Wednesday, Dec 13th

Last updateWed, 11 Nov 2015 11am

Saturday, 04 July 2015 09:42

Tens of Thousands Inspired to Do Good after Sutra Adaptation

Written by  Tzu Chi Documenting Team, KL & Selangor / Translated by Tan Heang Shin

Tzu Chi KL & Selangor was the first overseas branch to stage a large-scale sutra adaptation with participation by over 4,000 volunteers and artistes at Stadium Putra, Bukit Jalil. [Photograph by Lee Kok Keong]

On July 4, 2015, the long awaited “Dharma as Water” sutra adaptation was finally staged at Stadium Putra, Bukit Jalil. Tens of thousands joined in the Dharma assembly, which was first initiated in Taiwan. Now, the cycle of goodness has spread to Malaysia.


Tzu Chi KL & Selangor was the first Tzu Chi overseas branch to stage the sutra adaptation on a large scale with participation by over 4,000 volunteers and artistes from Taiwan and Malaysia. Combining theatrical sketches, songs, sign language and traditional opera, the performance, adapted from the Compassionate Samadhi Water Repentance Text, provided a convenient way of purifying the minds.

The Water Repentance Text was composed by Master Wu Da after realizing that his suffering from the man-faced sore was the result of the negative karma he created. He was fortunate to have met Venerable Kanaka, who taught him to heal the wound through the blessings of the Dharma water. Thus, the enmity of Chao Cuo towards Yuan Ang for ten lifetimes was resolved.

Master Wu Da then retreated to a cabin at the foot of mountain to repent for his wrongs. The text aimed to caution future generations on the retribution of Karmic Law of Cause and Effect. Every act and scene in the stage adaptation had portrayed the struggle between doing good and committing evil, leaving a deep impression on the audience.

Overwhelming response for a solemn event

As tickets for all the four shows on July 4 & 5 were fully distributed in a week, the event organizer decided to open the two full dress rehearsals on July 3 to the public. The shows were attended by more than 50,000 public members.

For the premiere held on July 4 at 1.30 pm, more than 12,000 people attended the solemn Dharma assembly which included 65 Venerable Masters, as well as, public figures and CEOs from various Tzu Chi branches. Through propagating the Dharma in a simple and interesting way, it is hoped that every attendee had been introduced to the wondrous Dharma.

The censer’s incense is lit
Its scent permeating the Dharma realm
Innumerable Buddhas from afar sense the fragrance


The dignified chant “Incense Praise” had permeated the air in the stadium, raised a sense of reverence in the audience and joined everyone’s heart in learning the Dharma.
 
After the official bell-ringing, the drum team, comprising 16 Tzu Chi’s entrepreneurs, was the first to make their appearance. Using 2 big drums, 12 medium drums and 4 small drums, coupled with skilful body language and central stage lightings, their drum beats had further enhanced the solemnity of the assembly.

Next, the “Sutra Opening Verse” and song “Walking the Path of Enlightenment Life after Life” successfully brought the audience into the mood of making vows and aspirations. The formation, gestures and singing by the volunteers, as well as, the screens on the stage had kept the audience engrossed and attracted rapturous applause.

Returning to the shore of enlightenment

Hsu Ya Fen, a well-known Taiwanese opera performer, who played Master Wu Da in all the sutra adaptations worldwide for the past four years, was emotional. After participating in more than 20 performances in Taiwan, a deeply touched Ya Fen said, “The Buddha is so near yet so far. He definitely felt for our suffering, but is complying to our wishes the way to end our suffering?”

As a performer, she seized the opportunity to interpret the wondrous Dharma and studied the character of Master Wu Da mindfully. She shared, “Master Wu Da and Prince Siddhartha were humans. Hence, we must make use of our human body to practise and follow the Bodhisattva Path.”

Ya Fen then quoted Master’s teaching that by learning Buddhism, one can develop a wholesome mind. No matter where you are, whether you have a tainted heart or a pure mind is largely related to your cultivation over past lifetimes.

Truly moved by the Buddha’s teachings, she hopes that the stage adaptation could enable people in modern times to appreciate the true meaning of the Dharma, spread the ripple of goodness to others, and possess a calm mind to live in harmony with all beings. Take the Dharma to heart and put the teachings into practice.

Grasping the Dharma and spreading it

CEO of Tzu Chi KL & Selangor, Sister Echo Chien thanked all doctors, entrepreneurs, artistes and volunteers for overcoming various challenges in propagating the true teachings and accomplishing a dignified assembly.

Through the story of Master Wu Da, plus theatrical sketches and sign language on the vices of bodily conduct and speech, the teachings taught us to refrain from doing what is bad and to do what is good.

Hopefully, volunteers’ vows and aspirations were fulfilled through the participation in the stage adaptation. One should learn and preserve the teachings. Sister Echo elaborated, “This sutra promotes better understanding of the Karmic Law of Cause and Effect. Do good and avoid evil, this is the main objective of staging this sutra adaptation.”

For the past year, participants had observed a vegetarian fast with a reverent heart. Those with hot temper and unhappy family have noted changes too; and that is because they have truly comprehended the meaning of repentance.

She added, “The world is experiencing many disasters now, and we are so lucky to be able to listen to the Dharma and grasp the true meaning, thanks to the Master for introducing a contemporary way in learning the sutra. From Taiwan to Hong Kong, Singapore and now Malaysia, the teachings have brought harmony to families through repentance and reflection. Hopefully, this positive energy would bring peace to Malaysia. I hope this is just the beginning of the repentance practice. This is what we wish to achieve after preparing for a year for the six shows in three days.”



In times of crisis, we must recognize clearly right from wrong
In times of great calamities, we must bring forth great compassion
In times of great ignorance, we must exercise great wisdom
In times of great turmoil, we must deeply reflect and repent


Participants recited the above verses loudly and filled the stadium with their voices. They had led the audience to tread the Bodhisattva Path and transform other beings with a calm mind, a wholesome behaviour and right thinking.

The three-hour performance ended with the recitation of “Prayer”. Tzu Chi’s vessel continues to sail and fetch beings to the shore of enlightenment. It is hoped that the Dharma pursuit will stay on, and that everyone will purify their mind, apply compassion and wisdom in extending help, as well as, cultivate blessings and wisdom. Gather the strength from all and let the Dharma live on.

 

Combining theatrical sketches, songs, sign language and traditional opera, the performance, adapted from the “Compassionate Samadhi Water Repentance Text”, provided a convenient way of purifying the minds. [Photograph by Lee Wei Kean]   
Tzu Chi’s entrepreneurs used their drum beats, coupled with skilful body language and central stage lightings, to enhance the solemnity of the assembly. [Photograph by Gan Cheah Teck]

Combining theatrical sketches, songs, sign language and traditional opera, the performance, adapted from the “Compassionate Samadhi Water Repentance Text”, provided a convenient way of purifying the minds. [Photograph by Lee Wei Kean]
 
Tzu Chi’s entrepreneurs used their drum beats, coupled with skilful body language and central stage lightings, to enhance the solemnity of the assembly. [Photograph by Gan Cheah Teck]
 
In a moment of arrogance in his heart, Master Wu Da hurt his knee and the bruise turned into a man-faced sore that caused him tremendous suffering. [Photograph by Low Mai Yin]   
The body language team had propagated the true meaning of sutra through body movements. [Photograph by Leong Chian Yee]

In a moment of arrogance in his heart, Master Wu Da hurt his knee and the bruise turned into a man-faced sore that caused him tremendous suffering. [Photograph by Low Mai Yin]
 
 
The body language team had propagated the true meaning of sutra through body movements. [Photograph by Leong Chian Yee]
 
The three-hour performance closed with the recitation of “Prayer”. Tzu Chi’s vessel continues to sail and fetch beings to the shore of enlightenment. [Photograph by Leong Chian Yee]  

The three-hour performance closed with the recitation of “Prayer”. Tzu Chi’s vessel continues to sail and fetch beings to the shore of enlightenment. [Photograph by Leong Chian Yee]