News of the bombing of the Mahabodhi temple at Bodhgaya on July 7, 2013 came as a great shock to Buddhists far and near. Bodhgaya is the holy site where the Buddha gained Enlightenment and has become a holy pilgrimage centre for Buddhist from all over the world. It is also of international importance as it is declared a World Heritage Site by United Nations Educational and Scientific Organisation. Till today we still do not know why and who targeted the Mahabodhi temple for this violent act.
Venerable Wei Wu, the abbot of Than Hsiang Temple is deeply saddened by this event. The venerable, in upholding the Buddha’s teaching of non-violence and loving kindness invited members of the Cathedral of the Holy Spirit Church, and Sivan Temple to hold a special prayer for world peace and the early recovery of those injured and the early relief of the attackers of their mental anguish at the Dewan Sri Phor Tay of Phor Tay High School in Sungai Dua.
The coming together of members of different faith will also help promote mutual respect, understanding and better communication among its members.
In his speech, Venerable Wei Wu said, “While we condemn the senseless violence, we must not retaliate with violence. The Buddha has taught us in the Dhammapada that 'Hatred is never appeased by hatred, hatred is appeased by love. This is the eternal law. The victor breeds hatred; the defeated lives in pain; the peaceful lives happily giving up victory and defeat. This is the Buddhist solution to violence.'
“While we pray for the early recovery of the victims from physical injuries, we also pray for the early recovery of the attacker(s) from their mental anguish and the repentance of the senseless acts of violence.”
Rajindra, chairman of the Sivan Temple in his speech said, “I am glad to participate in the prayers. We may have different background and religious faith but we share the same aim in praying for world peace.
Brother Pedro Geronimo of the Cathedral of the Holy Spirit Church said, “It is rare indeed for members of different faiths to gather and pray for world peace. We are shocked by the violent attack. It is a sign to us that individual strength is limited, and that we can only pray to God for guidance. We pray to God to calm the attackers’ mind and for their repentance and remorse.”
The prayers led by the different religious leaders not only fills the hall but the hearts of those present with joy and equanimity. It exemplified the spiritual harmony of our multi-racial and multi-faith society.
The event came to a close with the digital release of doves by the various religious delegates.
As an after event the delegates was taken on a guided tour of the school premises by the director and members of the School Board and the committee of the Parent-Teacher Association. The visitors were very impressed with the facilities at the school hall, classrooms, prayer hall, library and dancing studio.