Celebrating Wesak Day online

Virtual presence: Due to the MCO, Brickfields’ Buddhist Maha Vihara resident monk Reverand S. Sumangala said that its devotees will celebrate Wesak day via Facebook.— RAJA FAISAL HISHAN/The Star

GEORGE TOWN: The Malaysian Buddhist Association (MBA) has prepared two series of online programmes for all devotees to celebrate Wesak Day in their respective homes concurrently following the cancellation of the annual Wesak Day celebrations due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Its honorary secretary Rev Ji Zun says the bathing of the Buddha statue and chanting will be broadcast on MBA’s Facebook page from 9am today while live interviews will begin at 9am on Wesak Day tomorrow.

“MBA has uploaded videos on the bathing of the Buddha statue and cultivating merits, recorded by the teachers and Sangha of Malaysian Buddhist Institute for public viewing.

“Although the public is not able to go to temples to bathe the Buddha statue, they can still participate online in these auspicious activities at home through the YouTube video,” she said.

The video is accessible at https://youtu.be/FiAFEIlgo6Q.

“We hope that through the programme, the devotees will enrich their innermost being to understand and nurture reverence to Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha during the movement control order (MCO),” she said.

Rev Ji Zun welcomed all Buddhists nationwide to watch the online programme.

“Let us also chant the ‘Verse of Bathing Buddha’ for the world’s purification and for the pandemic to be eradicated completely.”

MBA, she said, had produced a special Buddhist educational series entitled “Hand-in-hand and Togetherness Towards the Future”, which includes several live interviews that will be broadcast on Wesak Day.

“MBA has specially invited dedicated venerables and monks who have been propagating the Dhamma for many years and experienced brothers and sisters in the Dhamma to share eight Wesak-related topics with us,” she said.

The topics are “Celebration of Three Notable Events”, “Calculation Methodology of Buddhist Calendar”, “Buddhist Flag and the Noble Eightfold Paths”, “Wesak Day Celebration”, “The Verse of Bathing Buddha”, “Parade and Procession”, “Kindred Spirit with the Buddha” and “Compassion and Wisdom of the Buddha”.

MBA hopes that the programme will benefit everyone while staying at home on Wesak Day as the topics will offer the public a better understanding of Wesak Day.

“For instance, the beginning of the parade and procession, the significance of bathing the Buddha statue, the three major commemorative events of Buddha’s life, how do we derive the Buddhist calendar and other Buddhist general knowledge.

“We would also like to share ways to maintain a peaceful mind and to provide guidance to the public, especially during the conditional MCO,” said Rev Ji Zun.

The speakers include Venerable Kai Zun, Venerable Chuan Wen, Keoh Lean Cheaw, Loo Keat Seng, Chong Hung Wang, Hea Ai Sim, Leong Sia Thuan, Soo Mei Chee and Goh Qing Song.

“Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow, state religions (other than Islam) committee chairman Chong Eng, Penang Wesak Celebrations committee chairman Datuk Dr Loh Hock Hun and I will deliver our speeches respectively in the programme,” she said.

For details, visit the MBA website at www.mbahq.my or Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/malaysianbuddhistassociation.

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