1 May 2017 marks the 14th anniversary of Nalanda Buddhist Society Malaysia. On behalf of the Board of Management, I would like to wish all Nalandians, “Happy Nalanda Day”!
Today is also the third day of our 5th Members’ Convention held at Nalanda Centre. The presence of so many members here has energised this unique spiritual community of ours with enthusiastic support and encouragement.
We are delighted to see continuing efforts to learn and practise the Dhamma among Nalandians, and to witness the eagerness to serve the community by providing educational opportunities based on Buddha-Dhamma. Since the establishment of Nalanda in 2003, we have been staying true to our Vision and Mission, and our focus remains: Education, Development, and Propagation.
Unlike the founding members of our Society, I am not able to trace back 14 years of history with Nalanda. But I can recall the first time I came to Sri Serdang more than a decade ago, we were just renting a small space on the first floor of a shoplot, which today had become Pustaka Nalanda (Library). We, the devotees back then, were already joyfully going about our Dhamma educational programmes.
14 years later, from renting the small office space, we are blessed to be able to own a few buildings, and established 3 branches in Malaysia. Yet, we can see and feel that Nalandians are still joyfully going about providing more Dhamma educational programmes to an ever larger circle of people and communities nationwide.
At Nalanda, our focus is in ‘building people’. Thus, we are always finding ways and means to hold Dhamma classes, trainings, courses, and programmes, particularly during weekends and in the evenings. All these come about because of our belief that the quality of our lives can be enhanced with knowing and practising Dhamma.
Hence, ‘Nalanda Education’ came about because of people, and for the betterment of people. People who are disciplined, dedicated in learning, virtuous, compassionate, respectful of others, having strong faith in the Buddha-Dhamma, and always reflective of their thoughts and action towards others – these are the attributes of good people the world badly needs.
Nalanda offers an ideal environment not only as a place to learn the Dhamma, but also the opportunity to have a deeper understanding and strong appreciation of other people in our community. There are many talented individuals from diverse backgrounds and professions here, all working in selfless unison towards the common goal of serving the community. I am glad to say that through my years at Nalanda working hand in hand with many of you, I have come to appreciate the qualities of Kalyana Mittas in many of my fellow Nalandians. I pray that long may this continue.
Brothers and sisters in the Dhamma, anniversaries are like our birthdays. As we age, we look back into the past to see how we have progressed, and to see how far we have come. Our achievements to date are remarkable, but they are not possible without the unwavering contribution and support of donors, benefactors, devotees, volunteers, and not to forget, the nameless, faceless and selfless ones.
On behalf of the Board of Management, I would like to express our sincere appreciation and gratitude to Bro. Tan, our founder and spiritual guide, for his inspiring leadership, advice, and support. I also want to thank all members, generous donors, devotees, supporters, and volunteers for your active service and sacrifices over the years.
In another few hours, our 5th Convention will come to an end, and all of us will be heading back to our respective homes. But remember what we have learned and experienced here these past few days. It is NOT enough to merely state that we want to build people; instead every Nalandian must take it as personal responsibility to do this, “as every member can make a difference to the world”.
Thank you, and Sadhu anumodana!