I was used to celebrating Wesak at Brickfields which was always a busy, sweaty, smoky affair .It will be difficult to find a quite spot at the Buddhist Maha Vihara, one will be overwhelmed by the crowd, the hustle bustle , the heat, the announcements over the PA….
This year, for a change, we decide to celebrate Wesak by visiting Nalanda Buddhist Society at Serdang. And I would say it was a refreshing change. A dhamma talk was taking place when we arrived, I think the crowd was less than 50 , after the talk, we were blessed by 2 monks. And after the session a symbolic food offering was made to the Buddha. Before we left, the organizers asked us to take back with us the little pots of flowers that had adorned the foot of the Buddha statue.
In the evening, we again made our way to Nalanda to participate in the Wesak heritage candle light possession.
At the field, tents were set up for the mass food distribution
There were a large group of people ( male and female, young and old) clad in white top and dark brown sarongs gathered at the front of the Nalanda building getting ready for the procession . it was interesting to see the props that they were hoisting : flags of various colours, lanterns/parasols made of cloth, cloth dragons to be manned by 3, traditional musicians
Apart from the above which are hoisted on canes or poles, there were also props that were to be wheeled like the drums, statue of the Buddha and a Bodhi tree
Before the possession, those that are participating in the walk were asked to collect the candles ( provided FOC)
The procession started at about 7:45pm headed by the banners, the flag bearers, the various props with the last being the parasols, the devotees carrying the lighted candle followed closely behind .
The most ‘hard-working’ group were the guys that were manning the dragons, they were seen weaving though the crowd non stop from the front to the tail end throughout the procession ( one funny thing I noticed was that 2 of the guys seemed to have ‘discarded’ their brown sarong and were seen clad in cargo pants)
The procession lasted close to an hour and when we were coming to the end of the procession , the parasol bearers stopped moving and the devotees get to passed between the rows of parasols to be greeted by sprays of holy water and blessings of the monks. The session ended with a short metta meditation.
Kudos to the organizers. I had a great Wesak experience.
Website : www.nalanda.org.my
Blogsite : nalandabs.blogspot.com
Facebook : www.facebook.com/nalanda.org.my