Auspicious Lights Festival – Ceremony of Lights for Little Tots
The first day of Auspicious Lights Festival was specially tailored for children aged 6 and below. The puja began with a little boy leading a procession into the Grand Shrine, followed by Venerables each holding a child by the hands.
Venerable Bensi shared a story of Shariputra, who was so awed by Manjushri Bodhisattva that he aspired to become just as wise by studying sutra teachings diligently, and making light offerings to Manjushri Bodhisattva. A skit, performed by several youths and Venerable Xavior, narrated the story of how Manjushri Bodhisattva employed his wisdom to help people find happiness.
Venerable Bensi highlighted the importance of being wise and intelligent. Intelligence allows us to be the top in class and at work, and parents on seeing their children doing well in life, will be happy. So, studying to become intelligent is a form of filial piety! Wisdom allows us to make right decisions, which will bring happiness to ourselves!
Besides learning in school, how do we become wise and intelligent? We make light offerings and venerate the wisdom sutra. What is the “textbook” to learn from to be wise and intelligent? It is the wisdom sutra. A ceremony took place where Abbot Jing Yuan placed the wisdom sutra on the top of the head of every member of the audience, giving blessing to the audience to become wise and intelligent.
Towards the closing of the puja, each member of the audience received a light, and together, made a vast offering of lights to Manjushri Bodhisattva. After which, Abbot Jing Yuan lit up a specially built lamp placed on the altar. With a light in their hands, the audience, the Venerables and the Abbot, and the performing children as well, broke into insightful praises. Led by Abbot Jing Yuan, the audience waved the light in their hands. As the light in the Grand Shrine dimmed, the waving of lights became more obvious and brighter. The spirit of the audience notched up, waved their lights and sang praises with more vigour. To top it off, each member of the audience received a packet of blessed biscuits from Abbot Jing Yuan.
Do visit BW Monastery the next 2 days. Wisdom stations are set up where varieties of activities are designed for all ages. Attempt the puzzles and quizzes, test your memory, copy the scriptures, venerate the sutras, and pray for blessings. Do remember to make offerings of lights!