I have not been to the Maha Vihara Buddhist Temple for the past two years. I am either on assignments or just plain lazy(my second name). Usually in the month of May, Vesak Day is celebrated grandly throughout the world, particularly in Malaysia. This Maha Vihara Temple has confidently celebrated this festival since the day it was open some 50-60 years ago. Many Buddhist do throng to this grand festival to pay respect with various offerings, to receive blessings on this day and to volunteer community service.
So, I decided to go this year. It was on the 5th May 2012, reached there at 5.00pm. Prayed and continue with my business....photography. I walked the street outside the temple where there are 26 floats awaiting to make the journey with the devotees. The call to start is at 7.00pm.
I was interested in one particular float. This one has no vehicle, no decorative ornaments , flowers and lightings at all. It was a 128 ft(L) x 30ft (W) Thangka carried by 60-70 devotees from a Buddhist Centre known as "Monthly Life Liberation Centre". The Thangka is so beautiful printed. It has three Sakyamurni Buddha pictures. Kids goes beneath the Thangka
to prevent the Thangka from touching the ground when they walk the streets. It might get torn. People pass by, curiously looking at the Thangka, some stayed, so moved on. I decided to stay. I stayed with them till the end. I was so happy that night, overwhelmed I should say. Never have I seen such beautiful Thangka this life, moreover such a huge Thangka ever existed in Kuala Lumpur, walking from Brickfields to Chinatown, turning into Lebuh Ampang, cutting into Jalan Raja Chulan, soon after The Istana Hotel, we made a right turn towards Bukit Bintang area. This group has a leader. He stopped every 50 to a hundred metres and he voiced out from his speaker, " We are One", " Please Do Not Quarrel or Fight", "We are One Malaysia", "Malaysia Bolih", "Malaysia Naik, Naik Malaysia". Quite an unique slogan on this day tho. The devotees waved the Thangka as the leader speaks. There were so many people watching us. Many tourists and locals joined in to wave too. They video us, photographed us, some even gave Thumbs Up, maybe for a good job done. Then we head down towards Foch Avenue and my legs were killing
me, exhaustion sets in, I almost could not walked anymore, singing, shouting and telling myself "Another 5 minutes , we are home" and sometimes i could hear Elvis sang " Its Now or Never". It was worthwhile, because I deserve it. Hahahahaha.
Four hours walk. We reached Brickfields at 11.35pm. I could not wait for other floats as I was hungry, exhausted with painful feet.
If you are around in Kuala Lumpur same time next year, do visit this temple and join us on the walk. I am not a member, I just chose this one because its not about fanciful floats but friendship, humility, unity and equality. Other floats are equally nice too.
Thangka originated from countries in the belt of the Himalayas. Intricate designs can be found in various sizes and prices. On Buddhas and Bodhisattvas Festive day, the Tibetans will carry the huge Thangka to the heights of the mountains or hills near them and release to let it roll down to the base of the mountain or hill. Such event can be very tedious and dangerous but when the Thangka is displayed on the slope of the mountain or hill, it radiates joy.
I wonder if the Thangka is as huge as the ones in The Himalayas region. This may go into the books of Guinness Records. Crossed fingers. Just the thought.
Travelling is not just "Touch N Go". It is more than this. Travelling is to enjoy what other offers, fun, excitement, colors of nature and cultures, food culture and people who wants to know us and to make them special in our lives.
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During the late 18th and 19th centuries, Great Britain established colonies and protectorates in the area of current Malaysia; these were occupied by Japan from 1942 to 1945. In 1948, the British-ruled territories on the Malay Peninsula formed the Fe...more info