On Saturday, 4 August 2012, a team of Nalandians led by our Deputy President Bro. Lee Teck Beng attended the Ramadhan Muhibah Gathering & Break-Fast with Leaders of various faiths in Bangi. This event was organised by the Islamic Information Services (IIS) Foundation, and sponsored by Jabatan Perpaduan & Integrasi Nasional and Majlis Agama Islam Selangor (MAIS).
With the theme “Building Harmony through Interfaith”, the gathering aimed at promoting inter-religious understanding and goodwill. Mr. Vijaya Samarawickrama, representing Nalanda Institute and the Buddhist community, spoke on the topic “Peace through Faith”. He said that Malaysians are fortunate to reside in a peaceful country where people of various races and religions live together harmoniously. Inter-faith gatherings are an important part of encouraging open communication and mutual understanding.
Bro. Tan was also invited by the organizers to share his views on ‘Peace’. His sharing aroused admiration from the audience as Bro. Tan spoke about ‘experiencing peace’ at a personal as well as at the communal level. He said, “Peace cannot be brought about by mere rhetoric, sloganising, or even dialogue… In order to have real peace, we need to remove the mental obstacles and barriers of Ditthi (attachment of one’s own views as ‘right’), Mana (conceit over one’s own religion) and Tanha (craving for one’s religious views to be recognised and admired).
Besides Mr. Vijaya and Bro. Tan, the Muslim, Hindu, Catholic, Sikh and Taoist speakers also enlivened the gathering with insightful sharings. And besides Nalanda, the Buddhist fraternity was also represented by leaders from Buddhist Missionary Society Malaysia (BMSM), Kajang Buddhist Center, and Subang Jaya Buddhist Association (SJBA).
It was a pleasant evening as the Malaysian spirit prevailed, and everybody had the opportunity to mingle with their fellow countrymen in friendship and camaraderie.