Today is ‘Nalanda Day’, the day the Society was founded. It is a time for us to celebrate by paying tribute to our Dhamma teachers, benefactors, members and volunteers who enable Nalanda to carry out its unchanging Mission of providing holistic education. The progress that we see today is a concrete reflection of the spirit of the community that comes together and stays together through the years.
Dhamma education and practice enables us to live a meaningful life. Many friends who have been adhering to the ongoing “Movement Control Order” (MCO) shared that Dhamma helps them remain calm and productive. They can even reach out to comfort others despite facing their own challenges. Feelings of boredom, fear or anxiety quickly subside when they reflect on the basic tenets of the Buddha’s teachings – impermanence, suffering and non-self.
I rejoice in their high spirits, and reflect on the importance of educational centres such as Nalanda. Due to the efforts of many dedicated people, we can learn from inspiring Dhamma teachers, participate in wholesome programmes, and cultivate values through service within a conducive environment together with good spiritual friends.
In the last twelve months, Nalanda organised hundreds of Dhamma programmes which have benefited thousands of people. Significant programmes include the launch of Nalanda Dhamma School for Adults in April 2019, where over 80 students learn and embed Dhamma into their lives; the Dhamma Living Camp for Young Adults in September 2019 which touched the hearts of 140 youths; and more recently, the online Mettā Sutta Course broadcast during the MCO period which were very well-received, and grounded us in Dhamma during these uncertain times.
Many leadership training and Dhamma retreats for members and youths were held at Wisdom Park, an educational facility to develop future Buddhist leaders and teachers. The first building there was completed in April 2019, and 3 more buildings are currently under construction. The Buddhist flag was raised there for the first time in February this year, filling our hearts with joy and gratitude for everyone who made this noble project a reality, and with hope for the endurance of Buddha-Sāsana.
On behalf of the Nalanda Board of Management, we express our deepest appreciation to our late spiritual adviser Venerable K. Sri Dhammananda; Nalanda founder Bro. Tan for his continuous inspiring advice, support and direction; to all our Dhamma teachers for guiding us on the right path; and past leaders who laid the foundation for us to grow.
We also thank the Wisdom Park Development Committee, Theravada Buddhist Council of Malaysia, and many Buddhist organisations for their support and fellowship. Last but not least, we extend our sincere thanks to our earnest members, donors, benefactors, and volunteers for your faith and dedication. We could not have progressed this far without everyone’s support.
As we look forward, there is a long and fulfilling journey ahead in our service to the Buddha-Sāsana. We must be grounded to forge onward by choosing to be active participants and contributors to the growth of the Buddhist community. We should be motivated by care, compassion and kindness for others as well as for ourselves. Individually we work hard, together we work well. Let us make every day of the year count.
Once again, I thank you for your kind and generous contributions to Nalanda over the years. We look forward to your continuous support in many more years to come. May you and your family members stay well and stay safe.