This December 4th, a Dharma Assembly for the Holy Birthday of Amitabha Buddha was held at Hua Zang Si, located at San Francisco. About two hundred people attended the assembly. The weather was very sunny, clean and fresh after heavy rain the day before. It was a very happy time. Ever since the pandemic period started, Hua Zang Si has been closed to the public. This was a precious opportunity for buddhist disciples to get together.
The main venue was held at the second floor of the temple, the Amitabha Buddha Hall. The twenty-one foot tall statue of Amitabha Buddha (designed by H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III) has been generally recognized as the most majestic Buddhist statue in the world. It is an extremely solemn sight. The Buddha’s eyes seem alive, looking down at all beings full of compassion and love.
First we chanted Buddha Expounding Amitabha Sutra，then we made the meal offering to the Buddhas and Buddhisattvas, at the end Master RuoHui RuZun gave us a short Dharm speech and we all prayed to the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas to grant blessings and protections to all beings in the world.
I greatly enjoyed the assembly, so much so that after it ended I still didn’t want to leave. I stayed and helped to clean up the site. I also prostrated to the Amitabha Buddha and kneel down and pray wholeheartedly: Please Buddha save me from the birth-death cycle, please take me to the western paradise.
I always wondered how this magnificent Amitabha Statue was installed in the hall. I found out an amazing story behind it. The sitting statue of Amitabha Buddha is inside the grand hall on the second floor. The statue of Amitabha Buddha was paid for with H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III‘s money from selling his paintings. The molding of the statue was also based on the blueprint drawn by the Buddha. During the process of molding, H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III modified the model eight times in person. All places that did not conform to the stipulation of the dharma were corrected and re-molded. After the completion, this statue was judged to be the most solemn Buddha statue in the world. The height of the statue of Amitabha Buddha was 6.7 meters (22 feet) and two narrow stairways with 180-degree turns have to be passed to go upstairs, the manufactured Buddha statue had to be first cut into several pieces and reassembled together after moving onto the second floor. Therefore, this statue was divided into seven parts and shipped in three containers to Hua Zang Si (the temple).
After the Buddha statue was unloaded, everyone in the temple were participating in carrying each part of the statue respectfully and carefully to the second floor. We were surprised to find that the sizes of the seven components all fit correctly into the narrow space in the stairway and all turns were made smoothly on the way to the second floor. In addition, there was no damage to the surface paint coating or any other place of the Buddha statue, thanks to the blessings from all Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, as well as dharma protectors.
The process of installing the Buddha statues into seats and surface gold-gilding went very smoothly. There were no signs of reassembly. We all happily stood in front of the Buddha statues with unlimited reverence in our minds. Such solemn grand Buddha statue can only be seen at Hua Zang Si in San Francisco of America, because it was made under the personal guidance from H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III!
Namo H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III !
Namo Amitabha !