2020 – The world is facing a difficult time that we will never forget. Even if you are rich or poor, old or young, your life may have changed drastically because of COVID-19, the disease caused by coronavirus.
The coronavirus outbreak has put a third of the global population into lockdown: Schools have been closed; employees asked to work from home, factories and stores shuttered, events cancelled and great worries for a huge global economic crisis crop up.
Activities which are always parts of our daily life like meeting friends and visiting family have become impossible in many regions of the world now. In public places, people take caution and keep a distance from each other. The pandemic seems to put up fences between us.
But even when we are physically isolated, we can stay together in the world of mind. Buddhism is the religion of mind. Now it’s time for all of us to come together and fight the coronavirus pandemic.
Stay together in the world of mind
Praying will bring us together. If we have the same wish and desire for the good to the world, our minds will be connected.
The Sangha of Ba Vang Pagoda has vowed to pray for 30 days from 30 March to 30 April 2020, every day at a specific time in the morning and in the evening to transfer merits to the fight against coronavirus. All Buddhists are encouraged to pray at home at the same time of the day to generate the energy of collective power.
The morning routine is reciting the Ratana Sutra and the Sutra of the Medicine Buddha. In the evening, it is time for repentance and reciting the Ratana Sutra again.
Previously, from 25 to 27 March, the Sangha and Buddhists of Ba Vang Pagoda recited the Ratana Sutra together for three days and nights without stopping. Afterwards, there was a nonstop four-day prayer of the Sutra from 06 to 09 April.
Power of prayer
Prayer has been a tradition in Buddhism. It has been a tradition because throughout history, prayer has proved to be able to save mankind from disastrous situations. The story of Vesali in ancient India was a good example of this, in which the Buddha instructed five hundred monks to recite the Ratana Sutra. Therefore He could save the people of Vesali from the outbreak of a disease in just one week.
The prayer tradition of Buddhism has existed and countless followers have practised it with apparent success for more than 2500 years. Once you practise it, you will find out the effects firsthand for yourself.
Praying and reciting the Sutras in Buddhism does not purely mean to beg for help, but it directs our mind to higher thoughts and righteous thoughts, from which merits will arise. For example, on reciting the Ratana Sutra, we are saying and praising the truth. According to Thay Thich Truc Thai Minh—the abbot of Ba Vang Pagoda, the truth is the most supreme power of the universe. Anyone who praises the truth achieves merits.
In recent years, Ba Vang Pagoda has been known as a special spiritual practice centre of Vietnam. Every time there are natural disasters in Vietnam or in the world, Monks, Nuns and lay Buddhists of the Pagoda will pray together and transfer the merits. Until now, we have witnessed a lot of miracles from our practice. Therefore our belief has been consolidated time and time again.
Now in the actual situation of the coronavirus pandemic, we continue our prayer tradition in the hope of contributing something good to the world.
Buddhists vowed to pray for 30 days for ending the coronavirus outbreak
The Buddhists of Ba Vang pagoda have vowed to pray and recite the Ratana Sutra for 30 days at home to transfer merits to countries, governments, managers and healthcare officials so that they will find the best solutions to end the coronavirus pandemic.
Many Buddhists also vowed to observe the Eight Precepts from one day to seven days to put their practice to even a higher level. The Buddha taught, who keep the Eight Precepts purely in one day and night will earn immeasurable merits.
You can be a part of us in the fight against coronavirus
Anyone can join our prayer programme and become part of us, whether you are a Buddhist or not. If you care enough for yourself, for the people around you and also for the world, consider taking this 30-day prayer. We are affected by the world we live in, but the world comprises each of us so we as an individual can affect the world in return. A prayer can also help the world. It’s time to take action now.