2017 Putuo Mountain Pilgrimage
On April 25, 2011, when Rigdzin Gawa Rinpoche was promoting Dharma in Shanghai, he pilgrimed to the Putuo Mountain with 30 disciples for the first time. Activities including life release and feast offering were organized, expressing sincere wishes before the Bodhisattva that ‘life is endless, and life release won’t end!’
After a lapse of six years, under the ardent pleading of the disciples of Shanghai, Rigdzin Gawa Rinpoche led more than 150 people to worship Putuo Mountain again on April 22, 2017. In two days, they organized and participated a large-scale life release activity, treasure bottle worship, performing Guru Rinpoche Tsok and pilgrimaging to monasteries. More than 130,000 lives were released. Under the leadership of Rigdzin Gawa Rinpoche, groups in Nyingmamaoa Urgyen Mahayana Blissful Dharma Continent firmly practiced the ambition of ‘benefit all sentient beings’.
As a disciple who had pilgrimaged Putuo Mountain twice with Rigdzin Gawa Rinpoche, I was deeply touched. The participants were from the first 30 people to more than 150 today and the staff also went from 10 people at the beginning to more than 50. Nowadays, more and more people in our team, who have the ability, are willing to help others. Although the arrangement of the two-day activities is extremely compact, each participant is filled with joy and happiness, immersing themselves in the warmth and inspiration brought by Rigdzin Gawa Rinpoche and each other.
Rigdzin Gawa Rinpoche shows us what compassion and reluctance are through many small details. For example, because of the traffic congestion, the activities have to be delayed until two hours later, which means that the worship would be short and fast. On that day, there are more than 70,000 tourists on the island. Leading more than 150 people collectively worship in the crowds can be extremely difficult. Rinpoche insisted that all disciples would arrive at the island before he began the Dharma activities, as he said: "no one can be left ". And on the morning of the 23rd, in order to ensure that all the money is really used to release lives, Rigdzin Gawa Rinpoche got up at four in the morning to check the purchase work.
Rigdzin Gawa Rinpoche, regardless of the size of the event, will always be personally involved. From the schedule, material preparation, site layout, and even the withdrawal of the field, he always has the patience to guide everyone. As he said, ‘I am at the least afraid of working!’ According to his schedule in last year, Rinpoche visited more than 20 cities of China in half a year and in every station he organized life release activities, met dozens of disciples every day, taught Dharma knowledge, checked each disciple's homework, packed more than a hundred Buddha statues and treasure bottles, and guided local work in the warehouse for many days. In the other half a year, he hung prayers, brushed stupas and repaired temples in Tibet. In the meantime, he also needed to find out the opportunity to take us to pilgrimages. For more than ten years, he is always busy. It is Rinpoche’s great compassion that keeps him working day after day.
At the end of the activity, Rigdzin Gawa Rinpoche expressed an earnest expectation for the disciples: it is commendable that the promoting of Dharma went smoothly this time in Shanghai, with particular success. It is a particular rare opportunity for so many people to practice Dharma and dedicate merits together in the sacred place of Avalokiteshvara. Only with a great blessing can we complete such a meeting! I hope that everyone will continue to practice in the future, keeping benefiting all beings and raising Bodhichitta.
Pray for blessings from Avalokiteshvara, we can all raise the great compassion and Bodhicitta, and hope to dedicate the merits to all sentient beings in the samsara, and wish everyone can be blessed by Avalokiteshvara with happiness!
Advice from Rigdzin Gawa Rinpoche:
Good evening, it is especially rare for more than one hundred of us to work together in the sacred place of Avalokiteshvara like now, Although the schedule was very tight today, we finally completed the pilgrimage as originally planned.
The sacred place of Avalokiteshvara, such a special place, attracts so many people to worship. This is a kind of blessing of Bodhisattva. The place will definitely bring prosperous and fortune to the whole region.
At today's Putuo Moutain, my heart is particularly happy when I see so many people in the crowds. People who come there, whether they are practicing Dharma or not, were all coming to worship Avalokiteshvara and to pray for blessings. However, no matter what kind of purpose is held, it is sure that they have confidence in Avalokiteshvara; because they are willing to spend money to come there and to pray for the blessing of Avalokiteshvara, and not afraid of hard work. Therefore, I hope that everything can be smooth and auspicious for them.
It is really meaningful for us to go to Putuo Mountains to worship and offering treasure bottles. Many people do not understand the truth that in the sacred sites, killing is not allowed. They do not know that there is a serious sin in killing. Therefore, they come to such a sacred place but began to eat seafood after the pilgrimage, which must be said to be very regretful.
Many seaside cities have such problems. Therefore, I have a special wish to organize a big life release activity in Putuo Mountain. I pray that Avalokiteshvara can bless me to successfully achieve such a wish.
This afternoon, I read a scripture before the statue of Avalokiteshvara, but my heart could not be quiet as always because there were too many people. Some people are very anxious not to catch up and some people have been responsible for waiting for the people behind the team. Everyone's heart is also anxious, so it is difficult to calmly make a special wish.
However, this evening, there is such a quiet place and there is plenty of time so that everyone can finally feel at ease. And we also performed feast offering in the sacred place of Bodhisattva, which is extremely rare and auspicious. Today, we have more than 100 people here, and everyone is very united and very quiet. We practiced Dharma and dedicated the merits together. These activities have extraordinary significance.
Let us send out genuine wishes together, confess what we have done in front of Bodhisattva of compassion, and eliminate all karma from the beginning. Let’s pray that Bodhisattva of compassion will support everyone to complete the journey of our lives and work together to complete our mission of Dharma practice. Our lives would definitely be more valuable and meaningful.
Last year, we offered treasure bottles in front of the Wuxi Ling Mountain Buddha with the hope to plant the seeds of a special and auspicious origin for this year's activity. Offering treasure bottle is a very fast and effective method that helps everyone to quickly accumulate merits.
This year, we made a bottle of water in front of the Great Goddess of Mercy and held a large-scale release of life, which accumulated a lot of merits for all the believers. In the past, we also released life at the Putuo Mountain, but the number of participants or the number of life-savings has reached an unprecedented level this time.
In addition to carrying out large-scale life release and treasure bottle worship activities, I also hold a symposium at the Bodhisattva of compassion's special place for the first time, which requires us to have great blessings and excellent abilities. Otherwise, it is quite difficult for so many people to worship and chant together.
Although it is said that 70,000 people are worshipping Mount Putuo today, there are not many people who really know how to pray and dedicate merits. The main reason is that there is no one to teach and lead them. Therefore, we should cherish the opportunities we have got and continue to work diligently. I hope that our team will thrive in the future. Our heart will be increasingly quiet and harmonious and all aspects of work will be better. I hope everyone will work hard and be lucky!