|A Grand Dinner Banquet Was Held to Celebrate Dharma King Living Buddha Lian-sheng's Birthday. Grandmaster Gathered Together with Disciples in a Joyful Atmosphere
July 1, 2018 (lunar calendar May 18) was True Buddha School (TBS) Dharma King Living Buddha Lian-sheng Sheng-yen Lu's 74th birthday. At 6:30 PM (Pacific Time), Vijaya Temple in Northern California hosted a grand banquet to show HH Dharma King Living Buddha Lian-sheng heartfelt gratitude for descending to the saha world to save sentient beings.
Around 2,000 disciples from all over the world put on their best and attended the Root Lineage Guru's birthday celebration. After all, this is the most important day of TBS because it's the day a true Buddha reappeared to found the World of True Buddha. Grandmaster's birthday signifies the modern revival of the authentic dharma of the Buddha's era.
Thanks to technology, disciples who were unable to travel to California to personally congratulate Grandmaster were not just able to watch a live webcast of the event, but were also able to express, in real time via a live video connection, their congratulations, immense love, and highest respect to Root Guru Dharma King Living Buddha Lian-sheng. Nine cultivation venues were remotely connected to provide live video coverage of the banquet.
In addition to various professional singing and dancing performances, the TBS Heavenly Harmony Choir and the Sunshine Dance Troupe, of which Shimu is a member, also staged a number of youthfully energetic song and dance performances. Master Lianhe had obviously been paying close attention to Grandmaster's discourses, including Grandmaster's jokes, as Master Lianhe directed and acted in a really delightful comedy sketch that incorporated Grandmaster's jokes and stories. The performance brought back a flood of happy memories of Grandmaster's wonderful discourses and funny, insightful jokes.
The celebration was highlighted by live video calls from cultivation venues in Taiwan, Malaysia, and Indonesia. Altogether, the calls lasted about ten minutes. To prepare for the 10 minute video calls, Master Lianseng brought network IT experts together in early June and coordinated with cultivation venues in the aforementioned three countries to provide connections for the video calls. A series of tests were carried out to ensure that the video connections were technically in order.
Due to local time differences, Grandmaster's birthday celebration fell on July 2nd (Monday morning in Asia), which happened to be a work day. Because only one minute was allocated for the live video call at each cultivation venue, and participants had to arrive at the venue early for rehearsal, it's notable that many disciples had to apply for leave from work to participate in the live video call. The saying ''one minute on stage is equal to three years of preparation behind the stage'' might be an exaggeration, but we would still like to acknowledge all the effort put into this event and extend our praise and appreciation to the disciples involved in making the video calls possible.
Local TBS temples who took part in the video connection are as follows:
- Taiwan Lei Tsang Temple
- Zhongguan Chapter
- Dayi Cultivation Association
- The Federation of True Buddha School Malaysia (Prajna Lei Tsang Temple) (West Malaysia)
- Falun [Dharma Wheel] Lei Tsang Temple (East Malaysia)
- Huayan Lei Tsang Temple (South Malaysia) ?a gathering of 12 dharma centres being Huayan Lei Tsang Temple, Chuanlu Lei Tsang Temple, Jishan Lei Tsang Temple, Daguan Chapter, Yuanguan Chapter, Jingfo Chapter, Jingxing Chapter, Jinhai and Changchun Cultivation Associations, Kota Tinggi Cultivation Association, Detian Cultivation Association and Shawei Cultivation Association
- Indonesia Lei Tsang Temple
- Sanzun [Trinity] Lei Tsang Temple
- Indonesia Vajrayana Foundation
In particular, an amusing incident occurred while the video call was being established with Taiwan Lei Tsang Temple. At the beginning of the video call, there was only one lonely disciple standing in front of the Main Hall of the temple. The Master of Ceremonies, Dharma Sister Xu Yaqi exclaimed, ''Why is there only one person here?'' The disciple replied in a sad and miserable tone of voice, ''I'm sorry Grandmaster but everyone, including all the masters and reverends, travelled to the US for Grandmaster's birthday celebration. I am the only one here.'' (The disciple put on a convincing performance and everyone couldn't help laughing out loud.) All of a sudden, the other disciples from Taiwan Lei Tsang Temple revealed themselves from hiding and came rushing up to appear in the video screen. Everyone enthusiastically shouted birthday greetings to Grandmaster and it was indeed a happy ending.
Disciples from each country conveyed their messages to Grandmaster in various ways including group birthday songs and children's wishes. Although the birthday messages from overseas were brief, given the tremendous thought and effort put into preparation, Grandmaster was thoroughly impressed and delighted and so was everyone else!
Grandmaster's birthday celebration ended in a happy atmosphere. For Grandmaster, the greatest joy was seeing disciples working unitedly worldwide to wholeheartedly recite sutras and mantras and dedicate the merit to the Luotian Ritual Grand Offering Ceremony. Sutra and mantra recitations reached a new record (Padmakumara Heart Mantra: 595,222,010, High King Sutra: 4,150,072 etc.)
In preparation for Grandmaster's birthday next year, what will be the most appropriate gift from everyone? What are Grandmaster's wishes? If one is uncertain, why not look for clues in Grandmaster's book collection? After all, as Grandmaster said, ''My books tell the story of my heart!''
Venues that had real time video connection
Taiwan Zhongguan ChapterTaiwan Lei Tsang Temple
Taiwan Dayi Cultivation Association
The Federation of True Buddha School Malaysia (Prajna Lei Tsang Temple)
Malaysia Huayan Lei Tsang Temple
Malaysia Falun [Dharma Wheel] Lei Tsang Temple
Indonesia Lei Tsang Temple
Indonesia Vajrayana Foundation
Indonesia Sanzun [Trinity] Lei Tsang Temple
Translated by True Buddha Translation Team
Translator: Lynn Ang
Editors: Henry Wolf and DJ Chang