The Buddha’s Birthday Celebration At Hoa Phuc Pagoda - Hanoi

Update: 14/05/2017
When the summer wind started blowing, the lotus flowers in lagoons have gradually opened, signaling another upcoming Buddha"s birthday season. More than two thousand years ago, Bodhisattva Siddhartha appeared in Saha, bringing along the light of Mercy - Wisdom that covered the whole world, illuminating darkness and eradicating stupidity among all kinds of living creatures. He stepped down to the Earth, the precious heels being lifted by seven golden lotus flowers which have pervaded fragrance for the past several thousands of years and will do that for another several thousands of years later.

The Buddha’s Birthday Celebration At Hoa Phuc Pagoda - Hanoi


In the joy of the Buddhists all over the world, April 18th, year of the Rooster (or 13-05-2017), Hoa Phuc Pagoda, a small pagoda located on the mountain region of Doai territory in Hoa Truc Village, Hoa Thach Commune, Quoc Oai District, Hanoi, solemnly held the Buddha's birthday ceremony (year 2561 in Buddhist Calendar and 2017 as Solar Year) for more than three thousand Buddhists everywhere to gather to attend.

The honored attendants serving as witnesses at the ceremony were as followed: Reverend Thich Tam Kinh - Head of Tay Khanh Pagoda; Reverend Thich Tam Hoa - Head of Hoa Phuc Pagoda, Head of the organization board together with the monks from Hoa Phuc Pagoda.

On the side of representatives and guests areDr. Pham Tat Thang - Vice President of the Council Committee of Culture, Education, Youth, Teenagers and Children; Mr. Nguyen Dinh Son - Representative of Head Department of Taxation - Ministry of Finance; Mr. Vu Viet Anh - Vice President of Vietnam Private Association of Community Health Care Education.

On the side of authorities are Mr. Nguyen Dat Thuyen - Permanent Vice Secretary of District Party Committee, President of People's Council of Quoc Oai Distirct; Mrs. Le Thi Thu Ha - Member of the Standing Committee, Head of Public Relations Department of Quoc Oai District Party Committee; Mr. Nguyen Van Canh -Member of District Party Committee, Head of Labor - Invalids & Social Affairs of Quoc Oai District; Mr. Duong Nhu Suat, Mrs. Do Thi Quyen - Vice Presidents of Vietnamese Fatherland Front Committee of Quoc Oai District; Mr. Can Van Thanh - Party Member, Vice President of People's Committee of Hoa Thach Commune; Mr. Phung Van Linh - Party Member, President of Fatherland Front of Hoa Thach Commune together with department managers within the district and commune as participants.

Opening the great ceremony was an artistic Buddhist program with the topic called “Being Children of World's most Venerable” performed by Buddhist singers such as Chanh Hoang Phap; Tinh Hung; Tinh Trung and those coming from the Class of Filial Piety in Hoa Phuc Pagoda; the young Buddhist club in Phuc Yen Pagoda (Ba Vi); a Dance group at Hanoi Dancing College; Tuoi Than Tien dancer training center, etc. who were sincerely offering their performances to ShakyaMuni. Next is a flower offering performance on the occasion of the Buddha's birthday delivered by the young Buddhists of Hoa Phuc Pagoda.

At the great ceremony, Reverend Thich Tam Hoa sedately read 'A Speech on the Buddha's birthday' written by most Venerable monk - President of the Executive Board of the Vietnam Buddhist Council.

On behalf of the local authority, Mr. Can Van Thanh made a speech to praise the contributions of Buddhism to the nation as well as the laudable spirit of preaching right Dharma and educating human personalities along with the charity activities for the community's sake that the monks and Buddhists in Hoa Phuc Pagoda had done for the commune's residents.

On this occasion, Mr. Nguyen Dat Thuyen - Permanent Vice Secretary of District Party Committee, President of People's Council of Quoc Oai Distirct served as a representative of the Board of Directors in Quoc Oai District to give Certificate of Satisfactory Progress to Reverend Thich Tam Hoa for his immense effort put in the campaigns of the district's hunger eradication and poverty reduction for many past years.

In the sacred moment in the pervaded incense fragrance and the reconciliation of heaven and earth, the honored monks and contingents along with a large number of Buddhists gravely and restfully burned the incense, offered it on the occasion of the Buddha's birthday, carried out the traditional ritual "Bathing the Buddha" and released balloons, praying for a peaceful world, a thriving country and a blissful life of all living creatures.

The following program was Buddhism practice in the day of the great ceremony. That afternoon, participating Buddhists were able to exchange talks as well as to listen to the confidences about life and miracles of Buddhism in real life of Buddhist Hoang Thi Lan (Buddhist name: Lien Lan), the main character in the program called 'Buddhism saves my life episode 2' produced by Hoa Phuc Pagoda.

Buddhist Lien Lan is a retired kindergarten teacher with an extremely difficult living condition in which she had lived temporarily in an abandoned house area in the secondary school in Quoc Oai District. That was a house built with cement in the middle of the bleak field, without water, restroom, relatives and anything worthy. Buddhist Lien Lan used to undergo a painful period of time when she almost died of illness and from poverty. Karma kept on piling up. Due to her stupidity in the past, she used to be involved in gambling, killing, cutting, peeling skin, breaking legs, taking away life of more than 21900 chickens and geese throughout 6 years. As a result of those days lacking the light of Mercy - Wisdom, she had to suffer tormenting pains, physically and mentally, caused by sinusitis and arthritis. Many a time did she think about her ill fate, thus buy acid in the intention of killing herself but she failed. After that, thanks to the natural bond with Buddhism, she seemed to unbind the knots in her life. She started to realize how miraculous Buddhism is in her life and her relatives'.

Buddhist Lien Lan no longer wished for a large house of her own nor a happy well-off family. All that she wishes is being able to peacefully practice Buddhism in order to be born in the Pure Land.Thanks to the favor of the Buddhas, Dharma, monks and nuns as well as the support from the fellow practitioners, she has learned to rely on the Sutra and the sounds of the wooden bell, chanting Maha Karunika citta Dharani so as to perform penitence towards her evil doings. Everything has changed since she learned to employ the Buddha's name, employ the power of compassion and wisdom to control and convert the pains. She wishes to be able to divert all her cultivation merits to the living creatures she killed, wishing them to be born into good realms. She step by step forgot her physical pains while sinusitis has unexpectedly died away and arthritis has decreased considerably.

Before the end of the communication exchange, Buddhist Lien Lan offered a prayer before the Three Precious Ones in the form of a self-created song.

Commit myself to count on the Buddhas, Dharma, monks and nuns, follow the right path.
Commit myself to cleanse body and mind by practicing the Dharma, sticking to the commandments and wishes of virtuous mercy.
Commit myself to do what benefits living creatures.
Commit myself to go to the peaceful Pure Land.

The great ceremony of the Buddha's birthday (Year 2561 in Buddhist Calendar and 2017 as Solar Year) took place successfully and satisfactorily. On the occasion of ShakyaMuni's birthday, the monks and Buddhists in Hoa Phuc Pagoda simultaneously promised themselves to learn the good commitments of the Enlightened, to remain unstained in turmoil and live exaltedly like a bunch of pink lotus flowers that pervade the uncontaminated fragrance.

Below are recorded photographs:

Translated into English by Nguyen Minh Thuy Tien

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