At the invitation of Siddhi & Metta Karunia Charity Group of Medan for a Dhamma Talk, Chao Khun Keng Khemako accompanied by Bhikkhu Lee, graciously consented and delivered a talk, entitled “Cheng Beng Kui” on April 7th 2019 at the Karibia Boutique Hotel. The event was well received and attended by more than 800 devotees and participants that filled up the auditorium.
The jubilant and diligent volunteers done a good job in managing the crowd and the event sailed on smoothly despite the large turnout.
Taman Bodhi Asri (TABA)
While we were at Medan, the group comprised of Brothers Alan Tan, Chin Kee Thou, Hing Sing Huat and Raymond Yow, as kappiyas, and Sisters Christine Chiam, Clara Tan and Suriaty “Sue” Simon who accompanied the monks, made an incidental detour and visited Taman Bodhi Asri (TABA), an old folks’ home. We were accompanied by local devotees, well-wishers and Sister Sue’s friends.
Upon arrival at Medan on April 4th 2019 we lodged at the dormitories for guests at TABA. For many of us it was the first visit and some the second or third visit to the centre. As for me it was a third visit, of which the first was on the occasion for the consecration of the main Shrine Hall in 2012. The last visit in 2017 where we performed dana and brought goodies and joy to the inmates.
For this visit, Sister Suriaty “Sue” Simon suggested the inmates to do dana on April 5th 2019, and organised a pindapata for them and experienced the joy of giving and to share and accumulate merits. With joint contributions from the local donors and well-wishers and the visiting team, the items for the alms giving were basically household essentials and necessities meant for the home. They were distributed to the participants for the purpose of alms giving and were taught how to do it.
The participants, both the wheelchair bound and the others mustered at the dining hall in the morning and each was given two items while Sister Suriaty “Sue” Simon showed them the way to do it, to put one item into each of the monk’s alms bowl as they walked by to receive it.
However, many of them were either too shy or too feeble would prefer to stay in the dormitories and; of course those who are physically challenged and bedridden. We visited them all the same at the various wings of the building and offered them an opportunity to participate in the noble deeds of alms giving.
Many of them on wheelchair waited along the corridors and others indoor came out to make offer when the monks approached them. “This very practice of receiving alms from one door to the next had always been our means of livelihood,” extolled Lord Buddha. (Mahabuddhavamsa ).
And for the physically challenged and bedridden we visited them in the dorm room to receive the alms, a fortuity for them to participate in the noble deeds to gain merits.
Tears of blissful joy
For some of the participants, it was the first time in their life doing dana, and this fortuity in giving alms was an exhilarating experience that they shed tears of blissful joy, explained Chao Khun Keng Khemako.
We were glad that we shared the opportunity and brought forth the joy that they experienced for the first time in their life, which would otherwise be impossible.
The benefits of dana
I was glad when I witnessed a bedridden participant, beamed with serenity while blissfully gazed at the alms gatherer when he held his hand. It was a heartfelt experience that reminds me the fruits of dana, in giving and receiving.
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).
It was indeed a fruitful trip, and when planning for future trip to Medan, a visit to TABA again with grandeur is a worthwhile thought.
Just in jest
Contributor: Chin Kee Thou
Date: April 20th 2019
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