Heart Sutra and Buddhism : Guanyin Bodhisattva’s Renunciation Day


Today is Guanyin Bodhisattva’s Renunciation Day. As a Buddhist, I will spend the day meditating and reading the Heart Sutra. Most will just eat vegetarian food. Whenever I feel sad or needs clarity, I will go to Singapore popular Kuan Imm Temple at Waterloo Street to pray and I feel better. Sadly due to Covid19, the temple is now closed to the public. I haven’t visit the temple for quite some time now. So now I spend more time reading Buddhist books and Buddha’s teaching.  

Do I understand all of Heart Sutra? Not really but it is helpful to me. Just understanding one of the verses like 照见五蕴皆空,渡一切苦厄 – (Clearly perceived the empty nature of the five skandhas ( form, feeling, conception, volition and consciousness) and transcended all suffering.) helps me not to cling to sadness for too long.  

Most of the time, I just see things from another perspective, upset for a while, reflect and then let go of unhappiness. Since all give aggregates are empty in nature and dependent on causes and conditions, why cling to unhappiness for long. Just let go. If it’s meant to be, it will happen. 

By accepting that all the five aggregates are empty, we are able to embrace difficulties bravely and therefore will reduce our suffering.

Three Important Days Related to Guanyin Bodhisattva

In Buddhist classics, Avalokiteśvara, or Guanyin Bodhisattva, is described as a great Bodhisattva with compassion and wisdom, because she vowed to alleviate suffering, respond to any prayers, and deliver sentient beings anywhere in the Saha World. Through The Stories of Guanyin’s Efficacious Responses and her biography published centuries ago, Guanyin has been integrated into Chinese folk beliefs and has become a well-known Bodhisattva.

In the lunar calendar, there are three important dates celebrating Guanyin’s Birthday, Enlightenment Day, and Renunciation Day, which take place on February 19th, June 19th, and September 19th respectively. Guanyin is widely accepted and worshipped. Therefore, not only would Buddhist temples hold assemblies for dharma services, but also Daoist temples make offerings with vegetarian meals or provide a vegetarian feast inviting devotees to celebrate these special dates, also known as the “vegetarian days” in Chinese folk religion.


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