Saturday, May 25, 2013

Malaysian Buddhists celebrate Wesak Day 2013


Buddhists celebrate Wesak Day

PRAYERS FOR PEACE, PROSPERITY: Devotees of Subang Jaya Buddhist Association and Chempaka Buddhist Lodge commemorate Buddha’s Day

SUBANG JAYA: THE Subang Jaya Buddhist Association (SJBA) marked the auspicious Wesak Day by officially launching its building extension fundraising campaign yesterday.
The campaign, which aims to collect RM5 million, will go into funding a brand new four-storey block adjacent to existing building which was built back in 1997.
Since the pre-launch of its campaign a week ago, some RM300,000 had already been collected from generous donors and devotees.
The donation collected through three channels, namely, pledges, sales of brick coupons and direct contribution had been positive, said SJBA president Chim Siew Choon.
Chim thanked the donors and hoped the donation for the new building, on a piece of land given by the Selangor government, will continue to increase.
"The vihara (temple) has been well used over the years but we need more space for ongoing activities. With the new building on a piece of 0.05ha land, we will be able to accommodate our members and devotees comfortably.
"We hope to garner more support from the public to make our extension a reality in two years' time," he said.
Chim said the new building will have dhamma school classrooms, a meditation and multipurpose hall, better equipped library, senior citizen centre, and dana hall.
Also present at the launch were SJBA abbot U Nyanaramsi, its patron Datuk Tang See Hang, Subang Jaya assemblyman Hannah Yeoh, and Kelana Jaya MP Wong Chen.
Meanwhile, some 10,000 members and devotees came together at the SJBA premises to honour the birth, enlightenment and death of the Buddha.
It was a perfect day for families, young and old, to engage in activities such as the lighting of oil lamps and lotus candles, blood donation, offering of robes to monks, offering of flowers to the Buddha, health checks, blessing ceremony, chanting, transfer of merits and traditional Chinese medicine services as well as hanging their wishes on the bodhi tree.
For good friends, Tan Ai Mooi and Yong Yuk Moey, Wesak Day was a chance for them to get away from their families and bond with each other.
The duo from SS15, who were waiting for the blessing ceremony to start, had been going to SJBA for two years together.
"Today is a special occasion and we make time to honour the Buddha. This is also the time when we do self-reflection and seek inner peace by listening to the dhamma and meditate," said the 60-year-old Tan.
Over at the Setenang Buddhist Society in Taman Damai Utama, Jalan Kinrara 6, Puchong, Wesak Day was celebrated with puja, chanting and blessings by the monks at the centre. The theme for this year was A Prosperous Nation, A Peaceful Life.
Greeting the devotees at the premises was the Bathing Buddha built.
Many devotees participated in an event known as bathing of the Buddha at an area in the premises decorated to represent Lumbini Garden.
Lumbini Garden in Nepal was the birthplace of the Buddha.
The act of bathing the Buddha is symbolic of purity, wisdom, dignity, merit and virtue, and devotees do so in return for blessings.
The devotees had also lit candles and joss sticks as offerings to the Buddha.
Setenang Wesak Day organising chairman David Karuna Tan said he was happy to see the crowd who came to take part in the festivities.
"We hope more people will learn about the life of Buddha with us," he said.
The commemoration of Wesak Day at Setenang will culminate in a musical puja by Bro. Chong Su Lim.

Read more: Buddhists celebrate Wesak Day - Central - New Straits Times

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