On 16 May 2010 early in the morning devotees and members of Cape TownMeditation Center began the annual ceremony of Bathing the Buddha. The well decorated pavilion for bathing the Buddha, the spotless environment, long noodles symbolizing longevity, offerings and a vegetarian lunch were all prepared by members of Cape Town BLIA’s Chapter. Nan Hua Temple Abbot, Venerable Hui Fang, was asked to lead the service which more than ninety people attended. Among them were the Taipei Liaison Office Cape Town branch Director Du Shen Guan, elder Shuai Su Zu and secretary Zhang, who were together with the congregation.
In his address, Venerable Hui Fang said, “When the Buddha was born in this world about 2600 years ago and said, “In the heavens and on earth I am supreme”, his aim was not to show his arrogance. In fact he was making the following four points:
1. To let all sentient beings understand that everyone is a single entity and unique. All are respected, and no one can take the place of another. Therefore regardless of poverty or wealth, everyone has to have self-respect and dignity and we should never look down on or abandon ourselves.
2. Sentient beings possess wisdom, virtues and have an appearance like that of the Buddha. Provided they are willing to rely on the Dharma in their practice, everyone like the Buddha can attain Buddhahood. Therefore everyone has to affirm his or herself.
3. Everyone relies on the provision of others’ material or spiritual resources for existence and to achieve the path of spiritual practice. This means that everyone in the world is directly or indirectly affected and likewise all our thoughts and conduct affect others. Therefore we have to purify/transform ourselves and benefit others so that we can create good/positive cycles.
4. Everyone possesses Buddha nature. With this equal position we have to let go of arrogance, enmity and loneliness and live together, so that we can create a harmonious and perfect world.
Cape Town BLIA chapter president Su Bao Quan thanked all members for their attendance, including Xiang Ji and friends. The event was concluded with everyone enjoying a delicious vegetarian meal.