Three years ago, the Buddhist community leaders from Manado, North Sulawesi invited Bro.Tan to visit and give Dhamma talks there. Given his busy schedule, it has taken that long to finally fulfill the promise. But in the words of Manado devotees, “it was well worth the long wait”!
On 11 July, Bro.Tan accompanied by Sis. Buddhinī, Nalanda’s Honorary Secretary, and Mr & Mrs Tee Kian, traveled from KL to Manado, a journey which took 14 hours! Manado is a beautiful coastal city located at the northern tip of Sulawesi. It is the gateway to the world-famous diving site near Bunaken Island. The majority of her Minahasa locals are Christians, and churches of every denomination are found everywhere within and surrounding the city.
The small Buddhist community in Manado maintains a few temples and a vihara; but remarkably they also run a Buddhist primary school for their children! Although lacking in numbers, the Manado Buddhists are never lacking in spirit and quality. There is certainly much potential in the development of Buddha-Sasana there.
Throughout the few productive days in Manado, Bro.Tan was invited to give talks to the teachers of Tridharma (Buddhist) School where he spoke on Buddhist educational philosophy, approach and goals, which deeply inspired the teachers. Bro.Tan also gave a Sunday talk and led a lively Dhamma discussion at Pondok Meditasi in Pandu, about 45 minutes drive north of Manado. There were also many occasions where devotees took the opportunity to ask questions on the Dhamma and their practice.
The most significant event of the “Manado Mission” was a specially arranged public ‘talkshow’ held at the downtown Gran Central Hotel. Venerable Ayya Santini, a famous and popular speaker in Indonesia, shared the floor with Bro.Tan in the 2½ hour session.
Overall, the “Manado Mission” was an accomplishment. It was also Bro.Tan’s third mission this year to Indonesia, having given talks in Bali and Central Java earlier. Before the year is over, the indefatigable Bro.Tan will be traveling again to Surabaya and Jakarta-Bandung for another two Dhammaduta missions.
Sadhu anumodana! May the Dhamma flourish everywhere!