Nalandians and devotees gathered at Nalanda Centre last night (27 March) for special prayers and a moving Memorial Service for casualties of MH370. Founder Bro. Tan led the congregation in 20 minutes of Metta Meditation, followed by Pūja (offerings) and Pāli chanting.
Director of Nalanda Institute, Achariya Vijaya Samarawickrama, read a poignant ‘Statement of Condolence’ on behalf of Nalanda Buddhist Society Malaysia. A portion of the Statement reads, “…we urge everyone of you to continue with meditation, reciting prayers, and transferring merits to the victims of this misfortune. We at Nalanda shall do our part to continue providing moral support to all those who need it. We shall be dedicating 7 days of prayers to all the casualties of MH370 and their loved ones… Let us all do what we can, but do it well, with the hope that such wholesome positive actions can help alleviate the suffering experienced by many families and individuals now.”
Bro. Tan then gave an inspiring Dhamma Talk on the need to cultivate wise contemplation, true awareness of impermanence, and a great sense of urgency for spiritual practice. He quoted the Buddha’s analogies of the ‘blind turtle’ (on the rarity of human birth), and the ‘four types of thoroughbreds’ (on the quality of good practitioners).
The Shrine Hall at Nalanda Centre was filled to the brim with devotees from near and far, mostly dressed in white as a mark of respect. After the talk, the congregation transferred merits to the casualties of the tragedy in a symbolic act of pouring water from 3 jugs. Everyone then came forward to pay respects at the Altar and offered flowers in memory of the departed.
It was a truly spiritual evening with lots of wholesome and compassionate thoughts freely flowing, and a most fitting tribute to the 239 people who died in this tragedy as well as their grieving families. May they all be at Peace. Sotthi.