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Illustrating the Buddha’s life


Monks setting up a giant lantern at the Mahindarama Buddhist Temple in Jalan Kampar, George Town, Penang. — Photos: CHAN BOON KAI/The Star

Monks setting up a giant lantern at the Mahindarama Buddhist Temple in Jalan Kampar, George Town, Penang. — Photos: CHAN BOON KAI/The Star

FROM Buddha’s birth, renunciation, enlightenment to his passing away, devotees can view paintings that depict these historic events on the 8m-tall bell tower at the Mahindarama Buddhist Temple in Jalan Kampar, George Town.

The nine paintings are displayed to mark Wesak Day on Tuesday, and devotees and monks are also gearing up for the grandest celebration yet for the temple’s centennial celebration.

Temple devotee Lilianne Lim, who has been serving at the temple for more than 20 years, said that several monks from Sri Lanka were invited to design the decorations, which included banners and lanterns.

Devotees paying homage to Buddha in the elaborately decorated main shrine hall.

Devotees paying homage to Buddha in the elaborately decorated main shrine hall.

“All the materials used for the decorations come from Sri Lanka and the monks made the decorations too.

“For the lanterns, the monks made them from scratch by taking bamboo strips from our garden,” she said.

Lim added that the cost of the decorations were sponsored by devotees.

She said the nine paintings on the bell tower were taken from a book, “The Life of the Buddha”.

In the centre of the paintings is an art piece depicting peace and harmony that is the work of Ven Parawahera Wajira Thero, a 71-year-old monk from Sri Lanka who is residing in Mahindarama Temple.

The paintings of Ven Parawahera on the bell tower.

The paintings of Ven Parawahera on the bell tower.

Come Wesak Eve on Monday, Lim said temple chief monk Ven Dr. E. Indaratana Mahathera will lead the lighting of 10,000 lotus-shaped candles.

On Wesak Day, from 9am to 2pm, devotees will be giving away free vegetarian meals in 12 stalls operated by Mahindarama Bhojana Kitchen.

“We will serve Nyonya-style nasi ulam, lotus-wrapped rice, fried rice, porridge, fried noodles, popiah, curry puffs, Nyonya kuih, jelly desserts, muffins, herbal and soy drinks,” she added.

Lim (right) and Sunny Foong, both 60, arranging the candles for the Wesak Day celebrations.

Lim (right) and Sunny Foong, both 60, arranging the candles for the Wesak Day celebrations.

   

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