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Sunday, 11 May 2014 00:00

2014 Buddha Bathing Ceremony in Melaka

Written by  Melaka Documenting Team / Translated by Hew Kwee Heong

It is hoped that all present have learnt about the compassion, kindness, joy and giving of the Buddha; and will constantly be reminded to purify own mind. [Photograph by Lee Kin Chee]

On May 11, 2014, Melaka Tzu Chi volunteers held a grand Buddha Bathing Ceremony to celebrate a joint Buddha Day, Mother’s Day and Tzu Chi Day at Melaka International Trade Centre (MITC). Some 3,264 attendees formed two lotus flowers – symbols of purity – at this event.


A grand Buddha Bathing Ceremony was held by Melaka volunteers at MITC to celebrate the 2014 Buddha Day, Mother’s Day and Tzu Chi Day. One hundred and sixteen Lucite Buddha statues were displayed in the ceremonial hall. Besides Rev. Peter Ng Lai Huat from St Theresa Church and 17 Buddhist Dharma Masters, who graced the occasion, some 7,500 people were also present to pay their respect to the Buddha that day.

Volunteers’ efforts paid off

The Buddha teaches us that peaceful minds lead to peaceful speeches and actions. If the mind of living beings are at peace, the world will be at peace. Tzu Chi Melaka’s volunteer team understands the urgency of spreading this wonderful teaching to everyone. For this reason, Melaka’s Buddha Bathing Ceremony team planned a grand ceremony that included 3,264 attendees forming two lotus flowers.

Event coordinator, Tan Sok Keng was deeply moved and relieved when she learnt that the number of participants had reached the target even before the closing date. She said with a big smile, “It was so different this year! The number of participants exceeded our target even before closing date. Now, we have to ‘press the brake!’”

Volunteers’ initial worries dissipated after they visited schools, companies, factories and community to extend the invitation and agree to hold rehearsal at their premises. Many factory staff, students and their family members were among the participants.

Implanting Buddhism in the hearts of the youth

This was Datuk Yap Pit Kian and wife’s first attendance at a Tzu Chi’s Buddha Bathing Ceremony. Datuk Yap, a devout Buddhist, was impressed by what he witnessed, as well as, Tzu Chi volunteers’ ability to organize such an orderly and grand ceremony.

Many years ago, Datuk Yap’s brother-in-law contracted dengue fever and needed A negative blood for transfusion. He contacted Brother David Liu, then CEO of Melaka Branch for help. Many volunteers with the same blood group came forward to donate their blood and for this, Datuk Yap said he will forever be grateful.

Mr. He Gui Long and wife were happy to see so many young participants. He believes Tzu Chi’s way of practising Buddhism is suitable for the younger generation.

Present at this event for the first time was Dharma Master Analaiyo. He had this to say: “To attract the younger generation to learn Buddhism, we cannot continue using the old method if we want Buddhism to thrive. Tzu Chi has done a good job in promoting Buddhism and many have benefitted from it.”

Rev. K. Anuruddha from Seck Kia Eenh Buddhist Temple was happy to see so many people congregating at one place to celebrate the Buddha’s Birthday. He said he could feel the tranquility and peaceful atmosphere of a temple at the venue.

True spirit of Buddhism

Prof. Dr. Lakshmi Naik said, “Buddhism is a way of life. It spreads the spirit of compassion and selfless giving.”

Dr. Lakshmi is of the opinion that one should open one’s view to understand other religions too. She also participated in the formation of the lotus flowers even though she is not a Buddhist.

Dr. Lakshmi had previously attended a Buddha Bathing Ceremony in Nepal. She said Tzu Chi’s Buddha Bathing Ceremony is more refined and mind calming. She thought such a spirit should be spread widely in society.

Bao Hai Yan from Yunnan, China, moved to Melaka with her British husband and 5-year-old daughter on April 15, 2014. A vegetarian for the past five years, Hai Yan would patronize the “Gan En Vegetarian Restaurant” near her daughter’s International School; and on each occasion, she would pay respect to Master Cheng Yen’s photo that is hung in the restaurant. Her action soon caught the attention of Yap Soo Him, shop owner and a Tzu Chi volunteer.

Soo Him then invited Hai Yan to the Buddha Bathing Ceremony. The latter happily accepted the invitation because she had read about Tzu Chi on the web before. She and daughter also came to help with preparation work one day before the ceremony.

Hai Yan cried when she heard everyone singing “Oh Buddha!” She said, “I could feel the Buddha responding to the sincere calling.” She also indicated that she will share this experience with friends and relatives.

Great Love Mother, Wu Bao Hui was feeling depressed lately. During the walking meditation, she was impatient initially, but calmed down when a Jing-Si Aphorism: “When walking, as we step one foot forward, we lift the other foot up” entered her mind. The tranquillity she felt made her promise to come back every year.

Besides the grand Buddha Bathing Ceremony, Tzu Chi Melaka also held a series of activities, such as, sign language competition for the primary school and kindergarten children, bathing parents’ feet ceremony, environmental protection exhibition, promotion of Continuing Education Centre and Jing-Si Publications and so on.

It is hoped that all present have learnt about the compassion, kindness, joy and giving of the Buddha, and realized that when minds are not calm, there will be no peace in society.

 

A bird’s eye view of the formation of the two lotus flowers. [Photograph by Lee Kin Chee]   Rev. K. Anurudha (centre) from Seck Kia Eenh Buddhist Temple said the MITC hall was as tranquil as the temple. [Photograph by Tan Ah Lek]

A bird’s eye view of the formation of the two lotus flowers. [Photograph by Lee Kin Chee]
 
Rev. K. Anurudha (centre) from Seck Kia Eenh Buddhist Temple said the MITC hall was as tranquil as the temple. [Photograph by Tan Ah Lek]
 
Datuk Yap Pit Kian (in pink shirt) was impressed with the grand and organized ceremony. He believed that a lot of time and efforts had been put in by the Tzu Chi volunteers. [Photograph by Kam How Chan]   Bao Hai Yan from China was deeply moved when everyone sang in unison: “Oh Buddha!” [Photograph by Chua Fook Yuan]

Datuk Yap Pit Kian (in pink shirt) was impressed with the grand and organized ceremony. He believed that a lot of time and efforts had been put in by the Tzu Chi volunteers. [Photograph by Kam How Chan]
 
 
Bao Hai Yan from China was deeply moved when everyone sang in unison: “Oh Buddha!” [Photograph by Chua Fook Yuan]
 
Although Prof. Dr. Lakshmi Naik from Melaka-Manipal Medical College is not a Buddhist, she was nevertheless glad that she had joined Tzu Chi’s Buddha Bathing Ceremony. [Photograph by Chua Fook Yuan]  

Although Prof. Dr. Lakshmi Naik from Melaka-Manipal Medical College is not a Buddhist, she was nevertheless glad that she had joined Tzu Chi’s Buddha Bathing Ceremony. [Photograph by Chua Fook Yuan]