马来西亚宏慈佛教会 新闻提要】二零二一年三月廿七日 | 清明思亲 慎终追远
【Malaysia Maha Karuna Buddhist Society NEWSFEED 】 27 March 2021 | Qing Ming Dhamma Services Honoring The Departed One
April 4th (Sunday) is the Qing Ming Festival. On this day of commemoration of the ancestors, many peoples choose to go tomb-sweeping and worship at temples to express their memory of their ancestors.
At the same time, the annual Qing Ming Prayer and Puja in various Buddhist and Taoist temples will soon be held. In fact, Tomb Sweeping Day have nothing to do with Buddhism, but because Han Buddhism values filial piety and has the habit of commemorate ancestors. After Buddhism was introduced to China, Buddhism has become a religion that values much filial piety. Repaying one’s parents is most consistent with traditional Chinese filial piety. Many Buddhists go to the monastery for worshiping and recite the sutras, praying for their ancestors to have better destination with this merit.
“Buddhism says that after a person passes away, there will be a next life, which leads to good karma and bad karma in this life and reincarnation in the six realms. Therefore, after a person passes away, we will have the rest of our lives in the next life, and our remembrance of our ancestors is not purely a commemoration, but also to do good for the ancestors. Through filial piety, the merits of chanting, cultivating blessings, giving, and offering to the Buddha and Sangha will be returned to the ancestors, hoping that the ancestors can plant the roots of goodness, reborn in the perfect way. It will be brighter and a more beautiful future life.
For ourselves, in addition to expressing our gratitude to the departed relatives, we can also have bonding with sentient beings. Therefore, at the Qing Ming Festival, everyone will perform meritorious deeds in the name of the ancestors, which means that they hope that the ancestors can have a better future through the chanting of the venerable monks and the blessing of the Three Jewels. Based on the blessing power of the Three Jewels and the virtues of the Sangha’s precept and practice, we wish to pray for the prolonged longevity of our relatives in the present; or to dedicate to our ancestors, to reach a good destination, to plant good roots, to be freed from suffering and be blessed with ultimate happiness. Performing merits for the departed relatives in different ways is like sending a blessing, a greetings, or a gift in a different location. There are not too many blessings, thoughts or gifts, moreover it is planting good seeds and performing meritorious deeds.
The Ching Ming Festival is a festival to commemorate the ancestors. The Buddhist ceremonies held pujas to achieve the public’s will to fulfil filial piety. On the contrary, it is also the support of the public that makes the Qing Ming prayers & puja well organised and performed. One person participates in the puja with a small amount of energy, with the wholesome thoughts. Every good destiny has its own merit. Many Buddhist disciples will participate in the Qing Ming Prayer and Puja to dedicate merit to the past teachers and bless the deceased parents. The purpose is to accumulate more blessings for ancestors and make more benevolent bonds. For decades, it has been continued.
However, this year Qing Ming encountered the pneumonia epidemic. In response to the government’s call to reduce crowd gathering and social contact, the Malaysia Maha Karuna Buddhist Society did not hold any ground prayer ceremony for the purpose. The great monk, Chief Rev B. Sri Saranankara Maha Thero is compassionate to let the voluntary administrator team receive and sort out the name list from public, for sutras recitation and merit transference to the ancestors of the devotees. It is especially to let the devotees have no regrets, for those who live far away that not able to go to the temple for meritorious deeds in the name of the departed one or those unable to visit the graves.
Even so, devotees can still practice together through the network on the afternoon of April 11, 2021, chant sutras and reciting the sutras at home, and perform the final merits transference to the departed relatives under the guidance of the Chief Reverend B.Sri Saranankara.
The Malaysia Maha Karuna Buddhist Society hopes that during this epidemic, Buddhist disciples can express filial piety and commemorate their ancestors, and while doing good deeds for the ancestors, the the living sentient beings live in peace. Both are benefited.