Ratana Sutra tells a story of a dreadful epidemic dating back to the Buddha’s time in Vesali — the capital of the Licchavi Republic (today belongs to Vaishali district, Bihar state, Eastern India).
A long-term drought put Vesali in a difficult situation. That is, the city suffered from water pollution, a famine and an epidemic, leading to the deaths of many people and animals. Facing the severe situation, the leaders of Licchavi called upon the Buddha to help them.
Accepting the request, the Buddha assigned 500 Bhikshus to walk around the city of Vesali three times and recite Ratana Sutra to praise the merit of the Three Jewels, thanks to which the power of superior minds arose and spread all the city. It was the power of the superior minds that attracted Good Deities, Good Yaksas, Good Raksasas, and Good Devas, thereby making Evil Demons and Evil Raksasas leave, bringing about better weather and the eradication of the epidemic.
Since COVID-19 emerged and quickly spread worldwide, Thay Thich Truc Thai Minh — the Abbot of Ba Vang Pagoda has made great contributions to the eradication of COVID-19. Besides encouraging Buddhists to diligently practise the Buddha’s teachings and pray for the end of the pandemic, Thay has done a lot of charity work to support various people and organisations during the hard time. His actions have positively influenced not only the Buddhist community nationwide but also society.
“In such a miserable and dangerous situation of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Thay said. “I hope that with the mind of the Buddha’s disciples, all Monks, Nuns and Buddhists will develop your Bodhi mind and mind of love to all of humanity. Regardless of nationality or religion, we will send our mind of loving-kindness to everyone. We ourselves should try to practise the Dharma, pray and recite Ratana Sutra with firm faith to dedicate the merit to everyone so that we can overcome soon this pandemic.”
Facing the complicated situation of the pandemic around the globe as well as a new outbreak in Vietnam, following the Buddha’s teachings, Ba Vang Pagoda’s community continues to make a vow to pray for peace, the end COVID-19 and the elimination of calamities.
Under the leadership of Thay Thich Truc Thai Minh, Monks, Nuns and Buddhists, who are practising the Dharma at Ba Vang Pagoda, walk around the campus of the Pagoda reciting Ratana Sutra to praise the merit of the Three Jewels. The cultivation programme is simultaneous with the daily cultivation sessions at Ba Vang Pagoda.
Hopefully, thanks to the genuine cultivation and the compassionate mind of Thay Thich Truc Thai Minh, Monks, Nuns and Buddhists of Ba Vang Pagoda, the pandemic will be repelled soon and life of people all over the world will get back to normal.