In our daily lives, when our clothes become dirty, we wash them with water. When our mind is polluted by greed, anger, and delusion, we become worried and troubled. In Buddhism, devotees practice repentance to cleanse their minds, and rid themselves of worries. There are different repentance ceremonies, the Great Compassion Repentance Ceremony being one of the most popular ones.
The Great Compassion Repentance Ceremony is based on the Great Compassion Mantra. The full name of the Great Compassion Mantra literally means, A thousand arms and a thousand eyes Avalokitesvera Bodhisattva’s all embracing great compassion Dharani. This mantra, which is very popular in the Chinese culture and widely recited among devotees, consists of eighty-four phrases. Water blessed with the Great Compassion Mantra is called the Great Compassion Water and is taken by devotees for its spiritually cleansing qualities. Some of the merits often associated with the Great Compassion Mantra are: rebirth into higher realms, meeting beneficial acquaintances, having competent facilities, obtaining bountiful food and wealth, gaining great respect, and having the opportunity to learn Buddhist teachings. Those who recite this mantra will not die by starvation, disease, poison, flood, or fire. Buddhists believe that faith in Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva not only improves conditions of this life, but also prepares them for rebirth into the Western Pure land.
In addition to gaining the above merits, Devotees participating in the ceremony also benefit from the strength of the compassionate vows of Avalokitesvera Bodhisattva to find peace within themselves. They learn to treat others with respect and humility, bringing harmony to their families and society.
Fo Guang Shan Hsi Lai Temple conducts this ceremony monthly. We invite everyone to participate and take the opportunity to plant the seeds of beneficial cause and conditions for ultimate wisdom.