Buddha Day, Mother’s Day and Tzu Chi Day
In gratitude to Buddha, our parents, and all sentient beings
The Buddha Day in 2021 may be celebrated differently due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, what remains unchanged is the commemoration of the birth of Buddha which reminds us that it is a rare opportunity to be born a human. As Buddhists, we should be humble in accepting the teachings of Buddha, believe that all beings have the same Buddha nature, and serve others while we cultivate spiritually to purify our own mind.
With no end in sight, the COVID-19 pandemic is still causing disruptions and posing health threats around the world. At times like these, it is even more necessary for everyone to adopt a vegetarian diet to gather kind thoughts. On 9 May 2021, Tzu Chi volunteers around the world celebrated Buddha Day on the same day to pray for peace and early elimination of the pandemic.
We welcome you to join Tzu Chi’s Online Buddha Bathing Ceremony.
Learn the Great Lessons of Our Time and Benefit All Beings
Be Kind and Do Good to Bring Harmony to the World
The current pandemic has sent people around the world in panic and placed the vulnerable groups in the society in an even more critical position. Deeply worried by the situation, Master Cheng Yen quoted the Buddhist scriptures that provided the ultimate remedy to ward off the pandemic, and that is for everyone to repent collectively.
With a global population that has reached a staggering 7.9 billion, more than 220 million animals are slaughtered every day for meat consumption. The karma that is brought about by such killings has been accumulated over time. Therefore, the best way to repent and vow is for everyone to cut down on killing and show respect to all living beings by adopting a plant-based diet.
Master Cheng Yen believes that the earth does not belong solely to mankind, it is the home to all other living things as well. Hence, the virus has its place in this world too. People must learn to live in harmony with viruses by keeping a safe distance from them to prevent the viruses from becoming harmful to mankind. And life will be restored if everyone is united in praying sincerely and going meatless.
In the face of a major catastrophe, Master Cheng Yen aspires to convince everyone to change their mindset and learn from this lesson of a lifetime.
The birth of the Enlightened One
More than 2,500 years ago, there once lived a great teacher who came to this world with a great purpose. After attaining enlightenment under the Bodhi tree, he expounded the dharma to the living beings across both sides of the Ganges River for 49 years.
The life story of Buddha is how Buddha demonstrated to us the way he attained universal truth, and with that, he pointed out the way towards enlightenment to all beings.
The word “Buddha” means “the Enlightened One”, whom the founder of Tzu Chi, Master Cheng Yen respectfully addresses as “Great Enlightened One of the Universe”.
Click here to find out more about the story of Buddha:
Global 3-in-1 Celebrations
Tzu Chi celebrates Buddha Day, Mother’s Day and Tzu Chi Day together on the second Sunday of May each year.
Tzu Chi Foundation was founded on the 24th of the third month of the lunar calendar. In the past, Tzu Chi volunteers would return to Taiwan to celebrate Tzu Chi’s anniversary on this day each year. As the organisation grew internationally, Master Cheng Yen designated the second Sunday of May each year (also Mother’s Day) as Tzu Chi Day. Since then, volunteers return to Taiwan for the celebration based on the Gregorian calendar.
Subsequently, Taiwan’s government fixed the Buddha Bathing ceremony on the same day, and from Year 2000 onwards, Tzu Chi Taiwan began celebrating Buddha Day, Mother’s Day and Tzu Chi Day together on the same date.
Since 2006, global Tzu Chi offices have been holding Buddha Bathing ceremonies on this day, so as to raise the profile of Buddhism internationally and to encourage devotees to show gratitude to the Buddha, their parents as well as all sentient beings.
How to pay respect to Buddha online？
On Buddha’s Day, Tzu Chi volunteers from different parts of the world pay respect to Buddha in their own ways.
In Africa, volunteers use coconut shells as bowls and mango leaves for decoration.
In Philippines, paper cups are used as lamp holders for the candle.
In Taiwan, lotus lamps are hand-made using plastic bottles to reduce wastage.
You are welcome to participate this year’s Buddha Bathing ceremony online. Prior to that, you may wish to prepare a simple altar at home for a simple yet solemn Buddha Bathing ritual.
one whole day
Wear your Tzu Chi uniform
or any tidy attire
Do a foot bathing session for your parents after the ceremony (optional)
Fill the soup bowl with water and cleanse your mind with the water.
Light up the lamp and ignite your innate nature with the light.
Sit in front of the Buddha image and feel Buddha’s grace through the image.
As Buddha is already pure and enlightened, “bathing the Buddha” is a ritual done by sentient beings like us to symbolically purify our hearts. The celebration of Buddha Day is not only a commemoration of Buddha’s teaching, but also a reminder to us to return to our innate Buddha nature.
Having a Buddha Bathing ceremony at home can be done in a simpler manner, what matters the most is to understand the meaning of the ritual and piously contemplate the purest of thought.
We wish to invite you and your family to pay respect to Buddha at your home. All you need to do is to face the Buddha Bathing altar at home and follow the instruction of the emcee.
Simple steps to pray to Buddha:
Pay Respect to Buddha
Put your palms together and bow to Buddha
Piously uphold the precept
Put your palms together and bow to Buddha
Blessings & Well-wishes
End of ritual, step away from the altar to let the next person pay respect to Buddha.