On Sunday, 31 January 2021 (2564 BE), the Most Venerable Dhammaratanaporn, Ecclesiastical Chief of Pathumthani and abbot of the royal temple Wat Khian Khet, was the presiding monk over the online Global Buddhist paritta chanting event as a blessing and encouragement for the people in the fight against Covid-19. Theravada and Mahayana Buddhist Sanghas nationally and internationally participated in the global event via the ZOOM application. The Buddhist Sanghas included Most Ven. U Sandi Marbhivamsa (Luangpor Taleme Sayadaw), deputy Sangha Nayaka of Myanmar; His Holiness Somdet Dr. Jnanashree Mahathera, the 13th Supreme Patriarch of Bangladesh; His Holiness Most Ven. Banasree Mahathero, the 29th Sanghanayaka of Bangladesh; Ven. Dr. Dhammapiya, Secretary General of the International Buddhist Confederation; Most Ven. Mugunuwela Anuruddha Thero, Secretary General of the World Buddhist Sangha Youth of Sri Lanka; Most Venerable Jing Yao, President of the Buddhist Association of the Republic of China. Honored guests included Buddhist missionary monks from various continents like Most Ven. Dr. Phrarajvites Panyakhun of Wat Mahathat in the United Kingdom, President of the Council of Thai Bhikkhus in the UK; Ven. Kittisophonvites of Wat Nak Prok, President of the Council of Thai Bhikkhus in Oceania; Ven. Vithesbhavanajarn, Abbot of the Dhammakaya International Meditation Center in Azusa and executive board member of the Council of Thai Bhikkhus in the USA; Ven. Phravidesdhammabhron, Abbot of Wat Phra Dhammakaya Scotland; and Ven. Phrasutham Yanvithes, Vice President of the Union of Thai Sanghas in Oceania.
The ceremony commenced at 6:40 p.m. Thailand time with the lighting of the primary lantern by the presiding monk. This was followed by the Sanghas throughout the world chanting the Buddhist paritta, spreading loving kindness, and transferring merit to those who have lost their lives to Covid-19. Then everyone made an earnest wish for the world to be safeguarded from the pandemic.
Most Ven. Dhammaratanaporn said that chanting gives rise to mindfulness and wisdom, and when a society possesses wisdom, it will find ways to keep its people safe. He then alluded to an event during the time of the Buddha when Licchavi nobles invited the Buddha and His 500 monks to Vesali city. As soon as Ven. Ananda completed the recitation of the Ratana Sutta, the three dangers threatening the Vesali citizens disappeared.
Ven. Phrakrusamu Sanitwong Wuttiwangso, Director of the Communication Department at Wat Phra Dhammakaya, stated that with today being the final day of the 9th Dhammayatra Project, the Dhammayatra monks will participate in lighting lanterns and chanting the paritta with the Sanghas from around the world. Lay Buddhists throughout the world will join the ceremony and rejoice in the merit of these monks completely online. The images of these lay Buddhists will be projected on multiple giant LED screens at the ceremony. The people will be elated to see the Sanghas from around the world and feel touched that the monks have not abandoned them even in difficult times. The Sanghas themselves will be happy seeing the great number of lay Buddhists and their effort to accumulate merit by listening to the paritta chanting. This is the new normal way of life for Buddhists that is worth applauding.
List of venerable monks from various countries
- Most Venerable Bhaddanta Candimabhivamsa (Aggamaha Pandita, Aggamaha Saddhammajotikadhaja) Secretary General Sayadaw of State Sangha Mahanayaka Committee.
- Most Ven Jhanasree Mahathero, 13th Sangharaja of Bangladesh
Somdet Yanasiri Mahathero 13th Patriarch of Bangladesh
- Most Ven. Banasree Mahathero, 29th Sanghanayaka of Bangladesh
- Most Ven. Dhammapriya, Secretary General of the International Buddhist Confederation (IBC)
- Most Ven. Mugunuwela Anuruddha Thero, Secretary General of the World Buddhist Sangha Youth (WBSY)
- Ven Jing Yao, President of the Buddhist Association of the Republic of China (BAROC)