DDM Global News
DDM to Sound the Lotus Bell to Welcome the Lunar New Year
The last day of the 12th of the lunar month is the last day of the year for Chinese communities, called "chuxi" in Chinese. On Lunar New Year's Eve, Buddhist monasteries and temples usually ring the great bells 108 times to say farewell to the old year and welcome the new one. According to Buddhism, human beings have 108 kinds of afflictions, and each of the 108 strikes of the bell on Lunar New Year's Eve symbolizes the removal of these mental afflictions in the present, past and future.
On February 9th at 9 pm (UTC+8 local Taiwan time), 2024, Lunar New Year's Eve, Dharma Drum Mountain will ring its Lotus Bell 108 times and broadcast the Lotus Bell Ringing Ceremony live to receive the Lunar New Year.
Venerable Guo Huei, Abbot President of Dharma Drum Mountain, will ring the Lotus Bell, along with celebrities and prominent citizens from various sectors of Taiwanese society. He will also give a Dharma talk and pray for the happiness and peace of all sentient beings in the coming year.
About the Lotus Bell:
Inaugurated and officially in use on December 23, 2006, the bronze Lotus Bell weighs 25 tons, stands 4.5 meters tall, and measures 2.64 meters in diameter and 30 cm at its thickest part. The echo of the bell can last as long as 105 seconds.
The bell was so named because it was cast with the entire text of the Lotus Sutra and the Great Compassion Mantra, totaling 70,152 Chinese characters, along with a relief entitled "Two Buddhas Sitting in the Pagoda of Many Treasures." Every sounding of the bell signifies spreading the Lotus Sutra and the Great Compassion Mantra; each prostration to and hearing the sound of the bell symbolizes reciting the whole of the sutra and the mantra, thereby creating great merit.
The bell, with its size, weight, form, tone, and the amount of characters cast on it, can qualify itself as a masterpiece work of art. As Master Sheng Yen once said, "The Lotus Bell, cast with the Lotus Sutra, is the largest Buddhist bell in history, for both Taiwan and China. It will become a most treasured Dharma instrument in Chinese Buddhist history, and a legendary artwork that will last through generations."
A treasure of DDM and a Dharma instrument to be passed down through generations for Buddhism as a whole, the Lotus Bell reflects the wisdom and compassion taught in the Lotus Sutra and radiates brightness and hope for people. Master Sheng Yen installed the bell on the Bell Hill of Dharma Drum Mountain, in hopes of sharing the Dharma embodied in the sutra for the benefit of all beings in the three realms of samsara. It indicates the endeavor of DDM to widely spread the Dharma and serves as a spiritual landmark for all devotees and the future generations.
Click the link below to watch the live broadcast of the Lotus Bell Ringing Ceremony.