“Have I used my wealth skilfully?” – An audio recording

Preamble

The MV Dhamma Fellowship (MVDF) was grateful to Bhante Buddharakkhita who gracefully accepted an invitation and delivered a Dhamma talk entitled “Have I used my wealth skilfully?” on May 22nd 2017 at the Chew Quee Hall.

This is the third Dhamma talk for the year 2017 organised by the Education Committee under the Buddhism in Daily Life Dhamma Talk series.

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Facilitator Sister Lily Chan helms the event.

Bhante Bduuharakkhita

Bhante Buddharakkhita hails from Uganda, Africa and in the same spirit of the past Buddhas travels abroad to propagate the Dhamma. “Wander abroad, monks, for the good of the many, for the happiness of the many, out of compassion for the world, for the welfare and happiness of devas and humans. Do not go two together, monks, but teach the Dhamma that is beautiful in its beginning, lovely in the middle, and lovely in its ending, both in the letter and in the spirit, and display the holy life fully complete and perfect.” (D.ii, 46).

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Bhante Buddharakkhita in action in lighter mood.

Questions and Answers Session

The questions and answers session was well received where participants posed interesting and intrigue questions to an African Buddhist monk, a novelty in the sangha community.

Dhamma Talk May 22

Interesting and intrigue questions from the floor … …

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… … with equally interesting and intrigue response from Bhante Buddharakkhita.

Audio Recording

As usual, for the benefit of those who missed the event and for whatever reason, and those who may wish to hear it again, it is a pleasure to share the talk with this audio recording as “There are beings with little dust on their eyes who are perishing through not hearing the Dhamma, they will become knowers of the Dhamma.” (D.ii, 49).

Audio recording with the courtesy of Sister Lily Chan

A sell-out full house

As with any of the other past Dhamma talks, it was a sell-out event with more than 100 participants who filled up the capacity of the hall.

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Full capacity crowd that filled the Chew Quee Hall.

Token of appreciation

As a token of appreciation a copy of the Mangala Vihara (Buddhist Temple) 50th Anniversary souvenir book was presented by Brother Raymond Yow, Chairman of MVDF to Bhante Buddharakkhita.

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Chairman Brother Raymond Yow presents a copy of Mangala Vihara (Buddhist Temple) souvenir book to Bhante Buddharakkita.

The gift of the Dhamma excels all other gifts, the flavour of the Dhamma excels all other flavours, the delight of the Dhamma excels all other delights.” (Dhp. 354).

Sadhu! Sadhu! Sadhu!

 Contributor: Chin Kee Thou

Date: May 24th 2017

Unless otherwise stipulated, texts and photos by contributor who takes responsibility for any inadvertence, factual or otherwise.

 

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

“Have I used my wealth skillfully?” by Bhante Buddharakkita

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Dhamma,

You are cordially invited to attend a dhamma talk by Bhante Buddharakkita – “Have I used my wealth skillfully?” on 22nd May 2017.

_Have I used my wealth Skilfully All are welcome

Submitted by: Chin Kee Thou

May 4th 20178

 

Posted in Abhidhamma in Daily Life, Buddhism in Daily Life, Dhamma in Daily Life, Dhamma Talk, Meditation in Daily Life, Sutta in Daily Life | 1 Comment

Observance of Eight Precepts

Dear Brothers and Sisters in the Dhamma,

You are cordially invited to observe the Eight Precepts on April 16th 2017.

For registration please call 6348061 or sms/whatsapp 96228156 by April 12th 2017.

Poster

Submitted by: Chin Kee Thou

Date: March 30th 2017

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

“Why do you need merits?” – An audio recording

“Why do you need merits?” was the second Dhamma talk for the year 2017 delivered by Venerable Kanugoile Rathanasara on March 6th 2017 at the Chew Quee Neo Hall.  Incidentally, it was also his second talk delivered at the same venue, whose debut talk was delivered on October 24th 2016 .

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Venerable Kanugoile Rathanasara elucidates a moot point.

Like his previous talk, this talk was also well received by participants that filled to the full capacity of the Chew Quee Neo Hall with some sat on the stairway.

 

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Attentive participants in pensive mood.

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The talk was well received by the participants that filled up the hall.

It is indeed a noble deed and virtue to propagate the Dhamma and reach out to as many listeners and possible.  Thus, on behalf of Venerable Kanugoile Rathanasara, we share this audio recording

with those who missed it for whatever reason, an appropriate gift for you.

The gift of the Dhamma excels all gifts; the taste of the Dhamma excels all tastes; delights in the Dhamma excels all delights. The eradication of Craving overcomes all ills.”  (Dhp 354).

Sadhu! Sadhu! Sadhu!

Contributor: Chin Kee Thou

Date March 7th March 2017

Texts, photos, audio clip and video clip by contributors who takes responsibility for an advertence, factual or otherwise.

 

 

 

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“Balance in the Dhamma Journey” – an audio recording

The Dhamma Talk series organised by the Education Committee of the MV Dhamma Fellowship in the Buddhism in Daily Life programme kickstarted the year 2017 with a first Dhamma talk, “Balance in the Dhamma Journey” on February 27th by the ever popular and eloquent speaker Sister Sylvia Bay.

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The ever popular and eloquent speaker Sister Sylvia Bay in action.

It attracted a normal crowd of about 100 attendees that filled to the full capacity of the Chew Quee Neo Hall, just like her few previous talks in 2016.

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The attendance of about 100 listeners … …

  

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… … that filled the Chew Quee Neo Hall.

For the benefit of those who missed or were unable to attend due to whatever reason, this recording is brought forth to you and for all to share.

An announcement to take note the next Dhamma Talk on March 6th “Why do you need-merits?” by Venerable Kanugoile Rathanasara.

Do mark your calendar and do make a date to attend.

 All are welcome.

Sadhu! Sadhu! Sadhu!

Contributor: Chin Kee Thou

Date: February 28th 2017

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

 

 

 

 

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Symposium on “Who decides our FATE?

Do avail yourself on March 11th 2017 to find out who decides your FATE without any charge.

Please register by March 8th 2017 vide: phone 63480631 or SMS / whatsapp to 96228156 to cater for the logistics.

poster_latest_jan-17

All are welcome

Submitted by: Chin Kee Thou

Date February 18th 2017

 

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

A Revisit – “The Swastika (卐) A Symbol of Buddhism or Nazism?”

The swastika symbol associated with the Nazis party is a common mistaken notion of many of us. We are all too familiar with the atrocities committed by Nazi Germany during World War II. Many of us reading the history or story of Second World War in Europe would remember the atrocities committed by the Nazi party of Germany on the Jews – the infamous holocaust tragic event of ethnic cleansing in Auschwitz concentration camp in German occupied Poland.

As a result, the swastika symbol was strongly associated with Nazism and the related ideologies such as fascism and white supremacy. It has notably been outlawed in Germany after the Second World War, if used as a symbol of Nazism, as well as many allied countries including Singapore.

Origin of Swastika

The swastika symbol () is a cross with four arms of equal length with the ends of each arm bent at right angle in right facing form or mirrored left facing form (). Historically early archaeological evidence of swastika-shaped ornaments dates back to the ancient civilisation and the art of the Egyptians, Romans, Greeks, Celts, Native Americans, and Persians as well as; specifically in Hinduisms, Jainism and Buddhism as a sacred symbol of good luck.

Swastika is derived from Sanskrit word Savstika, “su” meaning “good”, “asti” meaning “to be” (well-being, good fortune, and “ka” as a suffix.

Buddhism and Swastika

In Buddhism, the swastika symbol signifies auspiciousness and good fortune as well as the footprint of the Buddha and Buddha’s heart. It is also said to contain the whole mind of the Buddha and can often be found imprinted on the chest, feet or palms of Buddha images.

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In many Buddhist literatures the swastika symbol is also the first of the 65 auspicious symbols on the footprint of the Buddha. The image of Lord Buddha depicts swastika on each of the toes of his feet. Buddhists have actually borrowed the swastika symbol from the Hindus.

The swastika symbols also often been used to mark the beginning of all the Buddhist texts. Buddhist swastika symbol is more often viewed as a sign of infinity, affluence, abundance and long life. It holds great importance in the Buddhist tradition and thus, this symbol can be found on almost all the Buddhist sites including the temples and monasteries.

The Buddha image emits rays in the form of various patterns and symbols radiates in various colours includes the swastika symbol in gold (yellow).

The Buddha image emits rays in the form of various patterns and symbols radiates in various colours includes the swastika symbol in gold (yellow).

In the Buddhist tradition the swastika symbol is invariably in gold, yellow or red in colour in the left facing form (). The two temples that I know of are the Hoon Siang Keng Temple in our neighbourhood, located at 82 Changi Road, is one such temple that has swastika symbols in gold. The Kong Meng San Phor Kark See Monastery (Bright Hill Temple) is the other temple with swastika symbols, is located at Bright Hill Road, in red and eaves in gold. These are two examples that I know of and, perhaps further exploration may reveal more of such temples.

swastika-symbol-on-buddhist-establishments

Nazism and Swastika

The swastika was also a symbol for the Aryan people, a name that in Sanskrit means “noble”. The Aryans were a group of people who settled in Iran and Northern India and believed themselves to be a pure race, superior to the other surrounding cultures. When the Germans looked for a symbol, they looked for a symbol, which represented the purity, which they believed they contained. The Nazis regarded themselves as “Aryans” and tried to steal the accomplishments of these pre-historic people. Thus, the swastika symbol was adopted as a symbol of the Nazi Party of Germany. When Adolf Hitler came to power in the 1930s, he incorporated a swastika into the Nazi party flag, and was made the state flag of Germany.

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The existing German flag as defined in the Basic Law of the Federal Republic of Germany in Article 22 states the federal flag shall be in black, red and gold.

Use of Swastika Symbol in Singapore

As Nazism is synonymous with the swastika symbol it is banned in Singapore, why it is allowed in use in temples, monastery and buildings? The swastika symbol appears on images of the Lord Buddha, façade of many buildings, temples and monasteries here. We have The World Red Swastika Society (Singapore Administration Centre) at Keng Lee Road and the Red Swastika School in Bedok; and of course the many temples and monasteries and; Mangala Vihara (Buddhist Temple) is among them.

The World Red Swastika Society at Keng Lee Road.

The World Red Swastika Society at Keng Lee Road.

Mangala Vihara (Buddist Temple) Main Shrine Hall

In the main shrine hall of Mangala Vihara (Buddhist Temple), a white circular board with light emitting diodes (LED), installed as backdrop to simulate emitting of rays of the Buddha image, spins with patterns and symbols and radiates in various colours includes the swastika symbol in gold (yellow). 

 

Many of us do not realise it or some may have seen it but do not know the significant or the reason, including myself. I was once asked why the swastika symbol that is associated with Nazism is being used in a place of worship. That sets my mind reeling for an answer and hence, this article I hope would clarify the misconception.

The Different Forms of Swastika Symbol

The swastika symbolizes much more than what the intention of the Nazis planned evil deeds. The swastika symbol signified good fortune and well-being thousands of years before the Nazis even existed. To the many civilisations and cultures an important one, representing their history and beliefs. The Nazis, by adopting the swastika, annihilated the significance of the ancient symbol. Today, the swastika is to most people a symbol of evil, a symbol of demise, and a symbol of ruination. It is extremely depressing to find that although the swastika is a symbol of life, and symbol of joy, it has been made a symbol of evil, something the people of the ancient world never intended it to be.

Fortunately, there are marked differences in forms and characteristics to distinguish between the Buddhist swastika symbol and the swastika symbol of evil Nazism.

The Buddhist swastika is left facing form put flat and mainly in gold, yellow and red colour and not in black. The Nazi used the right facing form and tilted the swastika symbol at an angle of 45 degrees with the corners pointing upwards and invariably in black.

buddhist-and-nazi-sawtiska-symbol

 

As there are clear distinctions between the two all we have to do is recognise them. What we see in Singapore, invariably are the lawful symbols and not the outlawed Nazi symbol.

A symbol is just a symbol and it is the intent that makes the difference. A scalpel in the hands of a surgeon is a tool in his profession can save a life; while in the hands of a perpetrator is unlawful possession of a weapon, in the eyes of the law, to commit a crime.

In the Dahmmapada, Yamaka Vagga (The Twin Verses), Verses 1 and 2 straighten our minds and views on good and evil intentions.

Mano pubbaṅgamă mano, setthă manomayă
Manasă ce padutthena, bhăsati vă katoti vă
Tato naḿ dukkhamanvertĭ, cakkaḿ’va vahato padam”.

(Mind is the forerunner of (all evil) states. Mind is chief; mind-made are they. If one speaks or acts with wicked mind, because of that suffering follows one, even as the wheel follows the hoofs of the draught-ox).

Mano pubbaňgama, mano setthă manomayă
Manasă ce pasannena, bhăsti vă karoti vă
Tato naḿ sukkamanveti, chăyă’va anapăynĭ”.

(Mind is the forerunner of (all good) states. Mind is chief, mind-made are they. If one speaks or acts with pure mind, because of that, happiness follows one, even as one’s shadow that never leaves).

I can proudly proclaim the swastika symbols in red, yellow or gold used in our establishments, righty belonged to the Buddhist tradition are lawful, wholesome and full of good will.

Sadhu! Sadhu! Sadhu!

This a revised article the original of which was first published on October 9th 2011 in the now dormant eDhamma.net, has been cited in Longwood Blog  and listed in the Chinese Buddhist Encyclopaedia.

Contributor: Chin Kee Thou

Date: February 18th 2017

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

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