30 in the evening and from 5 PM onward government officials, social influencers and local dignitaries began to arrive in groups. Guests of honor include New Taipei City Mayor Eric CHU Li-Lun, New Taipei City Civic Bureau Chief CHIANG Jun-Ting, Legislator WU Jih-Yang, Congressman CHEN Shueh-Sheng, Taoyuan Association of Care for Volunteers Chairperson YANG Li-Huan, among other VIPs. The guests then proceeded to the Inner Shrine to join tens of thousands of LJM followers in praying for harmony and compassion for the people, for the safety of the Earth, for a world without calamities, and for the people of Taiwan to enjoy peace and prosperity.
In his congratulatory remarks, New Taipei City Mayor Eric CHU Li-Lun said that throughout his political career he has been attending the annual LJM Waterland Dharma Ritual for 17 consecutive years - 8 years as the Taoyuan County Administrator and now as the New Taipei City Major. The devastating fire that caused the tragedy at the Taipei Hospital saddened us all, and the fact that Dharma Master Hsin Tao immediately instructed to have extra memorial tablets with names of the fire victims added for inclusion into the LJM Waterland Dharma Ritual is most sincerely appreciated. We appreciate furthermore that LJM is well-known for its religious tolerance and its unfailing commitment to helping change the society for the better. It is hoped that with the blessings and power of vows of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, and with the guidance of Dharma Master Hsin Tao, that calamities and disasters will be relieved, and that people will navigate through them all safely.
Dharma Master Hsin Tao said that the Precepts for the Deceased marks an important point in time for us to bear the precepts of the Bodhisattvas on behalf of the souls of all Six Destinies. The famous quote that ‘the light of a lamp can break up the millenium-old darkness, and a spark of wisdom can do away with age-old ignorance’ sheds light on why the precepts are our protection and that they are the basics in learning the Buddha’s teachings. Only when we are able to accept precepts and practice corresponding conduct thus prescribed respectively, can we attain merits and virtues of the precepts, and from there to connect to Buddhas and Bodhisattvas to help liberate sentient beings entrapped by their own worries and regrets, so that they ultimately become capable of a new life with positive karmic cycles.
Dharma Master Hsin Tao further encouraged the participants about the Precepts for the Deceased regarding its process. One ought to start from having confidence in taking refuge to the Triple Treasures that are the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha. We then repent our karmic obstacles and make effort for the heart to return to its spiritual origin. The vow of Bodhicitta to learn the Way of Buddhas to liberate sentient beings will then be pledged to bear and conduct this extraordinary Dharma system.
Once the precepts will have been taken upon oneself, one is constantly reminded to always do good deeds and garner merits in the physical outer realm, while realizing that enlightenment can be achieved by the Essence of Mind and the True-Self in the spiritual inner world. Our external practice and internal learning take turns continually in becoming more advanced in the direction of attaining Buddhahood that is both absolute and perfect.
New Taipei City Civic Bureau Chief CHIANG Jun-Ting pointed out that the LJM Buddhist Society has always been popularly regarded and officially evaluated as a role model for religious groups and plays a key role in providing spiritual guidance as well as social welfare. A case in point is the fact that the annual LJM Waterland Dharma Ritual always appropriate resources to minority groups in need. Such giving is reflective of the Buddhist spirit of offering alms. It is both a contribution to the enhancement of humanitarian care and a materialization of the spirit of what the Waterland Dharma Ritual is all about. Chiang further called out to the general public and reminded everyone to avail him and herself of the opportunity to come and learn about Guan Yin’s great compassion to help and liberate all sentient beings in stress throughout the duration of the Dharma Ritual August 8 through August 15.