(By Han Yuri)
The Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism hosts a Grand Memorial Prayer Service at the Main Buddhist Temple of the Jogye Order in Jongno-gu, Seoul on Sunday May 17, 2015 with the participation of some 300 famed Buddhist leaders from various countries of the world, which is the largest of its kind so far in the history of Korean Buddhism.
The grand prayer meeting is for the peaceful unification of the Korean peninsula and peace of the world hosted on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of Korea’s Liberation from Japan as well as for soothing the souls of the victims of all the countries of the world who took part in the Korean War of 1950-53.
The event, which is held for three days on May 15-18, 2015, will also take place at the Gwanghwamun Square in front of the Central Government Building in Gwanghwamun in Seoul, the Hyeonchungsa Shrine and the Bongeun-sa Buddhist Temple south of the Han River.
The total 300 noted religious leaders of Korea and the world include famed Buddhist leaders from 19 different countries of the world, including the famous Buddhist country of the Kalmikiya Republic of Russia, Australia, France and various other countries of Europea.
Among the Asian Buddhist leaders expected to attend the meeting are Venerable Tepbong (the ‘Buddhist King’ of Cambodia) who already visited Korea in September 2010.
Also expected to visit Korea on this occasion are Venerable Badanta Jotiaka Sayady (phonetic) of Myanmar who is concurrently the president of the State Pariyata Sasana (phonetic) University.
Other famed Buddhhist leaders of the world attending the grand Buddhist event are the vice president of the Chinese Buddhist Association, the president of Japan-Korea Buddhist Association, the vice president of the Sri Lankan Buddhist Association and the president of the Lamanya Buddhist Order.
An estimated total of over 100,000 lantern bearers will have a parade at the Gwanghwamun Square from six p.m. This meeting named Mucha Daehoe is open to anyone and everyone and participation is unlimited. This meeting is for all the Buddhist leaders and believers to become one in supplicating peace for the Korean peninsula and the world.
A lantern parade and procession will start from the Dongdaemun (East) Gate and proceed to the main venue, Ganghwamun, with some 70,000 Buddhist believers carrying a total of 100,000 lotus lanterns.
On the morning of Sunday May 17, there will be held a Suryuk Mucha Buddhist Rite (a rite to sooth the dead souls on land and in the sea as well as in the heaven), who died during the Korean War. Here food will be offered to the dead souls. This meeting is expected to be attended by the ambassadors of the various countries of the world as well as the Korean War Veteran countries.
Chief Abbot Jihyun of the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism said, “I expect that this Buddhist event will be the largest such meeting in the world for the promotion of peace not only on the Korean peninsula but also for the entire world. I am sure that the meeting is unprecedented.”