Expressing Gratitude on the Buddha’s Birthday and Creating Blessings in the World

National Headquarters  |  June 30, 2023

Teachings by Dharma Master Cheng Yen
Translated by Dharma as Water Dev. Dept, Tzu Chi USA

Let us pray and together, express our gratitude. Let us express our  gratitude to Sakyamuni Buddha, one who was born into this world  2,500 years ago, engaged in spiritual practice, attained enlightenment,  and gave teachings to the world. 

The Buddha came to this world to teach and transform beings. He  hoped that everyone could live in peace and happiness, and that  there would be peace on earth. I am grateful that the Sangha took  the Buddha’s teachings to heart and put the teachings into practice  to transform sentient beings. Moreover, I am grateful that many  people can accept the Buddha Dharma. 

In addition to being grateful to the Buddha, we must also be grateful  to our parents. Today, we celebrate not only the Buddha’s birthday,  but also Mother’s Day. Let us appreciate our parents for giving birth to  us, nurturing us, raising us to be empathetic and understanding, and  helping us grow up safely. Furthermore, in addition to having gratitude  for our parents and teachers, let us also have gratitude for all sentient  beings. Creating a harmonious world requires people to eliminate their  ignorance, purify their hearts, and create blessings. 

As there are many things to be grateful for, we should constantly  express gratitude to one another, encourage one another, and work  together with unity. I hope that people from all walks of life can gather  the power of love and sincerely seek to bring purity to people’s hearts. 

The intrinsic nature of the Buddha has always been pure. The symbolic  act of bathing the Buddha serves as a reminder for us to return to our  own intrinsic nature. Everyone can attain Buddhahood, but we are still  called “unenlightened beings.” It is inevitable for us to have afflictions  and ignorance. Therefore, we should constantly seek to return to our  intrinsic nature. 

With the advancement of technology, the scenes of the celebration of  the Buddha’s birthday around the world were sent to me live via the  internet, one by one. I was deeply moved by what I saw! In Lumbini,  the birthplace of the Buddha, the Maya Devi Temple opened early in  the morning for Tzu Chi. A group of Bodhisattvas from Malaysia and  Singapore entered the Maya Devi Temple to pay respect to where  the Buddha had once been. Outside the temple, volunteers held a  ceremony in celebration of Buddha Day, and the dignified and solemn  atmosphere left me deeply touched; words cannot describe how I felt.  

The Buddha was born in this world so that we can receive the Buddha  Dharma and purify our hearts. I am grateful that in our ceremony in  Hualien, the heavenly Dharma protectors brought rain that moistened  the land and made all things flourish. The cool, refreshing rain is also  like the Dharma that nourishes sentient beings and brings harmony to  the world. As we celebrate the Buddha’s birthday, we must also pray  for peace in the world and harmony in people’s minds. Let us pray for  Great Love and wisdom to abide in this world eternally, and let us pray  that everyone can cultivate both blessings and wisdom in this world. 

The sincerity we feel should not only be present today. We should have  the same gratitude that we feel on the Buddha’s birthday everyday.  In order for love to spread widely throughout the world, everyone  should be in unity and harmony and love one another. Furthermore,  we need to work together and help each other. Creating a harmonious  and peaceful world is our common, sincere prayer. 

Compiled from Master Cheng Yen’s teachings from the Buddha Day Ceremony at Hualien  Jing Si Hall on May 14, 2023 and from the Morning Volunteer Assembly on May 13, 2023

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