Students and teachers of CCU are glad to have porridge. FoGuang Shan Yuan-fu Temple of Chiayi sends 2000 sets of Laba Porridge in cold winterPublished on Jan 06 2014
It would be best to enjoy a bowl of hot Laba porridge in the cold and windy winter! To commemorate Buddha, who has attained enlightenment on the eighth day of the twelfth lunar month, and to bring happiness to the neighborhood, this noon FoGuang Shan Yuan-fu Temple of Chiayi has especially prepared 2000 sets of Laba Porridge for the teachers and students of CCU. They are glad to share the love in front of the west block of CCU’s Administration Building. Furthermore, they have also in the hands of Master Hsing-yun’s New Year scrolls, the person who founded Nanhua University, and at the same time, the honorary doctorate of CCU. This secret gift is a means of prayer and blessing for a whole new year for the teachers and students of CCU.
“What is Laba Porridge? Why do we have to eat Laba Porridge on the eighth day of the twelfth lunar month?” On the day to share love and commemorate Buddha’s teaching, Jue-yu Master of FoGuang Shan Yuan-fu Temple of Chiayi led the volunteers of FoGuang Association to roll up their sleeves and cook Laba Porridge throughout the night, starting from 1 a.m. Then they can send the porridge to the west block of CCU’s Administration Building before noon for the teachers and students of CCU to enjoy.
Despite the weather is getting cold, there are still quite a number of teachers and students to receive Laba Porridge. A student, Lin, said, “To eat a bowl of hot Laba Porridge during a cold winter day is very warming.” Some students also stated that it was a fresh experience as they had never savored Laba Porridge; they knew the special meaning of Laba Porridge in Buddhism after eating it, which was specially prepared by FoGuang Shan Yuan-Fu Temple of Chiayi.
According to Buddhism, whenSakyamuni Buddha was still the prince of Siddhartha, he led an ascetic life, only eating on a grain of sesame and wheat. He was so tired and hungry that he collapsed beside the Nairanjana River, and was seen by the shepherdess Sujata, who gave him rice milk. After drinking rice milk, Sakyamuni Buddha regained strength and thus he sat upright under the pipal tree to meditate. Then, on the day he saw the bright star and became Buddha, the day has become “Buddha Enlightenment Day” or “Buddha Teaching Day.”
In order to commemorate the enlightenment of Buddha and the helping of the shepherdess, Buddhism uses the traditional way of cooking eight ingredients including rice, bokchoy, carrots, ginkgo nuts, tofu or fried bean curd, taro, peanuts or soy beans, lotus seeds together as porridge. It is offered to Buddha and was called “Laba Porridge.” Gradually it became a folk custom to pray for peace in a new year.
CCU said, the founder of FoGuang Shan and Nanhua University, Master Hsing-yun, who had just received the honorary doctorate of CCU, is now a member of CCU. The close relationship between Chung Cheng University and Nanhua University had promoted the opportunity of Yuan Fu Temple to give CCU 2000 sets of Laba Porridge. Also, Master Jue-yu of FoGuang Shan Yuan-fu Temple of Chiayi brought more than 1000 New Year scrolls written by Master Hsing-yun to share with the teachers and students of CCU. Principal Jyh-yang Wu stated that he is grateful to Master Hsing-yun, Nanhua University and the volunteers and masters of Yuan-fu temple. He believes that after the teachers and students of CCU had Laba Porridge in this cold winter, not only would they feel warm, but also energetic, and things would go in perfection throughout the coming year!