Message from Institute Director, Achariya Tan Siang Chye.
In conjunction with Nalanda Institute’s 13th anniversary, I share with you my thoughts on the Institute’s progress and challenges amidst the global Coronavirus pandemic we face, even as our team forges ahead. I am happy to report that as of December 2019, more than 13,000 participants have ‘passed through our doors’ and benefitted from the range of courses, study tours and conferences organised since the Institute’s inception.
In 2019, BPS 403 – Higher Certificate in Buddhist Studies was successfully delivered at Nalanda Centre, Sri Serdang and at Mettarama, Kota Bahru with 66 participants graduating. The teaching staff were witness to assignments and examination results of impressively high standards, which we believe augurs well for the study and practice of the Buddha’s teachings in the years to come.
As part of our international learning agenda, the Institute organised a 10-day tour in August 2019 to Ladakh, India led by Datuk Charlie Chia. The group of 35 participants was warmly hosted by Venerable Sanghasena Mahathera of Mahabodhi International Meditation Centre and discovered the rich history of Buddhism there.
In December 2019, 68 pilgrims embarked on a two-week ‘Buddhayatra’ (pilgrimage) to India and Nepal, for a journey of faith with insightful learning, reflection, and spiritual growth, as they retraced the path taken by our Enlightened Teacher 26 centuries ago. Developing a deep sense of ‘Saddha’, they were greatly inspired by the determination and compassion of the Buddha to bring the teachings of Liberation to as many beings as possible.
The Coronavirus pandemic and necessary measures to contain its spread has impacted our plans for 2020. We had eagerly anticipated organising a large conference at the end of year but had to postpone it due to health and safety concerns. Currently, the team is looking at organising a few smaller-scale events and at the time of writing we are preparing for an online forum on the Sigālovāda Sutta on Dhamma Day B.E. 2564. The Institute remains highly dedicated to disseminating the sublime teachings of the Buddha to as wide an audience as possible, including leveraging on technology and online media to meet the needs of Dhamma learners.
On behalf of the Institute, I express my heartfelt gratitude to donors, sponsors, Institute officers and volunteers for their dedicated support of our programmes to contribute to the welfare of the Buddhist community and society. Without such support, the successful organising of our activities would not be so well-ordered. I cannot say enough to thank the Management of Nalanda Buddhist Society for unhesitatingly according us the support we have enjoyed for all events organised thus far. May the merits of this cherished support guide everyone involved on the Path to liberation. Thank you again, everyone!