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The "Liberation Rite of Water and Land" originated from the Wei, Jin and North-South Dynasties era. Emperor Wu of the Ming Dynasty laid the track for the ritual. Every year in the late autumn, the ritual gathers believers from the entire country. This year, the celebration also marks the 52nd anniversary of establishing Vandana Monastery and the 37th anniversary of Bounty Guanyin statue construction. Due to these occasions, Master Dao-Yi invited Mongolia’s former president Nambar Enkhbatar with his wife, Mrs. Tsolmon to visit Taiwan. On the 10th of November at 7 o'clock in the evening, President Enkhbayar and former ROC Prime Minister Chang San-cheng participated in the annual ritual in Vandana Monastery.

Former ROC Prime Minister expressed his admiration for Vandana Monastery’s contribution to Buddhism and culture by delivering a moving speech.

I arrived in this land of beauty and outstanding people in May 2016, that is when I met Master Dao-Yi. To all of you, brothers and sister who arrived here more than 2 years ago: you are surely more fortunate than I am because you had an opportunity to spend here more time than I did. This year and last year, I had a unique opportunity to ring the Netherworld Bell at Lunar New Year’s Eve. Master Dao-Yi instructed me: ringing the Netherworld Bell can lift the suffering spirits to paradise. Today we are going to ring the Bell to open the ceremony, and we are going to continue doing so for seven days and seven nights, tolling every 15 minutes. Brothers and sisters will be taking turns, therefore for 24 hours, there will be 90 different people tolling the Bell. During the entire seven days and seven nights, the number will reach 700. But before that, one must first complete the ritual of self-clearance in order to ring it with a clear and peaceful spirit. Whether it is 700 people who will ring the bell or believers who attended the Hill Climbing ritual, I would like to express my admiration for your devotion. Vandana Monastery is only 15 minutes away from Hualien city and only 2 hours train ride from Taipei. But after arriving here, everything seems completely different. There is a feeling of peace arousing at heart. The aim of ringing the Bell for seven days and seven nights truly is to help the spirits reach heaven, but the ceremony itself and the wisdom given by Buddha should also serve us to make wise decisions about our society and the country of Taiwan. Prevent conflicts and make our homeland happy, peaceful and flourishing. Thank you!

On the next day, during the inauguration of Peace Pagoda, Former Prime Minister Chang reflected on Vandana Monastery’s origins, giving a thoughtful speech:

Ten years ago, my professor and thesis advisor from the United States came to Taiwan. I took him to Vandana Temple in Hualien. After he climbed up the hill, he asked me, expressing his admiration: [why did they pick up this beautiful mountain to build the temple facing the sea?] I did not give him a straight answer. I just said that this is Taiwan east coast’s famous scenic spot. Two years ago, I had a chance to meet Master Dao-Yi on an occasion of an international conference. This was the time when I learned that the great monk and temple founder, Master Chuan Ching, laid the first stone here more than 50 years ago and managed to make it the way it is today without any high ways around. An old Chinese proverb goes ancestors plant trees. The great Master Chuan Ching plated a tree of enlightenment for further generations. He made us witness the profound truth of Buddha through Master Dao-Yi, which brings peace to people’s lives. The name “Prabhutaratna Peace Pagoda” represents the enlightenment which will lead our world to prosperity. Today’s opening ceremony, inaugurated by Master Dao-Yi encourages Taiwanese brothers and sisters in faith, including you and me, to spread these noble ideals across the world.


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