A central element of Korean Buddhist culture, Yeongsanjae is a re-enactment of Buddha’s delivery of the Lotus Sutra on the Vulture Peak in India, through which philosophical and spiritual messages of Buddhism are expressed and people in attendance develop self-discipline. Yeongsanjae begins with a ritual reception for all the saints and spirits of heaven and earth and concludes with a farewell ritual representing manners of the otherworldly realm of Buddha, with singing, ceremonial adornment and varied ritual dances such as the cymbal dance, drum dance and ceremonial robe dance. The other components include a ritual cleansing, a tea ceremony, the dedication of a rice meal to the Buddha and Bodhisattvas, a sermon inviting the audience to the door of truth and a ritual meal for the dead to congratulate them on their entry into heaven. Preserved chiefly by the Taego Order of Korean Buddhism based in Seoul, the Yeongsanjae is held in temples throughout the Republic of Korea to help all beings enter the world of truth by worshipping and admiring the Buddha and his laws and monks. The ceremony serves as an important space for transmission of values and art forms and for meditation, training and enlightenment.
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