Lighting a candle on New Year’s eve will enhance the light of our minds
Saturday, February 9 (Lunar New Year’s eve) – 8:00 PM ~
Our minds will be illuminated and
our ignorance will be destroyed by the Wisdom Light
when we light up lanterns and make offerings to the Buddha,
we gain the highest insights and enable us to attain supreme wisdom.
According to “Sutra of Merit and Virtue of Offering of Lamps”, it has various kinds of statements about the merit and virtue of offering lamps. If one offers lamps in front of a stupa or Buddha Hall, one will attain four kinds of joyous virtue; an adorned appearance, always being filled with wealth and fortune, having great good roots, and having great wisdom. One will also attain four kinds of purity;: purity in Body, purity in Mouth, purity in mind, and purity in decent companion.
One lamp’s brilliant light quells many years’ of darkness to herald peace.
A thousand lotus flowers’ sweet scent pierces the stratosphere to reach Ultimate Bliss.
Venerable Master Hua said:
When lighting a lamp in front of Buddhas, one will attain bright eyes. With bright eyes, one will be able to observe things that others cannot see; and they will have a better understanding than others, one will then attain the heavenly eye penetration. One will attain the five eyes; the Buddha eye, the dharma eye, the wisdom eye, the flesh eye as well as heavenly eye, the merit and virtue is thus wonderful.
For years GBM organized the Lamp Lighting Ceremony during Chinese New Year’s eve. The ceremony starts at 8pm. We will recite the Shurangama Mantra, followed by Ten Small Mantras and The Heart of Prajna Paramita Sutra. The ceremony officially begins when we start chanting “Namo Quelling Disasters, Lengthening Life Medicine Master Buddha”. Lots of participants including non-Buddhists visit Gold Buddha Monastery to wish for good a start in the coming year. This is a meaningful event as non-Buddhists get a chance to know more about Buddhism. Due to an overwhelming crowd, everyone has to line-up and wait for their turn to light a lamp.The ceremony ends about 9pm after transference of merit is done.
From this event, we wish to
Quell calamities and lengthen life,
Have good health and happy spirits.
Increase blessings and good fortune,
Gentle temperaments and world peace.
May the merit and virtue of lighting lamps,
be universally transferred to all beings
in the Dharma Realm
and may all attain Bodhi fruition.
May all attain bliss and leave suffering,
bring forth Bodhi resolve and attain Bodhi Way.