, we celebrated the birthday of Sakyamuni Buddha who was born into this world more than 2,500 years ago. We did a Sakyamuni Buddha Practice under the guidance of Acho Rinpoche. After which, he wished us happiness and perseverance in our spiritual practice. He mentioned that the Mahayana Buddhism in China tends to celebrate the birthday of Sakyamuni Buddha on the 8th day of the 4th Lunar Month by conducting a “bath the buddha” ceremony. On the other hand, the rest of the schools of Buddhism tend to celebrate the birthday, enlightenment day and nirvana day (passing away) of Sakyamuni Buddha on the 15th day of the 4th Lunar Month by conducting the same ceremony.
Next, Acho Rinpoche continued to expound the Lotus Sutra and repeated the story of Bodhisattva King of Medicine who offered his bodies repeatedly to the Buddha by burning it with his enigmatic inner heat in his past lives. There were many monks in China in the last century who lost their hands and fingers as they emulated the great practice of the King of Medicine. Acho Rinpoche mentioned one of his late teachers, Venerable Da Xiong, who also often offered the various parts of his body to the Buddha through burning, thus leaving many scars all over his body.
Acho Rinpoche said that a person who reads any verse or sentence within the Lotus Sutra will accumulate inconceivable amount of merits greater than the size of Mt. Sumeru or a big ocean. Although our scientists deny the existence of Mt. Sumeru and even H.H Dalai Lama doubted its existence, Acho Rinpoche opined that when the scientists are unable to detect the existence of Mt. Sumeru using the current technologies, it does not necessarily mean that Mt. Sumeru does not exist. He thought that the scientists of quantum physics may be able to prove its existence in future.
Acho Rinpoche said that our recitation of the Lotus Sutra could help eradicate our anxieties and fulfil our wishes. Although Sakyamuni Buddha told his students that “you are a Buddha,” and that he prophesized their future attainment of Buddhahood, he was just planting the seed of faith in his students on their pursuit of Buddhahood. All his students must continue to work hard on their spiritual practice for a long period of time before they could attain the final state of enlightenment and become a true Buddha. We could tell from the Buddha titles prophesized by Skayamuni Buddha that none of them appeared in the list of one thousand Buddhas who had or have yet to appear in our current Auspicious Aeon. So, the students will only attain their Buddhahood after the appearance of the one thousand Buddhas in the current Auspicious Aeon. If the students failed in their practice, they will certainly fall into the Three Lower Realms too.
Lastly, Acho Rinpoche reminded us to study and practise “The 37 Stanzas on a Buddhist Conduct” with vigor. He mentioned Bodhisattva Belittling No One who regarded everyone as a Buddha, who truly respected everyone without pretension. Therefore, he advised us that in so far as we have chosen the right path of practice, we will certainly become a Buddha one day. Such is the quintessential teaching of the Lotus Sutra.
Finally, we ended our prayer by reciting the names of the Buddhas under the guidance of Acho Rinpoche and dedicated the merits to all sentient beings - may all sentient beings be happy, free of sufferings and attain enlightenment swiftly.
Reported by Sun Moon KFS on 22-May-2018 @Singapore