On April 8th of the Buddhist calendar, Holy Master Ziguang Shang Shi, founder of Guang Huan Mi Zong Buddhism, held a Spectacular Birthday Celebration for Shakyamuni Buddha in the magnificent Goddess of Mercy Temple located in Amsterdam, New York.
Holy Master Ziguang Shang Shi made his opening speech: “The birth of Shakyamuni Buddha 2,500 years ago ignited the whole world. He renounced his throne, and abandoned all his possessions in order to pursue the path of Enlightenment. His whole life was light for the liberation and salvation of human beings.”
After that, Holy Master had his disciple, with a walking stick and a bowl, demonstrate the style that Shakyamuni Buddha’s followers used in that era for disseminating the message of brightness. “We pay our highest tribute to the Buddha to commemorate his profound compassion, and we should follow his example to help others, to let them have the chance to attain achievement through cultivating the Dharma.” said Holy Master.
Holy Master emphasized world peace, human health, and religious harmony can eventually be achieved one day, through diligent endeavor.
The opening performance was a fantastic lion dance, featuring unique and powerful movements. The project “International Lion Dance Performance Training for the Youth” launched by World Culture and Art Association Inc. offers young people innovative lion dance training, to express creativity and freedom. Dancing lions are the symbol of auspiciousness and good fortune, which bring excitement and joy to the audience and the entire celebration.
A Marine and Buddhist monk made a speech to thank Holy Ziguang Shang Shi for helping him restore his health and guiding him find the direction of life. He sang a song in Chinese, expressing the wish for all those who are seeking a home for their souls could return to where they belong.
Two young Mormons on mission were invited onto the stage and sang a beautiful hymn. They expressed their desire of cooperating in the mission of religious harmony.
The exquisite dance of “Thousand-arm Goddess of Mercy” reflected the compassion and love of the Buddhas, Bodhisattvas and Gods for human beings. The guests were amazed by the wonderful performances including Buddhist mantra chant, Chinese martial arts, folk songs and dance.
The celebration was followed by a ceremony of bathing the baby Buddha statue in the Five World Buddhas Temple, and ended with a dinner buffet serving delicious eastern and western food in the picturesque Western Shrine.