Today, the Chinese community celebrates ‘Cheng Beng’ (or ‘Qing Ming’, 清明节), a custom when people pay tribute to their ancestors through food offerings and by ‘sweeping tombs’. A tradition which originated over two thousand years ago in China, the word ‘Cheng Beng’ means “pure brightness”, coinciding with the beginning of spring when the sun shines brightly.
The Buddha taught that our duties towards parents and relatives do not end with their death. After their demise, we should continue to honour them by performing meritorious and noble deeds. Rejoicing in this goodness, we then dedicate merits to them; we can recite “Idam me ñātinam hotu, sukhitā hontu ñātayo.” – “Let this merit accrue to my departed relatives; may they be happy!”.
During this Cheng Beng season, let us also bear gratitude to the dearly departed by recollecting their sacrifices and contributions. May your wholesome actions, speech and thoughts steeped in compassion and kindness bear three-fold benefits; to yourself, the receiver and your departed relatives. May all beings be well and happy.