Selangor sets "harmony and well being" standards with meaningful Wesak celebration

The Buddhist Channel, 26 May 2024

Petaling Jaya, Malaysia -- The Kwan Inn Teng 观音亭 temple[1] here in the old town district of Petaling Jaya is a medium sized but much beloved place of worship. Founded in 1952, this Mahayana based temple offer its devotees ample opportunities for Dharma practices such as chanting the Great Compassion Mantra (大悲咒 - da bei zhou), meditation and green living, with emphasis on recycling.

On full and new moon days, as well as special days like Guanyin's birthdays, free vegetarian meals are served. The temple also has a memorial hall where devotees can lease a small space to hold their ancestor tablets. This area is popular during the Qingming (tomb-sweeping day) festival, and the temple is renowned for its emphasis on the teachings of filial piety.

This year, Kwan Inn Teng was selected as the host temple for the Selangor State Level Wesak Celebration. The annual event, supported by the state government of Selangor, saw Kwan Inn Teng and forty other Buddhist bodies joining hands to organize this year's state Wesak.

This year's Selangor State Wesak was held on Sunday, 26 May 2024, with the theme "Living Harmoniously, Thriving Society." The opening ceremony was presided over by the Menteri Besar (Chief Minister), YAB Datuk Seri Amirudin Shari, who was accompanied by State Executive Councilor YB Ng Tze Han.

In his opening speech, Venerable Ming Ji, President of the Malaysian Buddhist Association KL/Selangor Branch and Chief Abbot of Kwan Inn Teng, urged Buddhists and all residents of Selangor alike to treasure the harmony and trust that prevail in the state and in the country.

"The people of all races must come together and reject extremism, for if we allow extremists to step all over us, our hard-fought harmony will be in vain," he pleaded. He continued by saying that the foundation of Selangor's stability and economic well-being depends on the sustenance of this social harmony and trust among its people.

Menteri Besar YAB Datuk Seri Amirudin, in his speech, also implored Buddhists and all residents in the state to foster understanding and goodwill among themselves. "It is my hope that this value will continue to be nurtured and become a recipe for the progress and excellence of the State of Selangor. Festivals celebrated across races and religions in Malaysia should be a platform to bridge goodwill, understanding, and tolerance among the multi-racial community in this state," he said.

In attendance were representatives from the Christian, Hindu, Daoist, and Sikhism faiths. Muslim representatives from the state government were also present.

At the joyous celebration, the multi-racial, multi-religious audience were feted with traditional dances and hymns presented by various Buddhist groups. A vegetarian meal was served for all guests attending the lunch event.

An exhibition detailing "Development of Buddhism in Malaysia" and also "Basic Buddhist Teachings" were held concurrently in adjacent halls. Buddhists could be seen partaking in the ritual of bathing the baby Buddha at the main shrine, which is a popular Wesak day rite.

Other activities held during this special day include paying homage to Buddha relics, lighting Dharma lamps, copying the Heart Sutra, parent-child treasure hunt, flower art exhibition, and float exhibitions.

1. Note: Guanyin, the Goddess of Mercy, or Avalokitesvara (Sanskrit)

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