KUALA LUMPUR: Buddhists throughout the nation thronged temples to celebrate Wesak Day, a day that marks the birth, enlightenment and death of Gautama Buddha.
The faithful who came to Wisma Buddhist were seen praying, offering flowers and bathing Buddha statues.
A vegetarian lunch was served after a prayer ceremony.
MCA president Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai, who attended the celebration, said there was a need for a balance between materialism and strengthening faith in today’s fast-paced society.
He lauded Buddhist associations for taking the lead in social media to promote Buddhism and good values to followers.
“We should provide the right teachings so that people will understand the importance of positive values in creating a harmonious society,” Liow said.
Among those who came was pharmacist Tan Suet Yin, 31, who hoped Malaysians could look beyond each other’s differences, just like how the Buddha was accepting of everybody.
“It is my hope that Malaysians will continue living in harmony,” said Tan, who has been going to the temple since she was five.
Engineer Surain Nair, 33, said he hoped Malaysians would learn to be more patient and calm like the Buddha.
“Even though I am a Hindu, my family and I go to the temple on Wesak Day every year to get blessings,” he said.
In Ipoh, devotees at the Enlightened Heart Buddhist Temple walked around the place with statues of the Sakyamuni Buddha on their back to get rid of bad karma.
A gigantic canvas painting of Sakyamuni Buddha was placed in front of the temple.
Devotees ran under the canvas to get blessings from the Buddha.
In George Town, there was a long queue at the Malaysian Buddhist Association in Burmah Road as devotees waited for their turn to bathe the Buddha statue, a ritual that represents cleansing and purification.
Among them was bank officer Elone Teh, 26, who came with her mother Ho Moon Lean, 46, sisters Jess, 25, Geaik Yong, 20, and one-year-old nephew Lim Xin Yee.
“We believe that bathing the Buddha statue not only cleanses our body and mind but it brings us luck as well,” Elone said.
The place was brightly lit with lotus-shaped candles of all sizes.
Free spiritual books on Buddhism were also offered while volunteers served vegetarian food.
Myanmar nationals were also praying at the Dhammikarama Burmese Buddhist Temple.
At the Penang Buddhist Association in Anson Road, there was chanting of Buddhist mantras in its main shrine hall.