Dharma Assembly of Gratitude II (DAG-II)
Vietnamese Buddhist Youth Association Worldwide (VBYAW)
BRIEF REPORT 1 – DAY ONE – October 26, 2018 (September 18, Mau Tuat lunar year):
- The ceremony of long banners raising (Lễ Hưng Tác Thượng Phan)
The ceremony of long banners raising for the assembly, which aimed to request all souls of the deceased to be present at the holy altars of the assembly, was organized at the yard of Phap Van pagoda. Three long banners of mountain-water-ground were raised in the three corners of the pagoda yard while pigeons from cages were released into the blue sky as manifestation of mercy from VBYA members for sentient beings. The ceremony was conducted by VBYAW leaders as main prayers and witnessed by the sangha present.
- The ceremony of official invitation of the sangha for dharma functions (Lễ Cung An Chức Sự)
The ceremony of officially inviting the sangha for dharma functions in the assembly was organized at 8 am at Phap Van praying hall. Senior Most Venerable Thich Minh Chieu, the Supreme President of Council of Senior Sangha and other senior most venerables in the council; Most Venerable Thich Phuoc Tri, Most Venerable Thich Minh Tam, who belong to Council of Education and Sila, were all present upon request for the holy service.
The main prayers prostrate in front of the altar included Dung rank leaders, namely Dharma Brothers Nguyen Tin Nguyen Chau, Nhu That Nguyen Cong Minh, Nguyen Hoanh Le Van San, Tam Tri Tu Do Minh, Nguyen Le Tran Cong Loc, Thi Loc Vo Van Mai, and Dharma Sister Dieu Lang Nguyen Thi Nguyet.
Dharma Brother Tam Kiem Bach Hoa Mai, the Dung rank leader of VBYAW, Deputy Head of the Steering Board of VBYAW, on behalf of the organizing committee of DAG-II, prostrated himself to the sangha present to respectfully report the readiness of assembly and request the sangha to mercifully witness the whole assembly and conduct all prayer services of the assembly. The prayer service that opened the ceremonies in the assembly by the sangha present was organized right after the ceremony of sangha invitation for the assembly, and conducted by Senior Most Venerable Thich Minh Chieu and the sangha present. The services of praying Ksitigarbha Sutra – the Earth-Store Bodhisattva’s Original Vows Sutra and chanting request addressed to the Lord of the Western Paradise for saving the souls of the deceased were successively organized after the ceremony.
- The Ceremony of Giving Dharma Talk to the Deceased – Clearing Unjust Charges and Evils for Souls Salvation (Lễ Thuyết pháp độ Linh – Giải oan Bạt dộ)
The ceremony of giving the dharma talk to the deceased – clearing unjust charges and evils for souls salvation was organized on the evening of the day in four hours from 6pm to 10 pm, at the prayer hall with participation of more than one hundred members of VBYA, many of whom held ancestral tablets of the deceased in front for the ceremony. The ceremony procedure started by a dharma talk by Senior Most Venerable Thich Minh Tam on the significance of the assembly and the current ceremony, and on how to gain optimal benefits on the part of all the deceased in this ceremony. Next, Senior Most Venerable Thich Phuoc Tri gave a dharma talk to deceased related to the significance and content of taking refuge in the Three Jewels namely the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha, and the benefits of finding the righteous path in their lives, of learning to love and understand, and of practicing mindfulness with the sangha respectively, and the implementation of the Three Cultivations of Pure Precepts (Tam Tụ Tình Giới), which include avoiding doing any evil doings, doing what is good, benefiting and saving all sentient beings. After the dharma talks, Venerable Thich Chuc Thong, Deputy Master of the prayer services, conducted the service of clearing unjust charges and evils for salvation for the souls of the deceased, which lasted for two hours.
(Reported by Nguyen Dung and the staff)
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