A unique Heritage Procession

Devotees dressed in traditional attire carring the Buddharupam on a sedan.

Devotees dressed in traditional attire carrying the ‘Buddharupam’ on a wooden sedan.

The highlight of Nalanda’s Buddha Day programme on 21 May was the Buddharupa-Abhisekara, a unique heritage procession.  The procession started at 7.30pm with the offering of lights and chanting led by two Sangha members who had come all the way from Sri Lanka.

The Buddharupam was conveyed on a wooden sedan carried by 12 traditionally dressed devotees to the harmonious and rhythmic beat of drums and gongs.  It was accompanied by bearers of flags, parasols, ‘wayang kulit’, and a giant lotus, while Nalanda Dhamma School students led the chanting all the way.

The procession was accompanied by the harmonious and rhythmic beat of drums and gongs.

The procession was accompanied by the harmonious and rhythmic beat of drums and gongs.

Among those who participated in the procession were Nalanda Buddhist Society leaders; State Assemblyman for Seri Kembangan Y.B. Ean Yong Hian Wah; and thousands of devotees who walked mindfully and peacefully along the 1.6km route in the Sri Serdang neighbourhood.

Nalanda Dhamma School students led the chanting all the way.

Nalanda Dhamma School students led the chanting all the way.

As the procession proceeded with an air of quiet dignity and spirituality, it was witnessed by many onlookers and even motorists waited patiently in their vehicles for the procession to pass, without a hint of annoyance.  Kudos to the ‘traffic controllers’ for the evening!

Devotees followed the procession joyfully.

Devotees of all ages followed the procession joyfully.

Over the years, the number of devotees participating in the procession has grown steadily, with the highest number of about 4,000 this year.  Nalanda founder Bro. H. S. Tan expressed his gratitude to all  Nalandians and volunteers for their contribution, time and tireless effort towards the preparation, performances and the logistics of the celebrations.  He also thanked the neighbours, donors, and devotees for their understanding and continuous support.

We were also grateful to the Sangha members for their spiritual guidance during the Buddha Day observance. The night ended with the sharing of merits to all beings for their happiness and peace. Sadhu anumodana!

Members of the Sangha blessing devotees at 'the finishing line' as they completed the route of the procession.

Members of the Sangha blessing devotees at ‘the finishing line’ as they completed the route of the procession.

Thousands of devotees joined in the heritage procession this year.

Thousands of devotees joined in the heritage procession this year.