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Lễ Mừng Đức Phật Ra Đời

Celebrating the Birth of The Buddha

The Tradition of Bathing The Buddha

The Sakyamuni Buddha was born in Lumbini Park, Kapilavatsu in Northern India on the 8th day of the fourth lunar month calendar or on the day of the full moon in May, western calendar. This is one of the most significant dates in the Buddhist religion, on which Buddhists all over the world celebrate the Buddha’s birthday by the tradition of bathing the little Buddha with fragrant water.

According to legend, when Prince Siddhatta (The Buddha) was born, nine heavenly dragons appeared and emitted the purest water to cleanse the newly born Prince. The baby Prince then walked seven steps, at each of which a lotus flower sprang from beneath his feet. With the right hand pointing towards the sky and the left towards the ground, He said, “Heaven above and earth beneath, I am the Honoured One, the One who liberates all who suffer in the Three Realms.”

The tradition of bathing The Little Buddha is a symbol of inner purification. It is believed that the act of bathing the Buddha can help with the purgation of our sins. A universal message is that: we can simply wash away the physical dirt on our bodies, but we can’t cleanse all the inner dirt of greed, anger and ignorance.

For the bathing ceremony the altar is arranged as a flower garden, representing the Garden of Lumbini . In following with the tradition, monks, nuns, and Buddhist believers use a special ladle to pour fragrant water steeped with special herbs or rose petals over the statue of the infant Buddha.

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Quan The Am
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Dai The Chi
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Introductions to the principle Bodhisattvas

Quan The Am

Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva – Quán Thế Âm Bồ Tát

Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva was the first disciple of the Buddha Amita in the Pure Land of the West. He is known as the ‘Buddha of Compassion’. The Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara embodies the compassion of all Buddhas. His name, in Sanskrit, means ‘Lord who looks down’, and is often translated as Observer of the Sounds of the World or Contemplator of Self-Mastery. In China and its sphere of cultural influence, Avalokiteśvara is depicted in a female form known as Guan Yin. She is commonly known as the Goddess of Mercy who, in the spirit of great compassion, vows to reach out for the salvation of all sentient beings. As the regarded of world’s sufferings, all sentient beings who call upon her name will be heard and be liberated from suffering. She had reached a state of utmost freedom without hindrance in respect of wisdom and actions. Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva is one of the most popular and important Bodhisattvas worshiped by Buddhists around the world.

Please click The Universal Door of Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva to learn more about the Bodhisattva, as Shakyamuni Buddha praised his great compassion and power.

Xin nhấn vào link Quán Thế Âm Bồ Tát để đọc bài tiếng Việt

Dai The Chi

Mahasthamaprapta Bodhisattva (Great Strength Bodhisattva) – Đại Thế Chí Bồ Tát

Mahasthamaprapta Bodhisattva was the second disciple of the Buddha Amita in the Land of Utmost Bliss. He is also called Boundless Light, because the light emanating from his entire body illuminates the worlds of the ten quarters, making them shine like purple-gold. This light can be seen by anyone who has a close karmic relationship with him. Even if one sees the light emanating from only one pore of his skin, one can perceive the pure and glorious lights of the innumerable Buddhas of the ten quarters. He has great power to illumine all beings with the light of wisdom in order to deliver them from the three evil realms. It is for this reason that he is also called Possessed of Great Power.
“The heavenly crown of this bodhisattva is adorned with five hundred jewelled lotus-flowers, each having five hundred jewelled pedestals. On each pedestal appear the pure and resplendent lands of the Buddhas in the ten quarters with all their boundless and glorious features.
“The mound on his head, shaped like a lotus-bud, has a jewelled vase in front. This is suffused with various lights which reveal all the activities of the Buddha. The rest of the characteristics of his body are exactly the same as Avalokiteshvara’s. When this bodhisattva walks, all the worlds in the ten quarters shake. Wherever the earth trembles, five hundred kotis of jewelled flowers appear, each as beautiful and brilliant as a flower in the Land of Utmost Bliss. When this bodhisattva sits down, all the seven-jewelled lands, from that of the Buddha Golden Light in the nadir to that of the Buddha King of Light in the zenith, tremble simultaneously.
(Excerpted from the Contemplation Sutra)

Xin nhấn vào link Đại Thế Chí Bồ Tát để đọc bài tiếng Việt

Tam Thanh

The Three Saints (Sages) of the West – Tây Phương Tam Thánh

This is the well-known depiction of the Buddha Amita (middle), the Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara (left of Amita Buddha), and the Bodhisattva Mahasthamaprapta (right of Amita Buddha). The Bodhisattvas assist the Buddha Amita in teaching the Dharma in the Western Pure Land.

Dia Tang Bo Tat

Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva (Earth Store Bodhisattva) – Địa Tạng Vương Bồ Tát

The Earth Store Bodhisattva is often referred to as the Bodhisattva of the Hell beings, because of his vow not to achieve Buddhahood until all Hells are emptied. Usually depicted as a monk with a nimbus (halo) around his shaved head, he carries a staff to force open the gates of Hell and a wish-fulfilling jewel to light up the darkness.

Please click The Earth Store Bodhisattva to learn more.

Xin nhấn vào link Kinh Địa Tạng Bồ Tát Bổn Nguyện (Audio) để nghe.

Gia Lam Bo Tat

Sangharama Bodhisattva – Già Lam Thánh Chúng Bồ Tát

Before becoming a Bodhisattva, Sangharama Bodhisattva was once a general under the warlord Liu Bei during the late Eastern Han Dynasty and Three Kingdoms era of China. His name was Guan Yu (Guan Gong). He played a significant role in the civil war that led to the collapse of the Han Dynasty and the establishment of the Kingdom of Shu, of which Liu Bei was the first emperor.

During his years as General under Liu Bei’s reign, General Guan Yu had fought many battles and defeated many great warriors during the Three Kingdoms era. Then, near the end of the Three Kingdoms period, General Guan Yu lost his battle due to a surprised attack by Lu Meng’s forces from the rear. He was captured and beheaded by Sun Quan, lord of the Wu Kingdom. His spirit roamed the land, crying “Give me back my head!” Thus he came to Yuquan Hill outside Dangyang County (present day city of Dangyang, Hubei), where he met the same monk who saved his life at the temple outside Sishui Pass many years ago during his journey to reunite with Liu Bei. The monk said to Guan Yu’s spirit, “Now you ask for your head, but from whom should Yan Liang, Wen Chou, the guardians of the five passes and many others ask for theirs?” The spirit was enlightened and dissipated. It henceforth often manifested itself around the hill and protected the people in nearby villages. A temple was then built by the people on the hill to worship him.

During the last decade of the 6th century, during the Sui Dynasty, a temple named Yuquan Temple was built. Accordingly, it was to the first reverence of the Yuquan Temple, the spirit of General Guan Yu manifested itself and requested entrance into Buddhism. One of the temple halls, named Sangharama Hall, is dedicated to General Guan Yu.

Because of his nobility, uprightness, integrity, loyalty and bravery, Sangharama Bodhisattva is widely regarded as the Guardian Bodhisattva of the Brave, Loyal and Righteous.

(Sangharama Bodhisattva’s historical legend can be read in details in the famous novel The Romance of the Three Kingdoms, which recounts a time of great distress and chaos of the Han Dynasty, 202 B.C)


More Bodhisattvas to be added.

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Introductions to the principle Buddhas

Phat Thich Ca

Shakyamuni Buddha – Đức Phật Thích Ca

Shakyamuni Buddha is the founder of Buddhism. He is generally called The Buddha. After 500 previous incarnations, Sakyamuni finally attained to the state of Bodhisattva, was born the son of Suddhodana, of the ksatriya caste, ruler of Kapilavastu. In search for truth, he left home, severely disciplining himself and became an ascetic. Finally at age of 35, under a bodhi tree, he realized that the way of release from the chain of rebirth and death lay not in asceticism but in moral purity through wisdom and compassion – the “middle way.” He founded his community on the basis of poverty, chastity, and insight or meditation, and it became known as Buddhism.

To see a short video animation of the birth, life, and death of Siddhartha Gautama, The Buddha, please click this link The Buddha

Phat A Di Da

Amita Buddha – Phật A Di Đà

Amita Buddha is the Buddha (Ruler) of the Western Land of Ultimate Bliss. He is also known as Amitabha Buddha (The Buddha of Infinite Light), and Amitayus Buddha (The Buddha of Infinite Life).

Please click The Visualization Sutra to learn more about the Amita Buddha and his Pure Land. This is an “actual manual of meditation” consisting of 16 visualizations taught by Shakyamuni Buddha, which, when perfected, will allow one to have a vision of Amitabha Buddha and his Pure Land in one’s present life.

The Hymn of the Buddha Amitabha

Amitabha’s body is the color of gold,
The splendor of his hallmarks has no peer.
The light of his brow shines round a hundred worlds,
Wide as the sea are his eyes pure and clear.
Shining in his brilliance by transformation
Are countless Bodhisattvas and infinite Buddhas.
His forty-eight vows will be our liberation,
In nine lotus-stages we reach the farthest shore.
Homage to the Buddha of the Western Pure Land,
Kind and Compassionate Amitabha.

(RH 137-138; UW 28 )

Kệ Tán Phật A Di Đà

A Di Đà Phật thân kim sắc.
Tướng hảo quang minh vô đẳng luân.

Bạch hào uyển chuyển ngũ tu di.
Hám mục trừng thanh tứ đại hải.
Quang trung hóa Phật vô số ức.
Hóa Bồ tát chúng diệc vô biên.
Tứ thập bát nguyện độ chúng sanh.
Cửu phẩm hàm linh đăng bỉ ngạn.

mô Tây phương Cực Lạc thế giới đại từ đại bi A Di Đà Phật.
(Trích Kinh A Di Đà)

Phat Duoc Su

Bhaisajyaguru Buddha (Medicine Master Buddha) – Phật Dược Sư

Bhaisajya-guru Buddha is the Buddha (Ruler) of the Eastern Pure Land. He is also known as the Healing Buddha. The Buddha holds a medicine pot in his left hand and shows the mudra of delivering an absence of fear (Semui). He surely does dispense healing medicines to cure illnesses.

Please click the Medicine Master Buddha Sutra to learn more. In this sutra, Shakyamuni Buddha spoke of and praised the Medicine Buddha and his Pure Land of the East.

Phat Di Lac

Maitreya Buddha (Happy Buddha)Phật Di Lặc

Maitreya is a bodhisattva who in the Buddhist tradition is to appear on Earth, achieve complete enlightenment, and teach the pure dharma. He will be the next Buddha after the Shakyamuni Buddha, predicted by The Buddha himself. According to scriptures the Maitreya Bodhisattva was born in Varanasi in southern India to a Brahman family. He received the teachings from the Shakyamuni Buddha who predicted that he would become the next Buddha. The Maitreya Bodhisattva then ascended to Tusita Heaven where he now teaches the Dharma to the Gods residing there. Tusita Heaven refers to a heaven of full knowledge and satisfaction, where no greed or worldly desires exist. The Gods there have perfect knowledge and do not need materials or external objects to be satisfied.

According to tradition, the Matireya Bodhisattva will return to the Earth 5 670 000 000 (5 trillion 670 billion) years after the death of the Shakyamuni Buddha. He will attain Buddhahood under the Naga-puspa (dragon-flower) tree in a lotus garden and will save all sentient beings with 3 Dharma Talks.

The Maitreya Bodhisattva represents a very important figure in Buddhism. It is believed that if one dilligently cultivates one’s virtues in this lifetime, one will be reborn into Tusita Heaven where he/she will meet the Maitreya Bodhisattva. Furthermore , he/she will also be present at the Maitreya Bodhisattva’s first Dharma Talk after his enlightenment and attain enlightenment himself.

These are the 4 popular and well-known Buddhas worshiped by Buddhists around the world. Next topic will be about the well-known Bodhisattvas.