35-feet rotating lantern and Wesak float key highlight for Wesak Day

35-feet rotating lantern and Wesak float key highlight for Wesak Day

KUALA LUMPUR: Wesak Day is officially celebrated this Sunday at the Buddhist Maha Vihara temple in Brickfields.  The celebration, however, begins tonight with a talk on dhamma by Thai monk Luang Por Thoon in Thai language. 

The talk will be translated to English.  The one-and-a-half-hour talk begins at 8pm.  Dhamma refers to the cosmic law and order.  This is followed by an overnight meditation session until 6 am tomorrow morning.

Tomorrow there would be an eight precepts of Buddhism event from 7am to 7pm.  The eight precepts are abstinence that Buddhists abide by.

The eight precepts are abstinence from killing, stealing, false speech, intoxicants, consuming food at the wrong time, sexual conduct.

It also requires Buddhists to keep away from dancing, music, visiting shows, flowers, make-up, the wearing of ornaments and decorations.

The last precept that a Buddhist needs to follow is refraining from sleeping at a high place.

The Asoka Hall is on the ground floor of Wisma Dharma Chakra, Buddhist Maha Vihara.

A blood donation drive also will be held at the temple’s Asoka Hall.  The hall is also the venue for an organ donation campaign tomorrow night.

The first oil lamp lighting ceremony would be lighted at 7pm.

Children of devotees would perform their devotion before an outdoor Gilampasa Buddha Puja from 7.45 to 9pm. This would be followed by the chanting of Parittas.

The puja is equivalent to an evening service.

The highlight of this year’s celebration is a photo exhibition entitled Buddhist Heritage of the World that will be held for a week from Saturday.

A total of 60 photographs taken by film maker and art historian Benoy K Behl will be on display.

The temple’s honorary secretary Tilak Leslie Jayawardena meanwhile told The Leaders Online that the celebration would include caring and sharing programmes.

“We invite old folks, the blind, the deaf and orphans from orphanages.  There would be 1,000 of them. We would provide them light entertainment and luncheons. Orphanage homes would also receive donations,” he said.

Volunteers preparing drinks for 10,000 visitors who would be visiting the temple on Wesak Day.

“We have groups within this temple to do charity.  The Grocery Project group for instance would visit the Orang Asli villages and give out essentials to them,” he added.

“The main attraction here in the temple is the 35 feet rotating lantern and the Wesak float,” he also said.

The Wesak float will be brought in a procession covering Jalan Sultan Abdul Samad, Jalan Tun Sambanthan until Jalan Pudu.

Tilak added that there would be approximately 30 monks involved in the Wesak Day celebration.

Of this, 28 of them are Sri Lankan monks who arrived yesterday.

He also told The Leaders Online about a major difference in terms of celebration in Malaysia and Sri Lanka.

Devotees performing prayers at the Buddhist Maha Vihara.

“There are no processions in Sri Lanka.  There would be chanting and it is considered a religious holy day.  They also try to curb the use of loud music, just as we do,” he said.

The temple’s charity work is also manifested through the stalls set up in the compound that provides flowers and joss sticks for prayers, free meals and drinks for 10,000 people.

It will be handled by several hundred volunteers.

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By: K Pragalath

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