Temple ideas

Illuminated temple for Wesak with the return of the faithful

THE Mahindarama Buddhist Temple in Jalan Kampar, Penang, was illuminated on the eve of Wesak Day when devotees took part in the lighting of 10,000 lotus candles to commemorate the thrice sacred day – birth, enlightenment and Gautama Buddha’s transition to Nirvana.

Earlier, devotees were seen bringing packets of rice, mee hoon and oil to offer as a token of gratitude for learning the Buddha’s Dhamma teachings to guide them in their lives.

They then took part in puja chanting led by head monk Rev Suriyawewa Dhammawansha Thero.

This was followed by the lighting of the three main lotus candles representing the Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha by Rev Suriyawewa and resident monks Rev Dhammaratana Maha Thera and Rev Succito.

Australia’s honorary consul in Penang Datuk, Dr Lim Huat Bee, who was at the temple on Saturday, said his family had been visiting the temple and taking part in the illumination ceremony for more than 40 years.

“After being unable to come for the lighting ceremony for the past two years, we are just grateful and happy to be able to come back here and light the candles,” he said.

His son, Dr. Lim Shueh Wei, and his wife Amanda brought their six-year-old daughter and five-year-old son to the temple to understand the significance of Wesak Day.

Accounting assistant J. Nithya, 31, was seen offering prayers at the temple with 11 members of her family from Port Dickson, Negri Sembilan.

“I am registering my marriage tomorrow with my fiancé, who is from Penang, and therefore my family and I have decided to come here to ask for blessings,” she said.

Nithya said it was her first visit to the temple after a friend told her about it.

Pensioner Hong Chuan Hin, 62, held back tears when he said he had come to pray for his late wife, who died recently.

“A friend told me about the candle lighting ceremony and I came here to pray for my wife’s good rebirth,” he said.

The chairman of the temple’s management, Ghan Chee Tong, said that with the resumption of Wesak Day activities, they remained cautious and ensured that Covid-19 precautions were observed.