Shaolin Temple Gives Laba Porridge to People in Jihai Year

发布日期:2020-01-02   字体大小:   

Jan 2, 2020, or the 8th day of the twelfth lunar month, is traditional Chinese Laba Festival, the enlightenment day of Bodhidharma and also the dharma treasure festival or thanks giving day in Buddhism. That day Shaolin Temple, sub temples of Shaolin Temple, overseas Shaolin cultural centers and so on gave Laba porridge to people, tasting Shaolin five-element Laba porridge together with Shaolin lovers around the world. Concepts of Equality, compassion, harmony, integration and ecological environment protection were spread to carry forward traditional Chinese culture by giving Laba porridge widely.

Laba Festival is called the thanks giving day in Buddhism, conveying their simple wishes that believers thank Buddha to preach them and pursue health and happiness. Laba Festival is an important festival about thanks giving among China’s traditional folk festivals. In addition to commemorating the fully enlightened Buddha, the festival is also given rich connotations covering warmness, completeness, integrate harmony, containment, harmony, luckiness, health, cooperation, nourishment, stoic, convenience, thanksgiving, joy, connection, etc. Shaolin Temple’s abbot Yongxin has given the documented proposal in the National People’s Congress, hoping to be able to protect and inherit the Laba Festival, one of China’s traditional festivals. To thank all sentient beings and give back to society, Shaolin Temple has restored the tradition to give Laba porridge since 2008, hoping getting dharma joy and sharing dharma benefits together with sentient beings.

At 2am, dharma masters of the Dining Hall in Shaolin Temple and volunteers started stewing Shaolin five-element Laba porridge. The porridge flavor filled the air thickly.

According to legend, Bodhidharma practiced in mountains over six years before obtaining Buddhahood. He was scrawny with hunger and wanted to give up suffering. Then he met a shepherdess offering porridge. Bodhidharma obtained buddhahood after eating the porridge under the bodhi tree on the 8th day of the twelfth lunar month. This day became the enlightenment day of Buddha to remark the supreme moment. The day is just the 8th day of the twelfth lunar month in China, therefore called Laba (Chinese pronunciation) Festival, and followed Shepherdess to boil porridge to offer sacrifice to Buddha and benefit sentient beings. The custom was spread to the folk, becoming the Chinese tradition later.

The reason that Shaolin Temple’s Laba porridge is called five-element laba porridge and being praised by travelers lies in Shaolin Pharmacy choose five-element beans (red beans, soybeans, mung beans, black soya beans and white kidney beans) Shaolin Chan farm grows according to Chinese five-element theory, coupled with more than twenty supplies including Longans, lotus seeds, Chinese yam, wolfberry, etc., being boiled by soft fire carefully with secret medicinal juice to balance the five elements. The porridge like so is not only soft and aromatic but also benefiting spirits and strengthening the spleen and stomach. Because of complex process and precious medicinal juice, people can’t have an opportunity to taste the authentic Shaolin five-element porridge until the Laba Festival.

At 9:30am, Shaolin Temple’s abbot Yongxin led two seats (the east seat and west seat) disciples holding the grand sacrifice-offering dharma assembly at the Mahavero Hall, offering the first bowl of Shaolin five-element Laba porridge to Buddha Shakyamuni. Then abbot Yongxin together with Shaolin monks held the grand Laba Festival prayer at the Shaolin Pharmacy entrance to pray for world peace, human happiness and a good weather for crops as well as prosperity and security of our country. Blessed by the ancient monastery of Chan sect and millennium temple, Shaolin five-element Laba porridge added wishes of happiness and wisdom to people eating porridge.

After the assembly, abbot Yongxin and Shaolin masters gave Laba porridge to the public. People and travelers from home and abroad who received a bowl of Laba porridge were joyful. They appreciated that Shaolin Temple adheres to carrying forward traditional Chinese culture and admired Shaolin Temple’s compassion and charity for sentient beings.

Panshan Northern Shaolin Temple in Tianjin province

Jiaozuo Yueshan Temple

Dengfeng Shuiyu Temple

Sanmenxia Kongxiang Temple

Xuchang Baitu Temple

Xuchang Longhua Temple

Xinmi Chaohua Temple

Kunming Shaolin Temple

Beijing Lefo Temple

Zhoukou Lanruo Temple

Taizhou Miaoyan Temple in Zhejiang province

Juyu Temple in Shandong province

Feilai Temple in Guangdong province

Jiaozuo Shifo Temple

Lingshi Zishou Temple in Shanxi province

According to information, Shaolin Temple gave Laba porridge not only in the Shaolin Temple permanent residence compound this year, but also Tianjin Northern Shaolin Temple, Dengfeng Shuiyu Temple, Jiaozuo Yueshan Temple, Sanmenxia Kongxiang Temple, Xuchang Longhua Temple, Shanxi Lingshi Zishou Temple, Beijing Lefo Temple, Taizhou Miaoyan Temple in Zhejiang province, Zhoukou Lanruo Temple and other sub-temples of Shaolin Temple as well as overseas Shaolin cultural centers where people hosted various celebrations and formed ties with local people to carry forward traditional Chinese culture. (Photographed by Yue Long, Wang Fangxian, Zhao Yongjie and edited by Master Yanyang, Wan Ning)

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