Duration | 2:08
Organisation | Tzu Chi Merit Organization (Singapore)
Finding peace in Buddha Bathing ceremony amid a pandemic
The second Sunday of May is a special day for Tzu Chi volunteers around the world as they celebrate Buddha's Day, Mother's Day and Tzu Chi anniversary on the same day. In 2020, Tzu Chi volunteers could only attend the Buddha Bathing ceremony online at home due to COVID-19. This year, the volunteers seized the opportunity to hold 5 sessions of scaled-down Buddha Bathing ceremony while adhering strictly to the tightened safety measures. Due to a restriction in group size, Tzu Chi volunteers gave up their chance to attend the ceremony at Jing Si Hall to members of the public, while they attended the ceremony online at their own home or in a group of five by connecting with Tzu Chi in Taiwan. The volunteers hoped that the solemn atmosphere of the ceremony could inspire kind thoughts in many and bring peace to people's heart.
In 2020, the Buddha Bathing ceremony could not be held due to a pandemic. This year, Tzu Chi Singapore volunteers seized the opportunity to hold 5 sessions of the scaled-down ceremony while adhering strictly to the safety measures.
Tzu Chi volunteer, Ng Teck Guan: (We) need to be truly vigilant and pious. May the sincere prayers from the congregation be heard by the Buddhas and bring an end to the pandemic.
Tzu Chi volunteer, Ng Hai Boey: (It is) to remind everyone to be grateful to Buddha, our parents and all living beings, this is very important.
Due to a restriction in group size, the first session of the Buddha Bathing ceremony in Taiwan was participated online by congregations at Jing Si Hall in Singapore and volunteers at home across the island.
Buddha Day event coordinator, Kerk Chu Meng: As safety measures are tightened, the number of attendees has to be reduced from 250 to 100. I think that attending the Buddha Bathing ceremony at the site can soothe our mind.
For hygiene purposes, the original gesture of touching the water had been replaced with putting one’s palms together to pay respect to Buddha. Despite a change in the ritual, the connection with Buddha at heart does not diminish one’s effort in praying.
Member of public, Cindy Cao: I think it is well done. I feel cleansed. I think that the COVID-19 pandemic is a warning to us, so we have to start making small changes in ourselves and go vegetarian.
Member of public, Choong Pui Key: In front of Buddha, no matter what our religion is, we have to stay positive and have faith. The current pandemic is not easy to control, so I have prayed sincerely for our world to be free from disaster.
The holding of Buddha Bathing ceremony should not be taken for granted. Cherish the present moment and be grateful. May the pandemic be over soon and may the world be free from disaster.