Vesak Celebration Sermon 浴佛法會開示
Date: May 8th, 2022
Place: Cham Shan Temple (7254 Bayview Ave., Thornhill Ont.)
Event: Vesak Celebration for Buddha Sakyamuni’s Birthday
“Today is the Vesak celebration, where we bathe the baby Buddha as a Buddhist tradition. This action symbolizes the purification of our body and mind with the pure, sacred water originated from Buddhas and bodhisattvas from all directions.
At the same time, we are grateful to our teacher, Buddha Sakyamuni, who was born over two thousand years ago in this world. He appeared to transform sentient beings in order to end their sufferings and attain blissfulness. Upon the vast teachings of the Buddha, there are three main doctrines that one should keep closely in mind.“
1) When the Buddha attained enlightenment, he proclaimed, “How Wonderful and Exceptional! All sentient beings have the same potentiality, wisdom and virtues as the Tathagata, but have not attained Buddhahood due to erroneous attachments to the illusory.”
This is an illustration of the non-differentiation between the Mind, the Buddha, and sentient beings. All sentient beings are equal in essence; therefore, we should regard everyone with equity, gratefulness, and respect without exception.
2) It is said that immediately after baby Gautama’s birth, he uttered: ”I am the chief of the world. Eldest in the world.” The “I” referred here is not the egoistic self, but the intrinsic nature that all sentient beings pose. As we recognize the preciousness of our intrinsic Buddha nature, we should refrain from the action of killing, including suicide and harming other living beings. Through diligent practice, one can also attain enlightenment and Buddhahood.
3) After the Buddha entered Parinirvana, as Buddhist disciples, we are to “Regard the Precepts as our Teacher”.
As Buddhist disciples, we are grateful to the Buddha and shall keep these three significance doctrines close to our hearts. The first doctrine illustrates that all sentient beings have the intrinsic Buddha nature. The second doctrine points out the importance of life and the third saying reminds us that we should practice according to the teachings of the Buddha in order to attain enlightenment!”
Way of Practice 修行方法:
“I encourage everyone to learn from Mahayana scriptures frequently. If you are too busy, at least selectively read a sutra, chant a mantra, or even invocates a single Buddha’s name. The chanting of the short “Heart Sutra” is also highly recommended as it is the core essence of the human and deity, sravaka, pratyekabuddha, bodhisattva, and Buddha realms of teachings.
On the other hand, the “Mantra of Great Compassion” is also highly recommended. It is the manifestation of the great compassion and kindness of Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara. This powerful mantra can facilitate us towards the path of awakening.
The invocation of the name of Amitabha Buddha is also an important way of practice. As the enlightenment all Buddhas are equal and indifference, invocating one Buddha’s name is equivalent to chanting the names of all Buddhas. The Buddha’s doctrine of “All in One and One in All” demonstrates that by reciting one particular sutra, mantra or Buddha’s name, all practices are simultaneously cultivated.
The teaching from Venerable Dayi is most beneficiary to the attendees of this celebration. One should focus to practice with a sutra, mantra, or a Buddha’s name diligently and the benefits of practice will come in time.