26 May 2010

Nalanda on The Star Metro - Grand Celebration of Faith

KUALA LUMPUR, 25 May 2010 - NALANDA Buddhist Society, a leading Malaysian Buddhist establishment, will be celebrating Wesak this year with many attractive programmes and activities spanning four days from 27 to 30 May 2010. The celebration will be held at the newly-renovated Nalanda Centre located in Taman Sri Serdang, Seri Kembangan. The Nalanda Centre itself has been a major attraction since its opening in December last year, with its strong blend of Srivijayan and Malayan heritage interior design and its peaceful Zen-like ambience within. Thus, it will be an ideal place for spiritual contemplation and to observe Wesak Day.

Wesak full-moon day commemorates the birth, enlightenment and passing away of Lord Buddha. It is therefore the most sacred occasion for Buddhists throughout the world. Wesak Day has been designated a public holiday in Malaysia since the 1960’s. On this blessed day, devotees usually throng temples and viharas to honour Lord Buddha by performing many meritorious deeds such as alms-giving, blood donation, chanting, meditation, as well as performing religious rites.

The Wesak Observance at Nalanda will begin on the eve on 27 May with puja, talks, meditation and blessing by monks. There will also be opportunities for devotees to offer alms-food to the Sangha members (monks) daily at 7am and 11am. On Wesak Day, a full-day programme has been arranged starting with the 7am alms-round, Buddha-puja at 9am, Dharma talks, and blessings. Throughout the day, meditation sessions will also be held. A blood donation campaign is also scheduled on Wesak Day at Nalanda Centre, from 10am to 4pm.

The highlight of Wesak Observance at Nalanda is the annual evening Heritage Procession from 7.30pm to 9pm. This year’s procession will be a lot grander with the official participation of five Buddhist Societies from the Buddhist Community Alliance (BCA), namely the Buddhist Missionary Society (Kajang), Kinrara Metta Buddhist Society (Puchong), Nalanda Buddhist Society (Seri Kembangan), Sungai Long Buddhist Society (Sungai Long), and Seremban Sudhamma Buddhist Society (Seremban). More than 2,000 devotees are expected to take part in this traditional procession bearing special paper-fold candle-lights.

The Heritage Procession is unique in the sense that there are no motorized vehicles in the parade. The main Buddha image is borne by a dozen men in traditional costumes on a wooden sedan. Furthermore, there will also be a specially crafted wooden ‘boat’ ferrying the Bodhi Tree topped by a three-tier golden parasol. The ‘boat’ will be pulled by a company of 20 men. The other heritage paraphernalia being paraded include colourfully lighted parasols, Deva (heavenly beings) images, and two lively Naga (dragon) dance troupes with an accompanying musical ensemble. Devotees and members of the public are welcome and encouraged to join in this rare and one of its kind heritage procession in the world. Everyone is also encouraged to dress in white tops to symbolize purity of intentions and the sarong to denote our common Asian heritage.

Another highlight of Nalanda’s Wesak celebration is the Buddha Jayanti Exhibition. This year’s theme is “Buddhism in Asia”. The exhibits are prepared collaboratively by teachers and students of Nalanda Dharma School. The display will run from 28 to 30 May, from 10am to 6pm, at Level 4, Nalanda Centre. Admission is free and all are welcome to visit the exhibition to learn more about the history and propagation of Buddhism throughout Asia.

For more information on Nalanda’s Wesak programme and how you may participate or contribute, please contact Sister Nandini Tan at Nalanda’s office : 03-8938 1500 or 8938 1501. You may also e-mail your enquiries to info@nalanda.org.my. For detailed programme of Wesak Observance at Nalanda as well as other surrounding Buddhist centres, kindly log on to www.nalanda.org.my/wesak.

Read also on the following sites : The Star Metro | Buddhist Bugs

1 comment:

Nagarjuna said...

To make the message of the Buddha available to others is considered the highest act of merit one can perform in this world.
I thank the Nalanda Buddhist Society, Malaysia for progation of Buddha Sasana worldwide.
Sacred Buddha Poornima Greetings !