13 April 2014
Today is Vesak Day in Singapore. I went to NTUBS Vesak Day Temple Tour, which travels through 4 temples in a day.
On 8.30 am we started to gather at Boon Lay MRT Station where we visited Buddhist Fellowship first. Buddhist Fellowship held a family Vesak carnival (including bathing of baby Prince Siddharta) and we joined them until 10.30 am to start moving to Poh Ming Tse (PMT).
At PMT, we attended the book launching event by Sister Sylvia Bay. After that, there was sharing of merits and bathing of baby Prince Siddharta. Then we had a lunch there first before getting the book that is just launched by Sis Sylvia Bay, titled “Between the Lines: An Analytical Appreciation of the Buddha’s Life”. This book is the first volume of Buddha’s life that told us about the scholarly views on his life, which in reality, was quite boring, have ups and downs, and all other problems a normal monk have. The book is said to clear the distinction between what are myths and factual truths.
We then went to KMSPKS (Kong Meng San Phor Kark See), which is a Mahayana-Chinese temple. At Ven Hong Memorial Hall there, we were greeted by Ven Chuan Guan where he gave us a mini talk about the Vesak celebration at KMSPKS. This year, their theme is gratitude, which are towards: parents, nations, sentient beings, Triple Gem, and the planet. Next, we went around and watched a short movie screening there. Before we left, Bro. Seng Yip (and Bro. Hong Seng) gave us a little temple tour of KMSPKS.
We went to Sri Lankaramaya Temple after that and met Bhante Rathanasara, who gave us a little talk, basically just consisting of questions and answers. He answered some basic questions like: What is Buddhism? [ans: teaching which goals is to reduce evil doings, increase good doings, and purify heart and minds] Why Vesak day is celebrated on different days? [ans: the differences between calendar system used and the uncertainty of when is the exact date] After this, we were done and went to Jurong Point to have dinner first before going back. Overall, it was very nice to have visited Vesak celebrations in 4 temples but it was very tiring especially in transportation.
Happy Vesak Day :)