Eitaikyo means to chant sutras in perpetual memorial tribute to our deceased loved ones. Such services are held at least twice a year: once on the day of passing, with the minister chanting during the mourning service, and another service together with others attending the annual Eitaikyo Service. A sutra is chanted as an expression of gratitude from the family who has made a request that their loved ones be placed in the Eitaikyo book and that a sutra be chanted perpetually. The family’s request is usually accompanied by an offering of dana towards the Eitaikyo Perpetual Fund.
We realize that with the passing of time and changing patterns of family members’ lives, such as residing great distances from Buddhist temples or the performance of daily tasks which take us away from the opportunity to recall within our hearts our loved ones, it becomes increasingly difficult to attend memorial services. Such things happen in this world and yet the wishes of the family are that the deceased be long remembered and tribute paid to our loved ones whether there is any member attending or not. In such cases the deceased will be remembered perpetually through sutra chanting.
MEANING OF EITAIKYO SERVICE AND DONATION
The Eitaikyo service is observed by most of the BCA temples in the state. It is usually held in November. Eitaikyo is an abbreviation of “Eitai Dokyo” which literally means the perpetual recitation of the sutras. It is a kind of memorial service to pay tribute to those who departed before us. Memorial services for the immediate family are held from time to time; however, after the 50th memorial anniversary or if the bereaved family is not of the Buddhist faith, memorial services are often not observed at all.
The donation to the Perpetual Eitaikyo Fund is to preserve the memory of the loved one forever at the temple. By donating to the Eitaikyo Fund, the deceased is remembered each year at the Eitaikyo service. But the ultimate purpose of the Eitaikyo service is to listen to the wonderful Buddhadharma and pass it on to coming generations so that as long as human beings exist in this world, they can hear this Great Buddhadharma.
The Eitaikyo Fund is rigidly controlled and used for the preservation of the temple, especially for the Onaijin (altar area), and even then only in extreme emergencies, and if used must be returned. It is not to be used for general temple maintenance. Your donation is greatly appreciated and the suggested amount of donation at WLA Buddhist Temple is $200 or more per person.