Sunday, 13 May, was the birthday of Buddha and the Tzu Chi Foundation. It was also Mother’s Day. To mark this important anniversary, the Foundation held at least 314 ceremonies in 34 countries and regions around the world.
It was in 1996, its 30th anniversary, that Tzu Chi Foundation designated the second Sunday in May as its Global Tzu Chi Day. In 2000, the government of Taiwan designated the same day as the ROC’s official birthday of Shakyamuni Buddha.
The first of this year’s Buddha Day ceremonies to commemorate Buddha Day, Mothers’ Day and Global Tzu Chi Day was held in Hualien, the home of Tzu Chi, starting at 7am on Sunday, 13 May. The sky had finally cleared up that morning after days of rain.
In a symbolic representation of Buddha’s dharma, a total of 3648 participants from all walks of life, including police officers, bank and hotel employees, Tzu Chi Foundation staff and volunteers stood in several bodhi leaf and dharma vessel formations, singing in perfect unison to send their prayers to the Heavens.
The ceremony was led by Tzu Chi’s founder Master Cheng Yen and her monastic disciples, while in attendance were over 4000 Tzu Chi staff and volunteers, students of its affiliated schools, as well as people from the public and private sectors.
Master Cheng Yen gave her blessings to all in present, “Today, Tzu Chi volunteers across the world are united as one, to pray for peace for everyone and in every family, and for the purification of human hearts and the entire world.
“Today is a very special day. I wish peace and happiness to all mothers and hope everyone will show filial piety to their parents. I am very grateful to see so many people come to celebrate Buddha's Day with a sincere heart. May all minds be purified and may our world be free from disasters. Thank you all.”
Starting from Hualien, Tzu Chi’s Buddha Day celebration have took place in at least 34 countries and regions, including Singapore, bringing together an estimated 300,000 people in the collective prayer for peace and harmony on Earth.
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