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Alms Offering Ceremony to 300 monks in Hangzhou

LY-Temple | 2013-05-18 | View: 1478

 

 17 May, 2013 (8 April according to the solunar calendar) was a lucky day, as it was the birthday of Śākyamuni, the original master. 70 venerables from Lingyin Temple participated in “World of Buddha in Southeast China (Hangzhou): Journey to Blessings and Wisdom”, a large charity event organized by Hangzhou Buddhist community. The event aimed to provide Buddhists a chance to relive the lifestyle of Bhiku, who roamed around living on alms at the time of the Buddha, and to raise funds for the earthquake-struck area in Ya’an, Sichuan Province. The launching ceremony of the Hangzhou Week of Religion and Charity took place on the same day. Guo Qingye, Head of the Municipal Bureau of Ethnic and Religious Affairs, attended the launching ceremony and delivered a speech.

    Moments of peace in Faxi Temple, Upper Sindhu before the possession

    Believers waiting in the drizzle

8:30am, lead by Venerable Guangquan, Lingyin Temple Abbot and Head of Hangzhou Buddhist Association, and by Venerables Dingben and Zhiyuan, Deputy Heads of the Hangzhou Buddhist Association, 320 monks from Lingyin Temple and other major temples in the city as well as from Hangzhou Buddhist Academy began the possession. In bamboo hats, kasaya and straw sandals,  the monks walk with their patras in a majesty and dignity. The monks started from Faxi Temple in Upper Sindhu, walked alongside Xindzhu Road, passed Fajing Chan Temple in Middle Sindhu and Fajing Preaching Temple in Shansindhu, and finally reached Lingyin Templed. During the possession, the monks walked slowly, begged for alms with their patras, and practice Buddhist spirit with their feet, demonstrating the public Buddhist mercy.

 

    Monks walking out from the depth of the mountain

   Venerable Guangquan and Head of the Municipal Buddhist Association receiving alms from believers 

    Planting the seed of Buddhist belief

The whole event lasted for approximately two hours. The monks were warmly welcomed by believers, who willingly gave alms as they wished. All funds raised during this event will be donated to public charity projects including those helping the earthquake-struck people from Ya’an, Sichuan Province, so as to spread the Buddhist mercy which “comes from benefactors and ends at the benefit of the society”.

    Walking towards downtown areas

 Venerables from Lingyin Temple receiving alms on their way

Bowing devotedly to Triratna 

    A blind believer with stick, with help from others, putting his alms into the patra

As the monks arrived at Lingyin Temple, they lined up themselves in front of Mahavira Hall and waited, with great respect, for the preaching from Venerable Guangquan, Head of the Municipal Buddhist Association.

 

    On the way back to Lingyin Temple

According to Venerable Guangquan, it has always been a tradition of Buddhism to contribute to the society and to the welfare of the general public. The alms-begging possession is an important event among the Hangzhou Buddhist community on their way towards building harmonious, culturally enriched temples. From now on, the Hangzhou Buddhist community would try to turn the alms-begging possession on the Buddha’s birthday to a regular charity event that takes place annually, so as to promote the steady development of Buddhist charities. Through organization of such events, Buddhist believers would be encouraged to practice Buddhist mercy in daily life, familiarize themselves with Triratna, and accumulate karma. Also, such charity events would spread Buddhist culture and display social commitment of the Buddhists, and thus contribute to the greatest extent to the realization of the Chinese dream, and the building of a harmonious society.

   Venerable Guangquan from Lingyin Temple, also the Head of the Municipal Buddhist Association, preaching during the event 

    Alms-begging venerables standing in line in front of Mahavira Hall, Lingyin Temple

At last, a large blessing ceremony was held in front of the Mahavira Hall, Lingyin Temple. Venerable Guangquan, Head of Municipal Buddhist Association, Venerables Dingben, Miaogao and Rongxing, Deputy Heads of the Municipal Buddhist Association, together with Venerable Jiyun, who is the Honourary Head of the Municipal Buddhist Association, co-lead the ceremony by chanting Buddhist sutras and praying for world peace, prosperity of the country, harmony of the society and welfare of the public.

   Venerable Guangquan and Venerable Jiyun attending the blessing ceremony 

In recent years, Lingyin Temple has made great effort to spread the mercy of the Buddha, and has been actively involved in Buddhist charities. The Temple gives awards for students and teaching staff in higher education, donates and helps underprivileged or natural disaster-struck people, distributes porridge and cakes, and participates in charity events such as the alms-begging possession. On 20 April of this year, Ya’an, Sichuan Province was severely struck by an earthquake which had lead to huge losses in lives and properties. In response, Lingyin Temple hosted the blessing ceremony to pray for the suffering compatriots, during which 60,000 RMB was raised. The Temple further donated 1 million RMB to the disaster-struck area.

    Launching ceremony of the Hangzhou Week of Religion and Charity

   Guo Qingye, Head of Municipal Bureau of Ethnic and Religious Affairs, speaking at the launching ceremony of the Hangzhou Week of Religion and Charity 

   Feng Yi, Vice President of Municipal Bureau of Ethnic and Religious Affairs, hosting the launching ceremony of the Hangzhou Week of Religion and Charity

By report, it was the fifth time that the Hangzhou Buddhist community organise such alm-begging possession since the first one in 2008. From 2009 to 2012, such events have attracted donations of more than 1.2 million RMB, which has been used for charity projects such as the building of primary schools in earthquake-struck areas in Sichuan Province, reconstruction of the earthquake-struck Yushu area in Qinghai Province, poverty alleviation programmes for ethnic minorities and financial support for underprivileged students. As before, funds raised this year will be donated in entirety to the reconstruction of the earthquake-struck Ya’an area.