At the Service Sunday on 9 October, Sis. Tan Yee Yong was invited to deliver a talk on ‘Meditation’. She recounted history by stating that certain meditation practices already existed before the Buddha’s time. In fact, the Buddha-to-be Siddhattha Gotama learned from two prominent meditation teachers of His time – Alara Kalama and Uddaka Ramaputta.
On Sunday 4 September, the Director of Pustaka Nalanda Bro. Ananda Fong gave a talk on the contributions of Professor Thomas William Rhys Davids (1843 – 1922), founder of the Pāli Text Society (PTS) based in London. This was part of Pustaka Nalanda’s programme to commemorate historical personalities who had contributed significantly to the propagation of Buddhism over the last century.
On 16 September, Nalanda members took part in a simple gathering to mark the “International Bhikkhunī Day” organised by Gotamī Vihāra in Puchong. The gathering was meant to honour the historical Bhikkhuni Sangha which was established during the Buddha’s lifetime; among its illustrious members were Elders Khemā, Upalavannā, Dhammadinnā and Mahapajapattī Gotamī.
Yesterday, Nalanda Centre had the great honour to be bequeathed with a Buddha Relic (Pāli, “Śarīra”) – a single bone fragment of the Blessed One. The Relic was previously under the custodianship of the late Venerable K. Sri Dhammananda Nāyaka Thero and Achariya Vijaya Samarawickrama for many decades.
Today, we felicitate our Indonesian friends and their fellow countrymen on their nation’s 71stIndependence Day. The diverse peoples of Indonesia and Malaysia share a two-thousand year history of trade, transmigration, cultural exchanges, and political unions. Vast regions of both countries were once part of the mighty Buddhist Empire of Srivijaya (7th to 13th centuries CE.), which left rich archaeological artefacts in Sumatra, Java, and the Malay Peninsula.
On Thursday 2 June, Nalanda founder Bro. Tan was guest at a public lecture by Indian-American historian Professor Tansen Sen at Universiti Malaya (UM), Kuala Lumpur. The special talk on “The Spread of Buddhism to Maritime Southeast Asia” was hosted by University of Malaya Sri Lankan Endowment Fund, and jointly organised by the UM Departments of History and Indian Studies.
On 15 July 2016, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) listed the renowned ancient Buddhist university – Nalanda Mahavihara in India – as a “World Heritage Site”.
During the recent school holidays in June, Nalanda Dhamma School organized a special 4-day study tour to Bujang Valley in Kedah for 75 teachers and students. We were privileged to be led by Bro. Tan, who is an acknowledged expert on Buddhist history in Southeast Asia. With his informative and lively narration, every turn along our journey seemed to hold surprises for us to discover!
On Sunday 8 May, the Buddhist Missionary Society of Malaysia (BMSM) organized a seminar on the ‘Historical Development of Buddhism’ as part of its Wesak ‘Buddha Day’ celebrations. Nalanda founder Bro. Tan joined renowned Nepali archaeologist Dr. Basanta Bidari and Australian venerable Bhikkhu Jaganatho on the panel of speakers to discuss the subject, with Prof. Ong Puay Liu as the moderator.
On Wesak full-moon ‘Buddha Day’, which fell on 21 May this year, Nalanda founder Bro. H. S. Tan gave an insightful and profound Dhamma talk to commemorate the most important day of the year for Buddhists. This auspicious day also marks the start of the Buddhist Era (B. E.) 2560, marking the 2,560th anniversary since the Buddha’s Parinibbāna (passing away).