Offering of alms to 300 monks at PISA on June 22

The Star, May 12, 2008

Penang, Malaysia -- Some 300 monks and thousands of Buddhist devotees are expected to throng the Penang International Sports Arena (PISA) to celebrate the 2008 National Maha Sanghika Dana on June 22.

The event, organised by the Yayasan Belia Buddhist Malaysia (YBBM), will start at 7.30am with pindapatta (offering of alms by devotees) to the Sangha members (monks).

YBBM vice-chairman Datuk Tan Gin Soon said the annual event was aimed at creating awareness on the merits of this act.

“According to Buddhist scriptures, devotees participating in the Maha Sanghika Dana would also accrue merits such as long life, beauty, happiness, strength and wisdom,” he said on Saturday.

Tan added that devotees would not be allowed to offer money or angpows during the pindapatta.

“The organising committee will prepare food and other suitable items for the offering of alms.

“What devotees need to do is just buy a RM10 coupon and they will be provided with enough food to make offerings for 10 people,” he said.

Tan said YBBM would also take the opportunity to transfer merits to the people killed by the Cyclone Nargis in Myanmar.

“We appeal to the whole Buddhist fraternity to join us at the event,” he said.

Proceeds from the event will go to the Malaysian Sangha Fund to help provide Sangha members with their daily needs. The proceeds will also be used to finance Sangha projects.

There will be a charity fair selling vegetarian food at the same venue from 8am to 2pm, aimed at raising RM100,000.

The five beneficiaries are Pure Lotus Hospice, Fo Yi Renal Medi- fund, Pertubuhan Rumah Kebajikan Seri Cahaya Pulau Pinang, Shan's Children Home and Yi-ran Handi-capped Children House.

For details, call YBBM office at 129, Jalan Seang Tek, Penang, (04-2291845/ 2287146).