Mangala Vihara (Buddhist Temple) (MVBT) played host to a group of five bhikkhus who graduated from Buddhist & Pali University, Sri Lanka with first class honours for their BA degree, accompanied by their Supervisor Dr Venerable Panahaduwe Yasassi Thero. They arrived on the night of 27th October and departed on the night of 2nd November 2015. A guest visitor was Dr Venerable Seewali of the Mahayana tradition.
MV Dhamma Fellowship (MVDF) extended hospitality to the visitors on October 31st 2015, hosted them to a luncheon in between visits to some religious establishments of the different faiths in the island city state of Singapore.
Accompanied them in the entourage were Bhante Seelananda, Bhante Cakkapala, MVBT Chairman Dr Lim Ah Swan, MVDF Chairman Brother Raymond Yow and six MVDF committee members viz: Brothers Chan, Chin, Hing, Yeap, Sisters Linda and Doris.
Masjid Daural Aman
The first visit was the Masjid Daural Aman (Daural Aman Mosque) located a stone throw from Mangala Vihara (Buddhist Temple) to learn more about Islam, the faith of the Muslims. We were briefed by Shahvil Nizam- Youth Development Officer and Mohd Ali Suni, the Executive Chairman, on the practice of Islam.
Golden Tooth Relic Temple and Museum
We then proceeded to the Golden Tooth Relic Temple and Museum in Chinatown at South Bridge Road, a Chinese Mahayana tradition establishment cum tourist sight. The temple is based on the Tang Dynasty architectural style and built to house the tooth relic of the historical Buddha.
Sanghika Dana Luncheon at Xin Man Yuan Vegetarian Restaurant
The enlarged luncheon group comprised of Brother Alex, Sisters Alice, Cynthia and Sue who joined us at Xin Man Yuan Vegetarian Restaurant to offer dana. “They always take delight in food, both devas and human beings. So what sort of spirit could it be that does not take delight I food?” [SN 1:43(3)].
As monks adhered strictly to their meal time, we made offerings before noon time. “He practices eating only one meal a day, abstaining from eating at night and outside proper time.” (MN i :180). (According to the Vinaya the proper time for bhikkhus to eat is between dawn and noon. From noon until the next dawn only liquids are allowed).
Dana or alms giving is the first of the ten perfections or paramis. The benefits accrued are four fold blessings: long life, good appearance, happiness and strength. “Suppavăsă of the Ariyan woman-disciple who gives food gives four things to the receiver thereof. What four? She gives life, she gives beauty, she gives happiness, she gives strength. Moreover, giving life she is a partaker of life, be it as deva or human: giving beauty she is a partaker of beauty, be it as a deva or human: giving happiness she is a partaker of happiness, be it as a deva or human : giving strength she is a partaker of strength, be it as a deva or human. Yes, Suppavăsă, the Ariyan woman-disciple who give food gives these four things to the receiver thereof.” (AN IV, VI, 57).
After having a sumptuous meal and mindful that “a bhikkhu consumes food neither for amusement nor for intoxication nor 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), we proceeded to the next itinerary – Burmese Buddhist Temple at Tai Gin Road.
Burmese Buddhist Temple
Burmese Buddhist Temple has historical ties with Mangala Vihara (Buddhist Temple). The Bodhi tree, a progeny of the ancestral Bodhi Tree from Mangala Vihara (Buddhist Temple) was planted in 1991.
The founding member and Chairman of the first Executive Committee of Mangala Vihara, the late Mr Fong Peck Kew was responsible and assisted in the establishment of Burmese Buddhist Temple. Mr Tan Geok Koon also hailed from Mangala Vihara (Buddhist Temple) is the current editor of their newsletter.
Follow the link below to read more about Burmese Buddhist Temple.
Catholic Church of The Holy Trinity
The last visit for the day was The Catholic Church of The Holy Trinity at No: 20 Tampines, Street 11.
We ended the last visit of the day at 4:30 pm and returned to Manala Vihatra (Buddhist Temple).
During their stay they were also invited to deliver a lecture on November 2nd 2015 at Chew Quee Neo Hall.
The selected topic for the talk was “How to use the Dhamma in our daily life”, under the auspice of a series of Dhamma Talk of MVDF.
For the benefit of those who could not attend to talk, we bring the recording to you.
Singapore is a kaleidoscope of cultural mosaics where diverse places of worship, cuisines and languages co-exist harmoniously despite their differences.
It was indeed a wise choice to select this city state for their educational trip to witness the religious tolerance and diversity of her rich multi-racial culture and not forgetting Singaporean past time – food.
Token of Appreciation
The visitors were then hosted to a luncheon at Xin Man Yuan Vegetarian Restaurant for the total bill of $896.40. The purse of MVDF contributed $490.00 with shortfall shared among the diner members at $37 per person. When they give out of faith with heart of confidence, food accrues to the giver himself.” [SN 1:43(3)].
It is only appropriate to put on record as token of appreciate for the generosity of the following donors for the costs of the transport:
“Giving food, one gives strength; giving clothes, one gives beauty; giving a vehicle, one gives ease; giving a lamp, one gives sight.” [SN 1:42(2)].
Sadhu! Sadhu! Sadhu!
(Unless otherwise stipulated, text and photos by contributor).
Contributor: Chin Kee Thou
Date: November 6th 2015