It has been nearly three years since the COVID-19 pandemic broke out throughout the world. Statistics tell us at least 201 countries and regions across the globe reported confirmed cases, accumulating to more than 620 million cases, over 6 million of which resulted in death. The coronavirus pandemic created chaos in the world order, directly affecting the health of hundreds of millions of people and resulting in fumbled responses early on from some of the world’s best-equipped countries.
Strict lockdown measures were implemented to stem the spread of the disease, and the resulting interruption to human travel, financial systems, and logistics of all areas resulted in broad and serious consequences to the economy, culture, travel, education, medical systems, mental health, social habits, and overall wellbeing. As the world stepped up to fight the pandemic, resources and people were mobilized in countries of every size to find solutions—large and small—that solve the many pandemic-related concerns we now face.
National medical systems treated the sick as private-sector pharma rushed to develop vaccines, treatments, medications and medical equipment. Governments issued emergency relief funds while churches and non-profits turned their attention to addressing the need for medical supplies. The goal was a unified one—to stop the virus from spreading and ending life.
The Buddhist community responded in kind as COVID-19 began to ravage communities in every country. The Pope of World Buddhism, H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III, took the lead to donate protective and pandemic-fighting supplies to public service organizations and hospitals. H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III said to people, “The emergence of the pandemic is due to cause and effect. There have been many pandemics of different types and forms in the history of human society. Covid-19 is a contagious pandemic, which means it is infectious. It can morph into different variations due to changes in the human body and the weather conditions and cause new infections in people. That, however, will result in the generation of antibodies in humans. Although this disease cannot be fully exterminated, vaccines can be quite effective in protecting humans. Therefore, don’t stress out, and don’t worry. Do what the government asks you to do. Follow the government’s regulations. Get vaccinated so that you can protect yourself and your family. Do know that humans will not be stopped by the pandemic. In the end, everything will be reopened, because the nation will not be stopped, and the world will not be stopped.”
As foretold by H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III, humans have gradually developed antibodies and vaccines and treatments have arrived. Global pandemic prevention policies continue to evolve, and the pandemic started to ease in 2021. In September of 2022, the World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told reporters that, “although we are not there yet, the end of the COVID-19 pandemic is in sight.”
The World Buddhism Association Headquarters is a non-profit religious organization in the United States which has many branch Buddhist organizations, associations, Buddhism-learning academies, temples, Dharma centers, and Dharma-listening locations in the world. The purpose of the association is to spread the pure and supreme Buddha’s teachings and Dharma voices of Namo H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III and Namo Shakyamuni Buddha to Buddhists, promoting that people abide by these teachings to do good deeds, give, practice compassion, abstain from bad deeds and commit to all good conduct. By altruistically contributing and dedicating oneself to the nation and society, the world can be filled with auspiciousness.
With Buddhist Dharma assemblies on specific Buddhist occasions, attendees chant Buddhist Sutras, prostrate themselves and pray to the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas to grant blessings and protections to all. The holy birthday of Medicine Guru Buddha—known by many names and the Lord of the Pure Lapis Lazuli World of the East—lands on the 29th day of the 9th month in the lunar calendar. The Medicine Buddha made twelve great vows and vowed to cure diseases and pain for living beings of the worlds in ten directions in their current lifetime, to let living beings obtain happiness and peace of mind, to increase living beings’ fortune and longevity, and to guide living beings to liberation. All Buddhists respect and admire Medicine Guru Buddha for His vows and their effect on current beings.
In accordance, the World Buddhism Association Headquarters held two Dharma events on October 29 and October 30 to honor Namo Medicine Buddha’s holy birthday. On October 29th, a Dharma Assembly was held in the inner bay of Marian Del Ray, California to release captured lives in observance of the Buddha-Stipulated Day of Releasing Lives. October 30th saw the Dharma Assembly convene to respectfully celebrate the birthday of Namo Medicine Buddha at the Holy Miracles Temple in Pasadena, California. Several hundred Buddhists from across the world attended, including holy gurus, eminent monastics, rinpoches, acaryas, Dharma-listening masters, and householders.
The Holy Miracles Temple is owned by the World Buddhism Association Headquarters. It is a temple where authentic Buddha Dharma is practiced and where many real Buddha Dharma’s holy feats have been manifested and shown to the world.
Within the temple, the Grand Hall of Shakyamuni Buddha is presently the only Inner-Tantric Mandala in the world—a place where Two Great Dharma Requirements have been met. Within the hall, the Pope of World Buddhism Namo H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III has presided over many significant holy Dharma Assemblies which manifested the powers of Buddha Dharma, transmitted unparalleled Buddha Dharmas to disciples, and imparted the universal truth. His Holiness illuminates the grand path to liberation that encompasses both the practices of cultivation and Dharma.
Among the temple’s other wonders is the Hall of Buddha Dipankara and the Holy Hall of Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara. On March 7, 2014, the Holy Blessing Dharma Assembly was held in the place that is now the Hall of Buddha Dipankara to celebrate the First Issue of Imparting the Absolute Truth Through Heart Sutra, a Buddhist Sutra imparted by Namo H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III. There, onlookers witnessed a number of Buddhas bestow holy amrita of three different colors, shining down through the roof, passing through a crystal bowl cover into the empty Dharma Bowl.
Today, the Hall of Buddha Dipankara is a sanctuary for Buddhists to light lamps in offering and increasing their merits. Great Holy Gurus, Holy Gurus, and Dharma masters chant mantras, read out Buddhist Sutras, and practice Dharmas to pray for and bless lamp lighters. It is said, when one lights the bright lamp of blessing in front of Buddha Dipankara in the holy hall where amritas were once bestowed, the blessings power outshines that of any brought by lamps lit in common-place halls.
In the Holy Hall of Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara, the holy statue of Namo Great Compassionate Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara is placed for people to worship. In this hall, the body of Shengzun Yinhai, a noted disciple of Namo H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III, was placed after his passing. During the month his body resided in the hall of the Holy Miracles Temple, a series of divine transformations and holy feats took place. His body transformed as, from the tenth day of his passing, the wrinkles on his visage began to disappear and his bones and muscles began to grow fuller. His complexion was rosy once more and his hair and fingernails continued to grow. Shengzun Yinhai transformed and realized a non-decaying vajra body—a state never before witnessed in Buddhist history. This transformation marked a new holy chapter in the history of Buddhist accomplishments after passing, and the western media was quick to report on the media.
The Dharma Assembly to Respectfully Celebrate the Buddha’s Birthday of Namo Medicine Buddha was held in the Grand Hall of Shakyamuni Buddha of the Holy Miracles Temple on October 30. The Vice Chairperson of the World Buddhism Association Headquarters and also the Honorable Chairperson of the International Buddhism Sangha Association, Jiaozun Zhengda, who is a holy guru of Gold Button Level II, together with the Abbot of the Hua Zang Si Temple, Ruzun Ruohui, a holy guru of Gold Button Level I, as well as the Abbot of the Sanger Mission Bodhi Monastery, Dharma Master Juehui presided over the Dharma ceremony. Notable holy gurus, eminent monks and nuns, and monastics led the Buddhist chanting. The attendees chanted the Bhaisajya Guru Vaidurya Prabha Raja Sutra—The Medicine Guru Vaidurya Prabha Tathagata’s Fundamental Vows Merit Sutra—in synchronicity.
With praises to the Buddha and offerings made to the Buddha, the two Dharma events included chanting the sutra and the mantras as well as releasing lives. The assembly returned the merits to and prayed for the living beings in the world, praying to Namo Medicine Buddha and the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas in the ten directions to give blessings and to protect living beings so that the pandemic is eradicated from the world, peace and friendship persist internationally, the world rids itself of calamity and all enjoy good fortune, health, and longevity.