2014 - Wesak at Wat Sitawanaram, Sitiawan

Wat Sitawanaram, Kampong Koh, Sitiawan, Malaysia
Wesak Day (13.05.2014) is the most important of the Buddhist festivals and is celebrated on the full moon in May. It celebrates the Buddha's birthday, and, for some Buddhists, also marks his enlightenment and death. "On this thrice-sacred Wesak Day, Resolve to Walk The Middle Way. May we always practice ardently come what may. To you and your family 'Happy Buddha Day' " — at Wat Sitawanaram, Sitiawan, Perak, Malaysia.

The new temple building. Wesak Day is one of the most important festivals in the Buddhist calendar as it commemorates three significant events in Gautama Buddha’s life – namely his birthday, his enlightenment and his passing away. — at Wat Sitawanaram, Sitiawan, Perak, Malaysia
The main entrance of the Wat Sitawanaram, Sitiawan, Perak, Malaysia

The old temple of  Wat Sitawanaram, Sitiawan, Perak, Malaysia

Blood Donation Campaign Volunteers. Every year my sister Ching Bee Geok would organise the blood donation drive at the temple ground during Wesak Day.  L-R: Subra Arumugam, Josephine Ooi, Yanti Ching, Mr. Chua, Loo Peckim, Ching Bee Geok, Pc Toh and Toh Poh Leng at Wat Sitawanaram.

Blood Donation Campaign Volunteers. — with Subra Arumugam, Josephine Ooi, Ching Bee Geok, Mr. Chua, Loo Peckim and Pc Toh at Wat Sitawanaram.

Ching Bee Geok said, "A big "Thank YOU" to all blood donors and my team of Blood Donation Campaign Volunteers. This year although more than 170 people willingly came forward to donate their blood, the Manjung Hospital only accepted blood from 145 eligible donors. We broke our earlier record of 140 donors in 2010."

National Service (NS) students — with Tan Kien Ai, Jolene Wan and Subra Arumugam at Wat Sitawanaram.

My sister Ching Bee Geok with her former staff Ms. Bharati Sinakarupiah Indhu with Jeevaindhu Jeeva, Ching Bee Geok and Yanti Ching at Wat Sitawanaram.

Hospital Seri Manjung medical staff would do the blood test first before taking blood. 

Hospital Seri Manjung medical staff would do the blood test first before taking blood. 

Dr Goh Chooi Beow, my brother-in-law was seen helping Hospital Seri Manjung medical staff in examining donors. His son is Dr Ian Goh who is now working in Tasmania, Australia.

Many devotees were doing their good deed for the day by donating blood.

The main hall contains a large sitting Buddha statue with a smaller reclining Buddha below. The heart of the Teachings of the Buddha is contained in the teachings of the Four Noble Truths, namely: The Noble Truth of Dukkha or suffering; The Origin or Cause of suffering; The End or Cessation of suffering; The Path which leads to the cessation of all sufferings.

The First Noble Truth is the Truth of Dukkha which has been generally translated as 'suffering'. But the term Dukkha, which represents the Buddha's view of life and the world, has a deeper philosophical meaning. Birth, old age, sickness and death are universal. All beings are subject to this unsatisfactoriness. Separation from beloved ones and pleasant conditions, association with unpleasant persons and conditions, and not getting what one desires - these are also sources of suffering and unsatisfactoriness. The Buddha summaries Dukkha in what is known as the Five Grasping Aggregates.
The Second Noble Truth explains the Origin or Cause of suffering. Tanha or craving is the universal cause of suffering. It includes not only desire for sensual pleasures, wealth and power, but also attachment to ideas', views, opinions, concepts, and beliefs. It is the lust for flesh, the lust for continued existence (or eternalism) in the sensual realms of existence, as well as the realms of form and the formless realms. And there is also the lust and craving for non-existence (or nihilism). These are all different Forms of selfishness, desiring things for oneself, even at the expense of others.

Not realizing the true nature of one's Self, one clings to things which are impermanent, changeable and perishable. The failure to satisfy one's desires through these things; causes disappointment and suffering. Craving is a powerful mental force present in all of us. It is the root cause of our sufferings. It is this craving which binds us in Samsara - the repeated cycle of birth and` death.

The Third Noble Truth points to the cessation of suffering. Where there is no craving, there is no becoming, no rebirth. Where there is no rebirth, there is no decay. no, old age, no death, hence no suffering. That is how suffering is ended, once and for all.

The Fourth Noble Truth explains the Path or the Way which leads to the cessation of suffering. It is called the Noble Eightfold Path.

The Noble Eightfold path avoids the extremes of self-indulgence on one hand and self-torture on the other. It consists of Right Understanding, Right Thought, Right Speech, Right Action, Right Livelihood, Right Effort, Right Mindfulness and Right Concentration.

Members of Buddhist Meditation Society Sitiawan helped to distribute free CDs and Buddhist books to the public on Wesak Day at Wat Sitawanaram, Sitiawan. — with Jeffrey CK Ong and Ching Neng Bin

The ‘Bathing the Buddha’ ceremony is important and often a part of the celebration where water is poured over the shoulders of the Buddha. This traditional cleansing ritual reminds us to constantly strive to purify our body and mind from all defilement and to uproot the 3 evils of Greed, Hatred and Delusion.

This serves to remind fellow Buddhists to purify the mind from greed, lead noble lives and practice morality and kindness. 

Chanting and praying are an important part of Wesak. — at Wat Sitawanaram.

Buddhists set free some captive birds as a sign of liberation from captivity. — at Wat Sitawanaram.

During this festival, devotees bring offerings of flowers, joss-sticks and candles. This is to remind them that, just as flowers wither and die, and joss sticks and candles burn away, so too is life – temporary and nothing is permanent. 

Wat Sitawanaram, a Buddhist temple established by Thai Buddhist monks more than 100 years ago.

When Buddhism was first introduced to Sitiawan more than 100 years ago by Buddhist monks from Thailand most of the Chinese in Sitiawan then were Taoists. Buddhism is a liberal religion which allows the local culture to be incorporated wherever it goes. Thus, this statue of a Tiger God still stands at Wat Sitawanaram.

Buddhists visit temple for services and teaching, and will give offerings to the monks of food, candles and flowers.

Food prepared by Sitiawan Thai communities. — at Wat Sitawanaram.

Food prepared by Sitiawan Thai communities. — at Wat Sitawanaram.

Saddhu... Saddhu... Saddhu

1 comment:

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