Lighting up temple with 2,550 candles

By ONG YEE TING, The Star, May 13, 2006

Penang, Malaysia -- THE flickering 2,550 yellow lotus candles lit up the Mahindarama Buddhist Temple on Kampar Road, Penang, in conjunction with the Wesak Day celebration.

Despite the evening drizzle, hundreds of devotees visited the temple on the eve of Wesak Day to offer prayers and seek blessings.

They gathered a night before the actual celebration that marked Buddha's birth, enlightenment and attainment of Nirvana.

To commemorate the 2,550th anniversary of the celebration, the temple had arranged for 2,550 candles to be lit up and had decorated the 10m-tall Buddha plywood effigy with 2,550 bulbs.

Before the lighting of the lotus candles, some devotees were seen bringing trays of offerings from the monks’ quarters to the main shrine.

Arranged neatly on the trays were a plate of flowers, a small lotus candle, incense and a few glasses of water that symbolised changes, wisdom, peace and purity.

While the devotees with the trays made their way to the main shrine, others gathered along the side to touch the tray and said “Saddhu” (excellent) to compliment them for doing good.

The temple’s chief monk, Ven E. Indaratana Maha Thera said the devotees who had gathered at the temple were encouraged to participate in the ceremony by touching the trays and share the blessings.

After the prayer session in the main shrine, Ven Indaratana led the monks, followed by the devotees to light up the candles.

“The candles symbolise the Buddha's teachings - the ‘light’ of truth that dispels the darkness of ignorance,” he said.

Young devotee, Gwynneth Tan Sze Ern, eight, might be too young to understand the true meaning behind the lighting of candles but enjoyed herself very much during the celebration.

“This is my first time celebrating Wesak Day here. I prayed but I made no special wishes,” she said after helping to light up some of the candles arranged neatly on the table in the temple’s compound.

We Need Your Help to Train the
Buddhist AI Chat Bot
(Neural Omniscient Robotic-Being for Buddhist Understanding)

For Malaysians who wants to donate in MYR, please use the following account:

Account Name: Bodhi Vision
Account No:. 2122 00000 44661
Bank: RHB
Note: Please indicate your name in the payment slip. Thank you.

Dear Friends in the Dharma,

We seek your generous support to help us train NORBU, the word's first Buddhist AI Chat Bot.

Here are some ways you can contribute to this noble cause:

One-time Donation or Loan: A single contribution, regardless of its size, will go a long way in helping us reach our goal and make the Buddhist LLM a beacon of wisdom for all.

How will your donation / loan be used? Download the NORBU White Paper for details.

For Malaysians who wants to donate in MYR, please use the following account:

Account Name: Bodhi Vision
Account No:. 2122 00000 44661
Bank: RHB
Note: Please indicate your purpose of payment (loan or donation) in the payment slip. Thank you.

Once payment is banked in, please send the payment slip via email to: Your donation/loan will be published and publicly acknowledged on the Buddhist Channel.

Spread the Word: Share this initiative with your friends, family and fellow Dharma enthusiasts. Join "Friends of Norbu" at: Together, we can build a stronger community and create a positive impact on a global scale.

Volunteer: If you possess expertise in AI, natural language processing, Dharma knowledge in terms of Buddhist sutras in various languages or related fields, and wish to lend your skills, please contact us. Your knowledge and passion could be invaluable to our project's success.

Your support is part of a collective effort to preserve and disseminate the profound teachings of Buddhism. By contributing to the NORBU, you become a "virtual Bodhisattva" to make Buddhist wisdom more accessible to seekers worldwide.

Thank you for helping to make NORBU a wise and compassionate Buddhist Chatbot!

May you be blessed with inner peace and wisdom,

With deepest gratitude,

Kooi F. Lim
On behalf of The Buddhist Channel Team

Note: To date, we have received the following contributions for NORBU:
US$ 75 from Gary Gach (Loan)
US$ 50 from Chong Sim Keong
MYR 300 from Wilson Tee
MYR 500 from Lim Yan Pok
MYR 50 from Oon Yeoh
MYR 200 from Ooi Poh Tin
MYR 300 from Lai Swee Pin
MYR 100 from Ong Hooi Sian
MYR 1,000 from Fam Sin Nin
MYR 500 from Oh teik Bin
MYR 300 from Yeoh Ai Guat
MYR 300 from Yong Lily
MYR 50 from Bandar Utama Buddhist Society
MYR 1,000 from Chiam Swee Ann
MYR 1,000 from Lye Veei Chiew
MYR 1,000 from Por Yong Tong
MYR 80 from Lee Wai Yee
MYR 500 from Pek Chee Hen
MYR 300 from Hor Tuck Loon
MYR 1,000 from Wise Payments Malaysia Sdn Bhd
MYR 200 from Teo Yen Hua
MYR 500 from Ng Wee Keat
MYR 10,000 from Chang Quai Hung, Jackie (Loan)
MYR 10,000 from K. C. Lim & Agnes (Loan)
MYR 10,000 from Juin & Jooky Tan (Loan)
MYR 100 from Poh Boon Fong (on behalf of SXI Buddhist Students Society)
MYR 10,000 from Fam Shan-Shan (Loan)
MYR 10,000 from John Fam (Loan)
MYR 500 from Phang Cheng Kar
MYR 100 from Lee Suat Yee
MYR 500 from Teo Chwee Hoon (on behalf of Lai Siow Kee)
MYR 200 from Mak Yuen Chau

We express our deep gratitude for the support and generosity.

If you have any enquiries, please write to: