The date November 10th 2019 marked a new milestone in the history of the Mangala Vihara Dhamma Fellowship (MVDF), which was launched on November 22nd 2009, as it celebrated its 10th Anniversary and established a new chronicle.
The journey thus far had not been a smooth sailing but rather fraught with uncertainties during its infancy and tumultuous at times during its formative years. The existence of the MVDF today was preceded by two unsuccessful attempts. Its survival is a reminiscence of the baby boomer era with high infant mortality rate and survival through the formative years was low. While we rejoiced in the occasion and celebrated the decade milestone we are mindful of the true nature of things as they really are by living in the present moment.
The event kick-started with the morning puja at 10:45 am presided by Bhante U Cittara and Bhante Cakkapala. The assembly included our invited guest Dr. Ang Beng Choo, Chairman Brother Dr. Lim Ah Swan of the Mangala Vihara (Buddhist Temple) (MVBT) Committee, Chairman Brother Kovida Jebsons Chia of Buddhist Pali College Committee and the Executive Committee and Sub-Committee members of the Mangala Vihara Dhamma Fellowship. The congregation was a well mixed of attendees from students and participants of the various classes organised by MVBT, MVDF, Buddhist Pali College, devotees, well-wishers and visitors.
Immediately after the puja session, the congregation adjourned to the Mangala Hall for almsgiving or alms offering to the sangha sasana. In upholding the dietary code prescribed by our late founder, Venerable M.M. Mahaweera Maha Nayaka Thera, a smorgasbord of sumptuous vegetarian food that beckoned the participants, which included a selection of cuisine dishes, beverages, desserts and freshly cut fruits.
Benefits of almsgiving or alms offering
Almsgiving or alms offering or dana constitutes the first kind of meritorious activity, the two others being morality (sila) and mental development (bhavana). Dana also ranks first among the ten perfections (parami) leading to Buddhahood.
“For those people who bestows alms, for living beings in quest of merit, performing merit of the mundane types, a gift to the Sangha bears great fruits” (SN.11.16).
“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 , strengthen and intelligence, both here and hereafter.” (A.IIII.42)
Siha asked the Lord: “Is it possible, Lord, to see the results of generosity?” And the Lord said: “Yes, it is possible to see the results of generosity. The giver, the generous one, is liked and dear to many. Good and wise people follow the generous person. The generous people person earns a good reputation. Once again, in whatever company he enters, bit it nobles, brahims, householders or monks, the generous person enters with confidence and without trouble. These are results of generosity that is observable. And finally, the giver, the generous person, is reborn in heaven after death. This is result of generosity that can only be seen hereafter.” (AN.III.39)
When the monks dined on their meal, the congregation partook in feasting the food just as Lord Buddha says: “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)
10th Anniversary Cake
While in the mist of merriment of a joyous occasion, Bhante Cakkapala, our Spiritual Advisor in the midst of dining his luncheon, was invited to symbolically cut the MVDF 10th Anniversary cake. It was for everyone to partake a bite of it especially for the sangha within the allowable meal time, that is from dawn to midday.
Although for a monk to partake in cutting of a cake in commemoration of the MVDF 10th Anniversary by invitation might seem not to be in line with the Buddhist practice. Nevertheless, it served as observing an appropriate tradition relevant to the event so long as “he does not cling to such practice for his spiritual development or mental purity” as remarked by Dr. K. Sri Dhammananda in his book “What Buddhists Believe.”
Immediately after the luncheon, invitation to deliver a felicitation speech were extended to Chief Resident Monk of the Mangala Vihara (Buddhist Temple) (MVBT) – Venerable U Cittara; Chairman of the MVBT Committee – Dr Lim Ah Swan; Spritual Advisor of MVDF – Venerable Cakkapala; Chairman of MVDF – Brother Raymond Yow and our extinguished guests Venerable Chuan Guan, Dr. Ang Beng Choo and Chairman of the Buddhist Pali College – Brother Kovida Jebsons Chia.
Please visit the photo gallery for the other speakers.
Launching of the MVDF 10th Anniversary e-Souvenir Magazine
Traditionally, in commemoration of a national event or occasion, mementos were issued like stamps and first day cover by the postal authority or coins and currency notes by the mint for collectors and the general public. In a similar vein, and in order to go green and saved the trees and to plug into the digital era, a digital or electronic version of a souvenir magazine was initiated and uploaded on the MVDF Webpage.
The grand event was the launching of a digital or electronic version of a commemorative souvenir magazine to mark the 10th Anniversary of MVDF entitled as “Mangala Vihara Dhamma Fellowship (MVDF) 10th Anniversary e-Souvenir Magazine 2019”. A computer with WiFi connection and connected to a projector, displayed a live page of the Webpage on the screen with notation to click on the cover page icon to download it with any device with WiFi connection.
It was symbolically launched by Brother Chan Tuck Sing to the delight of the audience.
Offering of requisites and gifts
Besides offering of almsfood, requisites were offered to the the monks as well, which consist of – bath towel, shaver, wheat biscuit, Horlicks, tooth paste, tooth brush and mugs.
A gift set of towel and MVDF cap for our guest – Dr. Ang Beng Choo.
Incidentally, all committee members of the MVDF received a cap sponsered by Sister Doris and Linda Sim.
As indicated in my laqst writing that I would share the joy with a digital copy of “Mangala Vihara Dhamma Fellowship (MVDF) 10th Anniversary e-Souvenir Magazine 2019” available for download on the day. You may visit the link: The MVDF Webpage to receive it.
Contributor: Chin Kee Thou
Date: November 17th 2019.
Readers may visit The Photo Gallery to browse more photos.
Contents, photos and short video clips by contributor who takes responsibility any inadvertence, factual or otherwise.