Nanputuo Temple Held the Ceremony of the Rains Retreat (varṣa in Sanskrit) in the Year of Ji Hai

Information Sources: nanputuo Article author: admin release time: 2019/5/20 15:33:05

On May 20th, 2019 (the 16th day of the lunar calendar), Nanputuo Temple started the Rains Retreat (Varṣa in Sanskrit) in accordance with Vinaya and Dharma. Permanent resident monks of Nanputuo Temple and all the Venerables of the Male Buddhist Students Division of Buddhist College of Minnan held a ceremony at the Great Buddha’s Hall to start the Rains Retreat in summer and observe the 15-day Saṃghakarma (the Formal Acts of a monastic community).

The morning bell was long and the shimmer was first exposed. At 5 o'clock in the morning, Nanputuo Temple held a ceremony of the Rains Retreat. In the eulogy of stove incense, the Most Ven. Ze Wu (the Abbot of Nanputuo Temple) burned incense and worshiped the Buddha, and led the disciples to recite the vows of the Rains Retreat: "As the disciples to the Buddha, both following the Buddha and becoming a monk, we have vowed to become a monk. We exhaust our form and life to respect Dharma and support Buddhism. Be wholeheartedly committed to pray to the Buddha during 90 days of the Rains Retreat.” After that, all the Venerables and Buddhist monks conducted the rite of the Rains Retreat in the presence of the others, answered questions each other and narrated the matters of the Rains Retreat.

Due to the graduating classes of Buddhist College of Minnan are about to commence their graduation and visiting study and they will be away from the temple for more than 7 days. Therefore, after the end of the ceremony, the fifteen-day Saṃghakarma ceremony will be carried out immediately.

After the ceremony, the Most Ven. Ze Wu preached: "During the period of the Rains Retreat, regardless of permanent residences, Venerables or Buddhist students of Buddhist College of Minnan, you must adjust your body, take care of your body and mind, abandon the outside cause and conditions, clean up distractions, and precipitate yourself. Over the next three months, the temple will try its best to reduce unnecessary activities and increase homework during the period of the Rains Retreat. Please plan your time, study and practice in a planned way, discuss more Buddhism, preaching sites, sentient beings and practice, and exchange more learning experiences. After becoming a monk for a long time, everyone should not forget one’s initial mind, following the way of enlightenment attentively and practice diligently. I wish everyone a growth in the way of enlightenment in the next three months. ”

Subsequently, Venerables and Buddhist students from Nanputuo Temple and the Male Buddhist students Division of Buddhist College of Minnan, sang, recited and prayed sincerely of transferring merit for -- the attainment of enlightenment, the progress in studying the teachings of the Buddha, the world peace, the peace and prosperity of the country and the people, and the fulfillment of all the wishes of sentient beings.

On the morning of the same day, all the Venerables and Buddhist students of the Female Buddhist Students Division of Buddhist College of Minnan solemnly held a ceremony of the Rains Retreat in summer in the Zizhulin Nunnery in accordance with the Buddhist procedure.

Sweet Dew Temple under the Nanputuo Temple also held a ceremony of the Rains Retreat in summer on the same day. The ceremony was solemnly completed in accordance with the Vinaya and Dharma.

On the previous day, 22 nuns (bhikṣuṇī) from 11 preaching places, including Xiamen Zizhulin Nunnery, Wanshilian Nunnery, Jinming Nunnery, Jinzhu Nunnery, Qiming Nunnery, Qingfu Nunnery, Miaofalin Nunnery, Jinglian Nunnery, Wanfu Nunnery, DongpingshanYuantong Nunnery, Jinghui Nunnery, representing their respective nunnery, came to the Nanputuo Temple to invite the Most Ven. Ze Wu (Abbot) as their Vinaya teacher during the period of the Rains Retreat in summer.  The Most Ven. Ze Wu encouraged all monks (bhikṣu) and nuns (bhikṣuṇī) to take care of their body and mind, to be diligent in practicing the Way, to take precepts as a teacher, and to be cautious instead of relaxation.

The Rains Retreat in summer, also called Xia Anju, Yu Anju, Jie Xia, Zuo La, and JiuxunJinzu in Chinese, is an important Saṃgha system. In the time of the Buddha, the summer rain period of India lasted for three months and was also the peak period for the reproduction of vegetation and insects. It was easy to injure the people, living beings, creature, etc., by mistake when they went out. Therefore, in order to prevent monks from going out and living together, the Buddha set 16th of April to 15th of July as the period of the Rains Retreat, featuring concentrated practice and not going out for no reason. The first day of the Rains Retreat is called the commencement of summer the Rains Retreat and the last day is called the end of summer the Rains Retreat, so it is called " The Rains Retreat in summer". When Buddha lived in the world, he would preach discourses and expound Dhamma during the Rains Retreat in summer. Many of the Buddhist teachings or discourses in the scripture were preached by the Buddha during this period, when disciples who lived together also exchanged their learning experiences.

Ninety days of the Rains Retreat, on the one hand, help to protect the sentient beings, and on the other hand, help to take care of the body and mind within a certain period of time, precipitate the self, and diligently practice the way of enlightenment, embodying the compassion and practice of Buddhism.(Text by Zhang Qiong and Chen Pengcheng; Picture by Lin Rui and ZhaiFengcai)

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