Opening the Light of the
Ten Thousand Buddhas
Excerpts from the January 1983 issue of Vajra Bodhi Sea
After five years of hard work and preparation, the completion of the Hall of Ten Thousand Buddhas stands as awesome testimony of the pious prayers of Buddhists the world over. While offering their supplication for peace and an end to all nuclear weaponry and expressing their hopes for a new spiritual awakening for humankind, people the world over have reverently invited ten thousand Buddhas to reside in the hall. Now, ten thousand Buddha statues do indeed line the four walls of the hall.
The hall is further adorned with streamers, banners, lamps, and a new altar, and graced in the center by the presence of an eighteen-foot high statue of the Thousand-Handed, Thousand-Eyed Kuan Yin Bodhisattva. The ten thousand Buddhas have been sponsored by Buddhist disciples the world over who, by thus inviting the Buddhas to the Hall, have expressed their abiding faith in the importance of Buddhism to the future of world peace.
On the day of the Opening the Light Ceremony and during the week’s events surrounding this auspicious occasion, the Buddha Hall became the center of worship and all devotional activities. The congregation recited Kuan Yin (Avalokiteshvara) Bodhisattva’s name non-stop, paying homage to the Bodhisattva of Compassion in the age-old tradition of calling his name. The energy surrounding the Sagely City was vibrant—charged with invigorating light and happiness. So sincere were the worshippers, that during the course of the week’s recitation of Kuan Yin Bodhisattva’s name, numerous responses were reported. Some saw light streaming from the statue’s face and crown, some saw the ten thousand Buddhas come to rub them on the tops of their heads, some saw the magnificent white-robed Bodhisattva pour sweet dew over them…
At the beginning of the Opening the Light Ceremony, the Venerable Abbot (Master Hua) intoned a verse of dedication:
Ten thousand Buddhas arrive;
ten thousand nations prosper.
Ten thousand bright rays—
lamps of ten thousand affinities.
Ten thousand multitudes establish
the hall of Ten Thousand Jewels.
Ten thousand things as you wish,
ten thousand deeds accomplished.
The Venerable Abbot then invited the Buddhas of the ten directions to come and reside in the hall of Ten Thousand Buddhas and to invest the 10,000 statues with the light of their compassion and wisdom. The great assembly repeated the Venerable Abbot’s invocation after him. As the ceremony proceeded with the recitation of auspicious mantras, the participants felt the hall fill with light and an auspicious energy prevailed…