On a bright sunny afternoon on the auspicious 5th of May, Kechara conducted the second Baby Blessing or Children’s Baptismal Ceremony in conjunction with Wesak Day! The Gompa was filled with adorable children dressed in white, accompanied by their families. Surprisingly, they were all very well behaved! Our box of ‘distraction sweets’ was underutilized that day.
The Children’s Baptismal Ceremony is a special addition to Kechara. The first was held in 2011. This year, the prayers recited during the ceremony (found in the Children’s Prayer Book given to the attendees) were composed by H.E. Tsem Rinpoche specifically for this purpose.
During the ceremony, the children are deemed to have “taken refuge” with the 3 Jewels – Buddha, Dharma and Sangha, and will thus be under their protection. This ceremony demands nothing of the child except for the child to start their Dharma practice as soon as possible, this allows them to receive the full blessings and protection of the 3 Jewels as they grow up.
The event started with an opening speech by Datuk May, the president of Kechara House Buddhist Association. She stated that,
“Baby Blessing is the best gift to give our children. A child planted with Dharma seeds and Buddha’s blessings will create the conditions for them to follow the Dharma path and live a virtuous life.”
Following Dato’ May’s speech, Pastor Ngeow gave a short talk on the meaning of baby blessing;
“By hearing the Lama Tsongkhapa’s name, the blessings of the Buddhas are bestowed upon the child’s mind stream. By hearing Lama Tsongkhapa’s mantra, the Dharma is imprinted in his/her mind. By the power of Manjushri’s mantra, the child is blessed and protected from this moment onwards.”
Then, together with Pastor Chia, Pastor Yek Yee and Pastor Susan, Pastor Ngeow led the prayers and rituals as empowered by H.E. Tsem Rinpoche.
The Kechara Pastors, assisted by 4 trainee pastors, proceeded to bless 47 children (aged 0 to 14) with holy water. Parents in the room were filled with joy and happiness and you could clearly see this on their faces, as they were delighted to know that the 3 Jewels will watch over their children.
After completing the dedication prayers to end the ceremony, the children made their first khata offering to Rinpoche and candle offering to Lama Tsongkhapa, with the assistance of their parents. Every child brought home a tsa-tsa or Buddha statue, a certificate and a prayer book home accordingly to start their practice at home with their parents.
One of the child that was blessed is Ong Then Yu, who is hardly a year old! He was brought to the ceremony by his kind and wise mother, Madam Wong. Madam Wong believes that it is her duty as a parent to provide her child with a spiritual foundation to bring balance to his/her life. She was very happy with the ceremony and felt assured to return again.
The ceremony concluded with a group picture of all the blessed children and their families with the Kechara Pastors and Kechara President, Datuk May joining in the festive celebration!
To find out more about this unique and meritorious event, feel free to watch the videos of the first Baby Baptismal.
For further enquiries or to register your interest for future Children’s Baptismal Ceremonies, kindly contact May Ong at firstname.lastname@example.org or call +6012 388 8589.