Memorial Service on the 8th Passing Away Anniversary of the late Venerable Siew Ching

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Ven. Zhen Man and Bro. Lye Hin

The Ceremony began at 10.00am on the morning of 27 July 2006 with everyone paying their respects to Guan Yin Pusa and chanting of Lu Xiang Zhan. Everyone then sat down for the chanting of the Amitabha Sutra. Following this, Venerable Wei Wu, the Abbot of Than Hsiang Temple gave a talk about the late Venerable Siew Ching.

The late Venerable Siew Ching was ordained at Yong Quan Monastery in Fuzhou, China at a very young age. The Grand Master opted for solitude and stayed in a small hut behind the monastery to study the Tripitaka after his higher ordination. He meditated intensively at the same time. The Most Venerable Siew Ching had focused his attention on the development of the Four Bhrama-viharas: metta (loving kindness), karuna (compassion), mudita (joy in the good fortune of others) and upekkha (equanimity). One could say that the Grand Master's method of practice and advocation would be to integrate the Four Bhrama-viharas within the Ten Great Vows of Bodhisattva Samantabhadra.

After a few years of solitude, the late Grand Master was elected by the residents to be the superintendent of Yong Quan Monastery. He readily accepted and performed his duties in accord with the temple's needs though he manifested a more reserved inclination. The late Venerable's affinity with the Malaysian Buddhists blossomed when the then Abbot of Yong Quan Monastery, the Most Venerable Miao Lian initiated temple fund raising endeavours in Malaysia. The Most Venerable Miao Lian subsequently established the Kek Lok Si Temple a few years after visiting Penang. The trustees of Kek Lok Si later wrote to Yong Quan Monastery for assistance, as there were only a handful of Sangha members residing in the temple. The late Venerable Siew Ching was again nominated for the post of Superintendent in Kek Lok Si, Penang. He promptly answered the call of duty, thousands of miles away from his homeland.

One may not have the good kamma to have physically met and learnt from the Grand Master in person, but as one ponders upon whatever little glimpses of the Most Venerable Siew Ching's personal practice and service, together with what he had advocated by way of the Buddhist practice, the late Grand Master had manifested a path of service and compassion for all to follow.

After Venerable Wei Wu's talk, everyone proceeded to San Sheng Dan for chanting of the Heart Sutra and mantras for the offering of food; thus concluding the memorial service.

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Tribute to a distinct pioneer of distant land

Alas, not in person but through word–of–mouth
Whatever little many hear or read about
Nothing less of a selfless monk of grit and faith abound
A solitary figure of quiet solitude to a distant land
A beacon of hope, compassion and light
As well as the paragon of wisdom in stride
To all self - professed service minded Buddhists and the like
The inner call for accumulation of merits and wisdom as we strive
Here is the likely answer for us in our samsaric cycle of plight.