From ground breaking to grand opening of Bouddha Dharmapithamu

Preamble

The date November 19th 2017 marked a historical milestone in the revival and spread of Buddhism in Southern India where a Buddhist Centre, Bouddha Dharmapithamu at Undrajavaram, West Godavari District, Andhra Pradesh was completed after three and the half years of laborious work in its construction.

The construction of the Bouddha Dharmapithamu kick started with the foundation stone-laying ceremony on May 24th 2015 witnessed by many local and foreign monks, nuns, dignitaries and guests on this noble and auspicious event.

In order to maximise optimal usage of the Bouddha Dharmapithamu a soft opening ceremony was held on January 16th 2016 when the building was partially completed with two stories ready for occupancy. Six samanaras were adopted to provide linage to keep Buddhism alive in the Southern India vide this Centre. Today it has a total of thirteen samanaras.

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The thirteen samanaras on campaign trail for the opening ceremony of the Centre.

The cumulation of the preceding events climaxed with the grand opening of the Bouddha Dharamapithamu, which incidentally is also the tallest building in the vicinity, serves as a beacon in the propagation of Buddhism in this region of the country.

 It also serves as a resource centre for research and academic pursuits for scholars.  Ironically, Buddhism originated in India some 2500 years ago had somewhat evaporated for the country of birth but flourished in many nations overseas. It is indeed a noble cause that could not come at a more opportune time for the establishment of the Centre for the revival of Buddhism. 

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Archway of glistering lights leading to the Boduddha Dharamapithaum for its grand opening ceremony.

The Visitors

The main group from Singapore departed on November 17th 2017 comprised of nineteen personal viz: four sangha members and fifteen devotees and well-wishers graced the occasion. Ajahn Keng, Bhante Cakkapala,  Bhante Dhammajothy and Bhikkku Lee were among the entourage by invitation.

The complete group of devotees and well-wishers from Singapore were Catherine Wong, Chin Kee Thou, Christine Chew, Cynthia Tan, Doris Yip, Fiona Liu, Goh Swee Pheng, Hing Seng Huat, Lim Hock Kee, Lim Soo Huang, Maggie Tai, Raymond Yow, Sue Simon, Susan Yap, Susie Lee, Tham Chee Keong, Upekkha Chin, Yong Wee Siong and Zhang Yuxian.

The list of the sangha who spells who and who were:

Ajahn Keng from Singapore; Bhante Cakkapala from Myanmar; Bhante Dhammajoti from Sri Lanka; Bhante Khemacara from India; Bhante Kusalananda from Sri Lanka; Bhante Rathanajoti from Sri Lanka; Bhante Saddhananda from Sir Lanka; Bhikkhu Lee from Malaysia; Bhikkhuni Dhammacarini and Bhikkhuni Thitacarini from Indonesia; Bhikkhuni Nguyen Thi Truc Ly from Vietnam and Venerable Hsueh Men from Singapore; with about 100 Sangha studying at Nagasena University attended event.

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Visiting delegation from Singapore.

Advance party

Brothers Raymond Yow, Hing Sing Huat, Goh Swee Pheng and I arrived on November 16th assisted and oversaw the preparation for this grandiose event working in collaboration with the working committee under the charge of Bhante Analayo. Brother Raymond the team leader with a game plan conferred with him on the ritual and ceremonial aspects like sitting position of the sangha on stage for the sanghika dana, procedure for offerings to the Buddha like water, light and fruits by selected lady devotees and selection of monks for delivering of speech.  A rehearsal was held to ensure proper and timely execution of the tasks.

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Raymond Yow and Hing conferred with Bhante Analayo the game plan with members of the local working committee ….

 

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… and execution of the game plan with the contractor.

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Briefing and rehearsal for lady devotees for presentation of offerings to the Buddha

A large turnout

An estimated turnout of about 5000 well-wishers and visitors was envisaged, called for set up  of a large tentage and marquee pitched on the vacant land adjacent to the Centre to accommodate the congregation together with a stage for sanghika dana for 47 monks and nuns.

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A large teenage pitched outside the Centre that held a crowd of 5000 …

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… and a stage for 47 monks and nuns for sanghika dana.

 

Campaign trails

The preceding two days to the grandiose event were campaign trails by monks, nuns and samanaras, led by a bajaj (Indian three wheel tricycle) decorated with banner on each side pitched with two loudhailers on its roof, blasted away and broadcasted the event as they meandered through selected route of roads, allays and lanes to the villagers and residents within the vicinity of the Centre which is about five kilometres in radius.

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Bajaj decorated with banner on each side led the way in the campaign trails pitched with two loudhailers on its roof blasted away broadcasts.

The processions with flag bearing supporters distributed flyers to passers-by, cyclists, motorcyclists, shopkeepers, stallholders and even delivered to their homes. The campaign trial listed for about three hours per trip on each day.

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The procession comprised of monks, nuns, samanaras, supporters, well-wishers and flag bearer distributed flyers along the selected route.

Distribution of flyers

Vernacular press

On the eve of the auspicious day the press called upon the host and selected representatives for an interview and the news items were reported in the vernacular press.

Press interview with the host, Bhante Analayo …

… and team leader from the Singapore delegation, Raymond Yow.

Pindapata or Alms round

The grandiose event started at six o’clock in the morning with a procession of sangha order comprised of monks, nuns and samanaras in a single file formation, led by the most senior monk in term of the number of vasa, went for alms round or pindapata, flanked on both sides by devotees and flag bearers dressed in all white travelled along the rehearsed route.

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Sangha order readied for alms round flanked on both sides by devotees in all-white attire awaited for the signal to proceed.

 

Two set up distribution points

There were two setup distribution points where devotees and well-wishers offered alms or dana to the sangha as they passed by, mindfully dropped them in the alms bowl of each sangha member and samanara.  “In giving food, one gives five things. What five? One gives life, beauty, happiness, strength and intelligence.  And in giving these things, one partakes in the qualities of life, beauty, happiness, strength intelligence, both here and hereafter.” (A.III,42).

Pindapata

Alms giving in progress.

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“In giving food, one gives five things. What five? One gives life, beauty, happiness, strength and intelligence. And in giving these things, one partakes in the qualities of life, beauty, happiness, strength intelligence, both here and hereafter.” (A.III,42).

The alms-gathers on their way back were welcome by devotees and well-wishers who lined the walkway of the Centre and sprinkled corollas at the feet as they walked pass and then headed to the washing point had their feet washed and dried before headed for the stage set up for the sanghika dana. 

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Devotees and well-wishers sprinkled corollas at the feet of the sangha as they walked by …

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: … had their feet washed and dried before going up the stage for sanghika dana.

Grand Opening and Consecration ceremonies

The opening ceremony was initiated by Madam Chitturi Usha Rani of the Hotel Chitturi Heritage symbolically cut the blue ribbon attached across the main gate and declared open the Centre while the crowd watched enthusiastically.

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VIP Madam Chitturi Usha Rani of the Hotel Chitturi Heritage flanked by Raymond (left) and Hing (right) who would officiate the opening of the Centre.

Simultaneously on the fourth-storey the Dhamma Hall with the newly installed five-foot marble image of the Buddha from Mandalay was consecrated by the lighting the oil lamp performed by Ajahn Keng, Bhante Dhammajoti, Bhante Khemacaea and Bhante Rathanajoti.  

Dhamma Hall

The consecration of the Dhamma Hall attended by selected local congregators. The entourage from Singapore in full attendance was among them to witness the occasion. 

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Full entourage from Singapore among the congregators witnessed the event …

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… with live telecast of the event to the viewers in the tentage in progress.

Commendable speeches were eloquently delivered by the monks in commemoration of the event which was telecasted live on a gigantic led screen to the congregators under the tentage.

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Monks delivered commendable speeches in commemoration of the event.

Conducted tour of the Centre

The newly completed Bouddha Dharmapithamu serves as a beacon in the propagation of Buddhism and a resource centre for research and academic pursuit.

A conducted tour of the Centre was conducted on November 20th for the entourage of the completed building consists of four storeys and a roof garden.  The first storey or ground floor (colonial inheritance) is the kitchen, dining hall cum visitor lounge and administrative office.

 On the second storey is a small theatre with a wall mount television console, the library and a shrine hall. As the Centre is designated to be a centre of learning and research the collection of books will stage to grow with time to be as comprehensive as possible.

The Library

On the third storey are the guest rooms and dormitory for the samanaras, is a restricted area with a gate which is out of bounds to visitors

The fourth storey is the Dhamma Hall and gallery cum museum.

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Visitors to the gallery cum museum.

What a splendid gift!

The funds for the Centre were contributed by donors from Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia; and Singapore – the main benefactor.  It is indeed a noble deed of the incumbents to emulate the great deed of Anăthapindika who purchased Jetavana Grove from Prince Jeta with a handsome price of the number of gold coins that covered the park.  A monastery was built upon the land as a gift to Lord Buddha who spent twenty four raining seasons at the Jetavana Monastery. Although the benefactors’ infinitesimal deed paled in comparison to the gift of Anăthapindika, it is still a meritorious deed and even more magnanimous vis-a-vis in wealth.

Sadhu! Sadhu! Sadhu!

 Contributor: Chin Kee Thou

Date: December 4th 2017

 Readers are cordially invited to visit The Gallery to view more photos.  You may download any photo you desired for keepsake.

Contents, photos and video clip by contributor who takes responsibility for any advertence, factual or otherwise.

 

 

 

   

 

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“Those who know speak little” Audio recording of Dhamma Talk by Sister Sylvia Bay

The month of February is the second month of the year and this Dhamma Talk by Sister Sylvia Bay on February 12th was also the second talk of the year in the current series.

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Sister Sylvia Bay, second speaker for the year with her talk.

Like all her other talks it was full capacity with many regular and staunch attendees followed her like a shadow where ever she appears.

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Regular and staunch attendees followed her like a shadow.

Much as many of them would like to attend the talk but due work commitment or any other reasons had to give it a miss.

Thus aim of the Mangala Vihara Dhamma Fellowship in the propagation of the Dhamma is to reach out to as many audience as possible and hence this audio recording is for their benefit.

A Dhamma talk would not be complete without the usual questions and answers session.

Q n A

Question from the floor.

The gift of the Dhamma excels all other gifts. (Dph 354)

Contributors:

Text and photos: Chin Kee thou

Audio recording:  Chin Kee Thou assisted by David Chua and Chan May Wan

Date: February 13th 2018

The contributors collectively and jointly take responsibility for any inadvertence, factual or otherwise.

You may visit The Photo Gallery  for more photos.

 

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Mangala Vihara Dhamma Fellowship’s Chinese New Year “Lo Hei” (捞起) luncheon gathering 2018 – zodiac sign for the Year of the Dog

Preamble

The Mangala Vihara Dhamma Fellowship (MVDF) held its third Chinese New Year luncheon gathering on February 10th 2018 and ushered in the zodiac sign Year of the Dog which falls on 16th February.  Abiding to the wise teachings of Lord Buddha, the MVDF also held regular scheduled meetings through the years, in addition to the yearly Chinese New Year festive luncheon gatherings for the past two years. “Ananda, as long as the Vajjians hold regular and frequent assemblies, they may be expected to prosper and not decline. Ananda, as long as the Vjjians meet in harmony, break up in harmony, and carry on their business in harmony, they may be expected to prosper and not decline.(D.ii,74). Hence, the MVDF in its ninth year of existence had sailed through stormy seas, overcame turbulent weathers and gone through trials and tribulations and yet survived against all odds though not unscathed.

Full Attendance, Esteemed Guest and Volunteer-Guests

The EXCO members in full attendance were Brothers Raymond Yow, Alex Lim, Chan Tuck Sing, Chin Kee Thou, David Chua, Hing Sing Huat and Yeap Cheow Soon; Sisters Angelin Chong, Chan May Wan, Cheng Seow Eng, Christine Chaim, Doris Sim, Ellen Song, Heng Qwee Siang, Lily Chan, Linda Sim, Suriaty Simon and Upekka Tan.

It was indeed a noble deed for the sangha as esteemed guests who gracefully accepted the invitations and graced the occasion. They were Venerable Professor Gallelle Sumanasiri – Vice-Chancellor of Buddhist and Pali College, Sri Lanka; Bhante Rathanasara – Resident monk of Dhammakami Buddhist Society; Bhante Seelananda – Vice-Principal of Buddhist and Pali College, Singapore and Bhante Cakkapala – MVDF’s Spiritual Advisor. The cohesion of the sangha would ensure continuity of the linage: “As long as the monks hold regular and frequent assemblies, they may be expected to prosper and not decline. As long as they meet in harmony, and carry on their business in harmony, they may be expected to prosper and not decline.(D.ii,77).

As with the past Chinese New Year festive luncheon gatherings where Brother Hing Sing Huat from the Mandarin class in 2016 was a guest, since inducted as an EXCO member; and Brother Jebsons Chua in 2017 from Buddhist and Pali College. For this gathering the guests’ list included: Sister Alice – a regular volunteer with the Community Outreach programme; Sister Sandra Koh who assisted in the Abhidhamma in Daily Class; Brother Jebsons Chua from Buddhist and Pali College and Brother Tham Chee Keong, a volunteer who rendered assistance in many MVDF’s activities. Last but not least the Chairman of Mangla Vihara (Buddhist Temple), Dr Lim Ah Sawn made his debut attendance

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Full attendance of EXCO members with esteemed guests.

“鱼生”  捞起   

The event was held at the Yes Natural Vegetarian Restaurant and in honouring the tradition on monks’ meal time, the hosts and guests dined before midday as monks are “not allowed to store up food and drinks(D.i,5) and “refrained from causing injury to seeds or plants and eat one meal a day, not eating at night, refraining food after hours (after midday)”. (D.i,6, M.i,180). The Viumuttimagga further elaborates on the benefits of observance of ‘no food after time’. “One abandons greed and experienced the joy of self-restraint. One protects the body, and avoids taking food in advance, does not hanker, does not ask others for things, does not follow his inclination. This is an observance of good men. This observance is doubt-free.”

For simplicity, an eight course menu with yu sheng was the choice. This traditional and the must-have dish of 生, also known as Chinese New Year Raw Fish Salad which is available during the Chinese New Year festive period, albeit a vegetarian version with mock fish slices. It is a dish made up of ten ingredients mixed together before eating.

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This traditional and the must-have dish of 鱼生.

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It is believed that the higher the toss the more abundance of good fortune.

The essence of the dish is not in the eating but rather the significance of mixing and tossing of the ingredients known as ‘捞起‘ for prosperity and good fortune.  It is believed that the higher the toss the more abundance of good fortune. Thus the thrill was in the tossing of the salad with merriments to the possible loftiest height and uttered auspicious couplets of good health, wealth and of course the fortuitous word of “發” or “HUAT AHH!”

 

Sanghika Dana

A total of 27 diners including four monks graced the event and three tables were booked to accommodate them. Two tables were assigned with one monk each while the third table with two monks to enable all the participants of each respective table a chance to perform a noble deed of dana or generosity, made offering of food to them.  “Bhikkhus, if beings knew, as I know, the results of giving and sharing, they would not eat without having given, nor would they allow the stain of meanness to obsess them and take root in their minds. Even if it were their last morsel, their last mouthful, they would not eat without having shared it, if there were someone to share it with. But, bhikkhus, as beings do not know, as I know, the result of giving and sharing, they eat without having given, and the stain of meanness obsesses them and takes root in their minds.(It 26).

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“Bhikkhus, if beings knew, as I know, the results of giving and sharing, they would not eat without having given, nor would they allow the stain of meanness to obsess them and take root in their minds.” (It 26)

When the sangha accepted invitations for the luncheon it was an honour and opportunity to perform sanghkit dana and made offering of meals to them. When food is needed to satisfy hunger and sustain the body, “they always take delight in food, both devas and human beings. So what sort of spirit could it be that does not take delight in food?” (SN 1:43). However, they remained mindful and consumed food in moderation reflecting carefully as “a bhikkhus consumes food neither for amusement nor for intoxication for the sake of physical beauty and attractiveness, but only for the support and maintenance of the body, for avoiding harm, and for assisting the spiritual life.(AN 4:159). 

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“They always take delight in food, both devas and human beings. So what sort of spirit could it be that does not take delight in food?” (SN 1:43).

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“A bhikkhus consumes food neither for amusement nor for intoxication for the sake of physical beauty and attractiveness, but only for the support and maintenance of the body, for avoiding harm, and for assisting the spiritual life.” (AN 4:159).

The benefits of alms offering

When one offered food in such a joyful event like singhikat dana, was indeed a noble deed not only accrued merits for this life but also the next life.One who respectfully gives timely food to those self-controlled one who eats what other give, provides them with four things: life, beauty, happiness and strengthen. The man who gives life and beauty, who give happiness and strengthen, will obtain long life and fame wherever his is reborn.(AN 4:58)

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“One who respectfully gives timely food to those self-controlled one who eats what other give, provides them with four things: life, beauty, happiness and strengthen. The man who gives life and beauty, who give happiness and strengthen, will obtain long life and fame wherever his is reborn.” (AN 4:58)

General Siha asked the Lord: ”Is it possible to see the results of generosity?”  And the Lord said: “Yes it is possible to see the result of generosity.  The giver, the generous one, is liked and dear to many. … Good and wise people follow the generous person. … The generous person earns a good reputation. … This is the result of generosity. Once again, in whatever company he enters, be it nobles, brahims, householders or monks, the generous enters with confidence and without trouble.  And finally, the giver, the generous person, is reborn in heaven after death.  This is a result of generosity that can be seen hereafter.” (A.III,39).

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“And finally, the giver, the generous person, is reborn in heaven after death. This is a result of generosity that can be seen hereafter.” (A.III,39)

 “In giving food, one gives five things.  What five?  One gives life, beauty, happiness, strength and intelligence.  And in giving these things, one partakes in the qualities of life, beauty, happiness, strength and intelligence, both here and thereafter.” (A.III,42). “When they give out of faith with a heart of confidence, food accrues to (the giver) himself both in this world and the next.” (SN 1:43).

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“When they give out of faith with a heart of confidence, food accrues to (the giver) himself both in this world and the next.” (SN 1:43).

Give or donate according to your means

In almsgiving it is the thought that matters and according to one’s ability and the suitability of the gifts to the receivers not the quantity. “Does almsgiving become especially productive of great fruit only when it is liberality of such magnificent sort as this, or is it rather when it is a liberality in accordance with one’s means?” The Blessed One said, “Not merely by efficiency of the gift does giving become especially productive of great fruit, but rather through efficiency of the thought and efficiency of the field of those to whom the alms are given. Therefore even so little as a handful of rice-bean or a piece of rag or a spread of grass or leaves or a gall-nuts in decomposing (cattle-)urine bestowed with devout  heart upon a person who is worthy of receiving a gift of devotion will be the great fruit, of great splendour and of great pervasiveness.” (Vv. I,1).

Epilogue

It was indeed a desirable and noble cause to maintain the tradition so as to establish and strengthen the bonds with the members of the sangha and among the committee members as well as the management committee member not only for the sake of propagating the Dhamma but also to enhance the practice in their daily lives.

While looking forward to the next occasion that will coincide with the 10th anniversary of the Mangala Vihara Dhamma Fellowship, we need to bear in mind annica, the true nature of impermanence when “whatever exists here on earth and in space, comprised by form, included in the world – everything impermanent decays.  The saga fare having pierced the truth.” (AN.1, 712).  We will take it in stride as we move along while looking forward to the next gathering.

Sadhu!

Contributor: Chin Kee Thou

Date: February 12th 2018

Texts, photos and video clips by contributor who takes responsibility for any inadvertence, factual or otherwise.

All citations from the Sutta pitaka are available at the MV Library . You may also follow the link MV eLibrary Books to read or download.

You may visit ThePhoto Gallery for more photos and video clips.  You are at liberty to download any image as you wish for keepsake.

Posted in Abhidhamma in Daily Life, Buddhism in Daily Life, Dhamma in Daily Life, Events, Sutta in Daily Life, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Community Outreach celebrates Chinese New Year festival with senior citizens of Eunos Crescent

The Community Outreach programme of the Mangala Vihara Dhamma Fellowship reached out to the senior citizens of Eunos Crescent and brought Chinese New Year cheers and joy and shared with them. The year of dog zodiac sign falls on February 16th and 17th and we visited them on February 4th 2018.

The fifteen volunteers who participated in visits comprised of: Brothers Alex Lim, Chin Kee Thou, David Chua, Hing Sing Huat, Seah Kok Hong, Raymond Yow and Yeap Cheow Soon. Sisters Alice Lim, Chan Wan May, Cheng Seow Eng, Cynthia Tan, Lee Mee Yin, Ong Gek Chew, Roslyn Lee and Suriaty “Sue” Simon.

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Volunteer members of the entourage posed with MVDF religious advisor Bhante cakkapala.

We visited four families with two living at apartment Block 12 and one family residing at Block 2. An ex-resident of Block 2 is now residing at a nursing home and we did not forget him.

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Group picture with one of the families whom we brought and shared the joy and cheers of the festive with her.

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A resident shared a joyous moment with volunteer-visitors.

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A family like gathering with another couple-family.

We presented them the usual necessity and food stuff comprised of toiletries like tooth brush, tooth paste, face and bath towels. Dairy products, beverages and cereals like milk powder for the elderly, milo, coffee, kaya spread, instant oats, mixed cereals, and instant noodles. Traditional Chinese New Year goodies like pineapple tarts, peanut cookies love letters, chocolate, candy and the-must-have mandarin oranges. Sundry items like medicated plaster, muscle rub ointment were also included.

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Assortment of items in a typical goodie bag.

In addition each family member received the traditional “ang pow” or red packet with a token cash amount of $50 inside.

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Each family member received an “ang pow” or the traditional red packet …

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… with cash of $50

Celebrating the New Year sometimes also mean wearing new clothing and having a new haircut.  Sister Suriyami and Sister Rosminawen gladly rendered their service and trimmed the hair for the Low family.  

Hairdresser Suriyami and Rosminawen at work.

 

We have not forgotten Mr Gan and Brother Yeap Soon Cheow and Sister Chen Seow Eng made a detour after the visits to the three families and visited a him who now resides in a nursing home to present his share of the goodie bag.

It has been an annual event of the Community Outlook programme and we do hope to keep the tradition going for as long as possible but keeping in mind the true nature impermanence or annica when “whatever exists here on earth and in space, comprised by form, included in the world – everything impermanent decays.  The saga fare having pierced the truth.” (AN.1, 712).  We will have to take it in good faith as we move along while looking forward to the next Chinese New Year visit.

Sadhu! Sadhu! Sadhu!

Contributor: Chin Kee Thou

Date: February 5th 2018

You are cordially invited to visit The Photo Gallery for more pictures and you may download any photos for keepsake with compliment of the contributor.

Text and photos by contributor who takes responsibility for any inadvertence, factual or otherwise.

 

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“Those Who Know Speak Little!” – A Dhamma Talk by Sister Sylvia Bay

Do come and join our pre-festival promotion on February 12th 2018 for a free Dhamma Talk.

All are welcome.

_Dhammapada 259

Submitted by: Chin Kee Thou

Date: January 30th 2018

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Buddhism in Daily Life Class 2018

The Buddhism in Daily Life is a non-examination course organised by the MV Dhamma Fellowship (MVDF) made its debut on March 18th 2013.

The 2018 class timetable is now available for your perusal.

Do sign up for the class and experience a new life.

_2018_BIDLTimetable

Submitted by: Chin Kee Thou

Date: January 11th 2018

 

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Changed in opening hours of MV Library and the emergence of MV eLibrary

The bricks-and-mortar Mangala Vihara Library managed by the MV Dhamma Fellowship (MVDF) was revamped and computerised in mid-August 2014 and became fully operational on January 25th 2015.

But with the march of time and the emergence of the cyber age, it becomes somewhat anachronistic as printed materials give way to digital format. “Physical library loans fall as e-books gain popularity” reported the Straits Times on May 11, 2017.  So is the MV Library which is not spared and with no exception.  The number of visitors dwindled over the years as knowledge and resource information are freely available from the internet.

Hence, the opening hour is from 6:30 to 7:30 pm on a Thursday that coincides with the Sutta Study Class to facilitate loaning and returning of books. It is closed on public holidays, new moon and full moon days.

When the official website of Mangala Vihara (Buddhist Temple) (MVBT) was revamped and when the MVDF was offered a webpage in April 2017 to showcase its activities, the Library committee did not hesitate to create and launch an eLibrary platform to supplement the MV Library.

It is accessible from the MVBT website mv.org.sg or vide the URL http://mv.org.sg/mangala-vihara-dhamma-fellowship-mvdf/mvdf-mangala-vihara-library/.

Readers may visit the site at your convenience anytime and anywhere, twenty-four-hours a day and seven-days a week (24/7) with any device with internet connection for the following services:

An online catalogue on complete collection of books in the bricks-and mortar library is available for browsing before heading for the library.

A comprehensive collection of digitised books for browsing, reading and download is available at the MV eLibrary Books site.

A Resourceful Website with hyperlinks to various Buddhist websites for information is also available.

All are welcome to visit the MV Library and MV eLibrary.

2018 Library

Poster credit: Brother Chan Tuck Sing.

Contributor: Chin Kee Thou

Library Committee

MVDF

Date: December 22nd 2017

Unless otherwise stipulated, contents by contributor who takes responsibility for any inadvertence, factual or otherwise.

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A pictorial tour of archaeological sites and other monuments in Southern India

We made a detour for a visit to archaeological sites and monuments from 21st to 25th November, after having witnessed and participated in a historical event on November 19th – the grand opening of Bouddha Dharmapithamu Buddhist Centre in Andhra Pradesh, a southern state of the Indian Continent.

 Here is a pictorial tour of the itinerary of the various sites we visited.  For the descriptions of the sites you may go to the internet for more comprehensive information.

Golkunda Fort

The Golkonda fort is listed as an archaeological treasure on the official “List of Monuments” prepared by the Archaeological Survey of India under The Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act. Today, even after almost 800 years, the fort still stands as one of Hyderabad’s greatest architectural wonders. One of its greatest engineering marvels is the fantastic acoustic effects: one handclap at a certain point below the entrance dome can be heard at the highest point of the pavilion almost a kilo-meter away. This was said to be used for warning the royals in case of an attack. (Source: Wikipedia).

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Entourage posed at Golkunda Fort.

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A hand clap below the entrance dome can be heard at the highest point of a pavilion almost a kilo meter away used to warn the royals in case of an attack.

Golkunda Fort

Ajanta and Ellora Caves

You may follow the above link for a brief notes on Ajanta and Ellora Caves during my last visit in 2014. We shall now take a pictorial tour of the two Caves.

Ajanta Caves

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Group photo with BhanteDhammajoti and Bhante Cakkapala at Ajanta Caves.

Ajanta Cave Interior

Ellora Caves

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Group photo at Ellora Caves.

Ellora Caves 1

Ellora Caves 2

Ellora Caves

Do marvel Buddhist Cave No: 10 or Carpenter’s cave for the acoustic engineering feat of an echo chamber with a voice that resonated and reverberated with ambience created from 600 to 1000 CE period.  Voice credit to Brother Tham Chee Keong for the short chanting.  

Kanheri Caves

One of the airiest places in the city, the Kanheri Caves premises offers a pleasant break from the pollution and the noisy metropolitan life. Nestled in the Sanjay Gandhi National Park at Borivali, the Kanheri Caves are also known as the ‘lungs of Mumbai’, because this is the only place in the city with the maximum amount of greenery and consequently, a lot of fresh air. The caves date back to 1st century BC and are believed to be one of the oldest cave formations of the country. The Kanheri Caves are renowned for their natural Basalt formations, ancient Indian styled architecture and the 109 special entrances to the caves. The word Kanheri originates from the Sanskrit term ‘Krishnagiri’. Each cave here, unlike the other caves in the country, is adorned with a ‘splinth’ or a rock bed. Congregation halls with large stupas also indicate that the caves were Buddhist shrines and a focal point during the Buddhist settlement in the 3rd century. The Kanheri Caves became a distinctive Buddhist institution for congregational worship, study and meditation. (Source: Mumbai.org.uk)

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Group photo at Kanheri Caves.

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Beginning of the journey of discovery of the other caves from here.

Kanheri Caves

 

Qutb Shahl Tombs

Bibi Ka Maqbaba

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The beautiful mausoleum of Aurangweb’s wife.

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The tomb of Prince Azam Shah’s mother.

Downtown shopping spree

While we were in Mumbai to catch the flight home we spent the time downtown on a bargain hunting spree for “cheap” stuff taking into account the advantage over the parity of the foreign exchange rate greatly in favour of the visitors. 

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Local fruits galore …

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… and lavished to one’s heart content.

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Bargain hunting for cheap apparel?

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Exotic nuts to bring home as gifts.

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A treasure trove of books for Bhante Cakkapala.

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Is there a jay walking law here?

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Ha ha! When you are in Rome do as the Romans do?

Epilogue

It was an enjoyable trip for everyone notwithstanding the unpleasant gastric flu that afflicted some of us.  There was no serious or near fatal cases and we all emerged much stronger and reached home safe and sound.

I was amazed by the traffic condition where everyone is tolerance and gives way to one another without having to resort to horning with agitation. Jay walking is the way of life and it has replicated by them in Singapore if you visit Little India on a Sunday.

The Photo Gallery is open for your viewing pleasure for more photos and you may download them for keepsake.

Contributor: Chin Kee Thou

Date: December 20th 2017

Texts, photos and video clip by contributor who takes responsibility for any inadvertence, factual or otherwise.

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