The Jeweled Repentance of Ten Thousand Buddhas is an important Dharma event at the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas. Since 1983, it has been held annually about a month before the Bathing the Buddha Festival (Wesak). In this twelfth year, the Jeweled Repentance of Ten Thousand Buddhas was especially solemn and adorned as devotees flocked from all directions. Everyone sincerely bowed in repentance to eradicate offenses and cleanse away defilements. The whole City was filled with the bliss of the Dharma.
On May 15th, the celebration of Shakyamuni Buddha's birthday and cere-mony for bathing the Buddha highlighted the Repentance Session. Over eight hundred people attended the traditional Dharma Assembly. Special guests included Dr. Glenn Bucher, President of the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, and his wife Mary, Dr. Barry Kaufman, Director of the Department of Education at Dominican College in San Rafael, and his wife, Frank McMichael, Chairman of the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors, and his wife Midge, John Baird, President of the Mendocino County Republican Party and his wife, as well as devotees from Los Angeles, San Jose, San Francisco, Taiwan, Malaysia, and China.
The City of Ten Thousand Buddhas was decorated with many pretty flowers, and echoed with the sounds of bell and drum. While chanting the true words, "Nan di sha di sha samgha swo he" for bathing the Buddha, the assembly formed two lines, resembling two dragons spitting water, to bathe the Buddha's images. Dr. Bucher and his wife attended the entire "bathing of the Buddha" ceremony. Dr. Bucher put his palms together to pay respects to the Venerable Master, and cordially invited the Venerable Master to visit the Graduate Theological Union to discuss the way of wisdom.
During the luncheon, the choir of Instilling Goodness Elementary and Developing Virtue Secondary Schools gave a beautiful performance of Buddhist songs, including "I'm Really Lucky to Study Buddhism," written in English by the Venerable Master himself. After speeches by the guests, the Venerable Master said that all Buddhists must honestly and diligently cultivate. The spirit of Buddhism is "Do no evil, practice all good, and purify the mind. This is the teaching of all Buddhas." Everyone should clean up his body and mind. Get rid of all jealousy, obstructions, ignorance, stupidity, and afflictions, and what's left will be wisdom, brightness, and openness. Then one can be a bright lamp for the world. "The world has been ruined by money," Venerable Master Hua lamented, "so countries go to war with other countries, families feud with other families, and people fight with people. Money makes people totally muddled. Money is something which harms people, but everyone loves it."
People in the world face many natural disasters and man-made calamities now, but the Venerable Master thinks even the most advanced weapons cannot save the world. Atomic bombs, hydrogen bombs and laser cannons will not solve the problems. They can only frighten people and annihilate the human race. Only by using filiality, brotherhood, loyalty, trustworthiness, propriety, righteousness, incorruptibility and a sense of shame, these efficacious world-saving medicines, can we solve the problems of humanity. If we uphold these virtues, then we will have wisdom. Only with wisdom can we save the world.
"I do not claim to be a savior of the world, but I want to seek out the saviors and help them. I will be their laborer." The Venerable Master announced that an international conference is planned, and people of wisdom and talent from all nations, as well as the leaders of all religions, will be invited to come and work together to cure the ills of society and avert the natural and manmade crises which threaten humanity. This meeting of the world's outstanding individuals will seek to bring blessings and fortune to all of humanity, and work for world peace.