Remembering the 2004 Tsunami Victims

Nalandians performing a Pūja commemorating the victims of the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami.

On 26 December 2004, a huge earthquake off Northern Sumatra and a catastrophic tsunami which followed it caused enormous devastation in many countries fringing the Indian Ocean. Around 250,000 men, women and children lost their lives in this tragedy; millions more lost their loved ones, possessions, and livelihood.

Nalandians gathered on 26 December at 10am for a special pūja led by Bro. Tan to commemorate those who lost their lives in the calamity. This pūja was also to honour those who valiantly and compassionately helped the victims in the aftermath of the great tsunami.

In his inspiring sharing, Bro. Tan spoke about the frailty of life, and how we could truly treasure it – by understanding the difference between ‘nyawa’ and ‘jiwa’. Life is not purposeful enough by merely staying ‘alive’ – having life (‘nyawa’) does not mean one is truly living (‘jiwa’). Bro. Tan also encouraged us to wisely reflect on death – ‘Maranānussati’ – to gain deeper insight into the value of human existence. It was an extraordinary and memorable teaching indeed!