Covid-19: Tzu Chi Foundation launches Buddha bathing online session for devotees to perform Wesak Day ritual at home

Participants will be given a step-by-step guide of the virtual ceremony in the safety and comfort of their homes. — Picture courtesy of Tzu Chi Foundation
Participants will be given a step-by-step guide of the virtual ceremony in the safety and comfort of their homes. — Picture courtesy of Tzu Chi Foundation

PETALING JAYA, May 6 — The Tzu Chi Foundation has launched a web portal for Buddhists to perform the Wesak Day ritual of bathing the Buddha in the confines of their home via live telecast from Taiwan.

The Online Buddha Bathing website went live on May 1 as a response to the Covid-19 pandemic which has seen mass gatherings cancelled, the Taiwan-based relief organisation said in a press release.

Participants only have to click on the “Join the Ceremony” button and they will be given a step-by-step guide of the virtual ceremony which covers the Verses of Praise of the Buddha, “bathing the Buddha” ritual and prayers, and the Verses of Transference.

“Having a Buddha Bathing ceremony at home can be done in a simpler manner, what matters the most is to understand the meaning of the ritual and piously contemplate the purest of thought,” the release said.

“The celebration of the Buddha Day is not only a commemoration of the Buddha’s teaching, it is also a reminder to us to return to our innate Buddha nature.”

On top of paying respect to the Buddha and commemorating the Buddha’s teachings, participants can select a virtual scroll which contains words of wisdom from the Lotus Sutra and produce electronic blessing cards.

Devotees may also sign a pledge to adopt a plant-based diet which is beneficial for one’s health and reduces the millions of animals killed daily for food as an act of compassion.

Tzu Chi will also host an online Buddha bathing and prayer session at 7am on Sunday via Live Broadcast from Tzu-Chi Jing Si Hall in Hualien, Taiwan in conjunction with Buddha’s Day and Mother’s Day.

Devotees and their mothers will be led by the Jing Si Abode dharma masters to pray for the pandemic’s end and world peace.

Tzu Chi Kuala Lumpur and Selangor will also be hosting a virtual dharma learning session from 9am to 11am on Sunday.

Dharma masters will lead devotees to cite the Verses of Repentance and Verses of Prayers during the solemn prayer sessions where participants will express gratitude to the Buddha, their parents, health workers and government departments who have been working tirelessly in the wake of the pandemic.

In line with the Malaysian government’s Movement Control Order and the announcement by the Registry of Societies Malaysia, Tzu Chi Malaysia suspended all regular activities on March 18.

The foundation has since been live streaming spiritual sessions and daily online prayers which will continue until the pandemic ends.

Click here to join the live broadcast on a computer or mobile device.

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