2017 Master's Memorial Day
It is impossible to learn any knowledge and skills in life without relying on and learning from a teacher. Similarly, in learning Buddhism, without relying on a teacher, there is no Dharma, and without the Dharma, there is no attainment. Hence, it is absolutely necessary to have a teacher’s guidance! Besides, as the Chinese proverb says, “When drinking water, remember its source”. Therefore, we should always recollect and be grateful for our Teacher’s kindness.
On 15th October 2017 at 10am, BW Monastery (Geylang zone) at the level 3 Shrine Hall of Citiraya Centre, a Memorial service for Master Jih-Chang was held, so as to commemorate our deep gratitude for him. About 400 students were present. The altar was filled with aspiring students’ unsurpassed offerings for the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas.
Venerable Bensi encouraged all students to recollect who is the person willing to accompany us through this painful cyclic existence? Master Jih-Chang! As stated in “The Ten Teaching Sutra”:
“….I have wandered for a long time through cyclic existence, and they search for me; I have been asleep, having been obscured by delusion for a long time, and they wake me;…..”
Owing to Master’s compassion and the wisdom teachings to lead us out of suffering to attain happiness, and a higher status of rebirth life after life until the attainment of unsurpassed enlightenment, we should constantly cultivate this deep gratitude within us.
Venerable also encouraged everyone that, as Master has benefitted us many lives, and since everyone has stayed on to learn for many years, we should treasure this karmic relationship with Master and the organization. This will be our assurance in our infinite lives – to follow and learn the complete teachings from Master.
Next, all of us watched a video on how Master Jih-Chang sought the Dharma and in establishing it. In this section, senior lecturers, Ang Soen and Pua Hwee Leng, shared and illustrated on how much hardship Master went through on this path of practice, and yet he did not retreat. Master placed all sentient beings and the teachings as his top priority, more important than his own life! He made a wise decision to propogate Lamrim Chenmo, a complete teaching which comprised of the Sutrayana and Tantrayana collections, and conducted Lamrim discussion classes. How fortunate we are to be able to meet Master directly! From the video, it spurred us to think deeply, "While we are living in a comfortable environment, we should treasure and grasp the opportunity to cultivate, persevere joyously, and respectfully learn and practice the Teachings."
After that, the venerables led the students to recite the sutra, made light offerings, prostrate to the Triple Gem, and visualizing all Buddhas in the ten directions while making this vast offering to accumulate merits and wisdom.
We carried on with the liberation ritual and the venerables carried out the purification ceremony, took refuge for the birds, and further made dedication for them to be able to quickly eliminate all sufferings.
Venerable Zu Guang guided everyone to make this following vow and aspiration together on this particular day – “May we quickly fulfil Master and teachers' wishes, may all joyfully learn Lamrim, earnestly learn Lamrim, persevere to learn Lamrim to repay Master's great kindness.” Lastly, everyone made this strong aspiration together – for life after life, to follow Master to learn and propogate Master Tsong Kha Pa's pure and complete teachings, until attaining Buddhahood, and never to retreat."