China Buddhist Association celebrates Buddha Day in Beijing

- through Henry Oudin

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Bathing the Buddha at Guangji Temple, Beijing. From China Daily

May 15 marked Buddha Day this year in several parts of the world, such as Bangladesh, Vietnam, South Korea, China and HKSAR. In China, this holy day was commemorated by the Buddhist Association of China. The celebrations took place at the Association's headquarters, Guangji Temple, Beijing.

Buddha Day, also known as Buddha's Birthday, Buddha Jayanti, Buddha Purnima and many others, marks the birth of Siddhartha Gautama, marking the formal and idealized beginning of the Buddha's era on planet Earth . In South and Southeast Asia, Buddha Day is commemorated as part of Vesak, which covers the Buddha's Nirvana under the Bodhi tree at Bodh Gaya and his passing away at Kushinagar. But in China and much of East Asia, Buddha Day is celebrated separately from the Buddha's enlightenment and Parinirvana.

On X, formerly Twitter, public platform World Time shared a photo gallery of the event, stating that the National Administration of Religious Affairs sent a congratulatory letter to the Buddhist community across the country on the 15th. “Representatives of the three major systems of Chinese Buddhism, Tibetan Buddhism and Southern Buddhism, as well as diplomats from various countries, attended the event to celebrate Buddha's birthday. » (X)

Image of World Time

Amid the celebrations, the ambassadors and envoys participated in a delightful bathing ceremony for an image of the infant Buddha in the Nahavira Hall of Guangji Temple. (China Daily) This popular practice (yeah 浴佛) of East Asian Buddhism is drawn from apocryphal scriptural sources and celebrates the mythical showering of the newborn Siddhartha with water scented by nine dragons.

In its letter, the National Administration of Religious Affairs stressed that Buddhist communities in China "should respect and promote the beautiful tradition of patriotism, advance the Sinicization of Buddhism in China, and better integrate Buddhism into socialist society." (China Daily)

Fri. Yanjue, president of the Association, told the assembled delegates that over the past centuries, generation after generation of Buddhist disciples had communicated the Buddha's spirit of compassion and wisdom. Buddhists have played a role in "building bridges of friendship, mutual respect and common development between people of different countries, thereby contributing to world peace." (China Daily)

Fri. Yanjue also said in his speech that in the face of global changes and challenges unseen in a century, "the Buddhist community nationwide should carry forward the beautiful traditions of Buddhism, unite and strive for the country's prosperity, peace and global tranquility, and relief from suffering for all beings. (China Daily)

Image of World Time

Earlier in March, at the annual conference of the Boao Forum for Asia, Ven. Yanjue praised the role of Chinese Buddhism in the broader story of the dissemination of the Dharma. He stated that Chinese Buddhists had embodied the original intention (Yesyuan yi 原意) of the Buddha and "inherited the essence of Buddhism" through "large-scale translation of scriptures, elucidation of Buddhist thought, establishment of sects, institutional innovation and cultural integration" . (Hindustan time) The influence of Buddhism as it developed in China also helped shape the spiritual trajectories of other Asian empires and countries, notably Japan and South Korea. In addition to the spread of Buddhism, Chinese Buddhist monks and leaders "enhanced the compatibility of Buddhism with the cultures, civilizations, societies, and peoples of East Asia." (Hindustan time)

Founded on May 30, 1953, the Buddhist Association of China is the official supervisory organization of Buddhists in the People's Republic of China. Since 2018, it has been under the National Administration of Religious Affairs, also known as the United Labor Front. Although it was largely ruled by monks over the years, its most famous and perhaps most influential leader was the powerful Buddhist layman and calligrapher Zhao Puchu (1907–2000).

See more

Buddha's birthday commemorated in Beijing (China Daily)
Buddha's birthday celebrated in Beijing (World Time)
China has played a "central role" in promoting Buddhism globally: a prominent Chinese Buddhist monk (Hindustan time)

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The article China Buddhist Association celebrates Buddha Day in Beijing appeared first on Buddhadoor Global.

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Henry Oudin

Henry Oudin is a Buddhist scholar, spiritual adventurer and journalist. He is a passionate seeker of the depths of Buddhist wisdom, and travels regularly to learn more about Buddhism and spiritual cultures. By sharing his knowledge and life experiences on Buddhist News, Henry hopes to inspire others to embrace more spiritual and mindful ways of living.

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