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▶ Overseas temples celebrate the Buddha's Birthday (B.E. 2567) by attending various events and holding Dharma talks.
- Attend the Buddha Purnima hosted by the Indian Embassy in Washington, D.C. (May 5)
The Indian Embassy in Washington, D.C. celebrated the Buddha Purnima on the afternoon of May 5. Buddhist monastics, ambassadors, professors, and lay Buddhists from various Buddhist countries filled the embassy hall, which began with the offering of lamps and flowers.
"In Korea, the Buddha’s Birthday is a national holiday, when even non-Buddhists commemorate the arrival of the Buddha. Yeondeunghoe (the Lotus Lantern Festival) in particular is held yearly to celebrate Buddha's Birthday and is listed by UNESCO as an Intangible Cultural Heritage. It is an event that unites all Korean Buddhists by providing the experiences of the long-standing Buddhist cultural tradition,” said Ven. Seongak. “It also benefits our spiritual practice, as Yeondeungheo is an opportunity for the four-fold community to help society at large and promote the betterment of humanity.” He concluded his remark by saying, “A chair or desk has four legs. Just as a chair or desk cannot function if one of its legs is weak, we must be united."
"With a rich history of more than 2,500 years, Buddhism is a gift to humanity in many ways," said Indian Ambassador Taranjit Singh Sandhu in his remarks. "Practiced by people in more than 100 countries, Buddha’s teaching is universally recognized as the spiritual heritage of all humanity.”
"Through the Buddha Purnima events, we were able to share the Buddhist heritage of different countries and share the wisdom of different traditions," said Wangmo Dixey, the president of the International Buddhist Association of America (IBAA).
- The US Midwestern Chapter of the Jogye Order jointly hosts the Buddha’s Birthday celebration event
On May 13, the Midwestern Chapter of the Jogye Order held a joint Buddha’s Birthday ceremony at LA Tahlmahsa. Ven. Geumseon, the abbot of LA Tahlmahsa opened the ceremony by striking the Brahma bell, which was followed by taking refuge, chanting of the Heart Sutra, the choir's performance, and the ceremonial bathing of the baby Buddha. The second part of the event featured "Song of Faith" by Master Kim Jin-hee and "Song of Four Seasons" by Master Lee Kyeong-ju, and the Dharma talk was given by the abbot of the Beopwang-sa Temple, Ven. Hyun-il. It was noted that this year’s event was attended by Yang Yun-sung, the head of Won Buddhism, and Father Kim Yohan of the Episcopal Church, who delivered a congratulatory speech.
"The Buddha lighted the Dharma lamp of truth so that we sentient beings could come out of darkness," said Ven. Hyeonil in his Dharma talk. "May the Buddha’s blessing guide the sentient beings suffering from war and inequality to create a more loving and caring world. May compassion spread in all directions and may there be a world free of greed."
- Bohyun Buddha Temple & Zen Center, Dallas
Bohyun Buddha Temple & Zen Center in Texas, USA (Abbot: Ven. Jiam) celebrated the Buddha's birthday on the evening of May 27. This year’s event was joined by the venerables from Kalachakra Buddhist Meditation Temple, as well as the monastic and lay Buddhists from Taiwan’s Fo Guang Shan Monastery, demonstrating the solidarity of all Buddhist sanghas. The guests’ congratulatory remarks delivered in English were followed by the piano performance and the singing and chanting by Bohyunsa’s youth choir to mark the coming of the Buddha.
At the end of the ceremony, an award ceremony was held to recognize Bohyunsa congregation’s commitment to Buddhist faith and practice, and scholarships were handed out to four college-bound youths and a college freshman for their volunteer work. The young Buddhists who volunteered at the temple also received a special "Presidential Service Award Gold," which is unique to Bohyun Buddha Temple & Zen Center, and everyone had a splendid time.