fare ye well

I’ve been so out of touch with what’s happening around the country (that’s what happens when you are cut off from the Internet — I don’t know how I managed to survive years ago), and didn’t know that the Venerable Dr K. Sri Dhammananda Nayaka Maha Thera had sadly passed away :( :( :(

The first time I met the Chief Reverend was back in 1996. He had stopped by Batu Pahat, probably at the invitation of the Kg. Merdeka temple, and delivered a talk in English which was translated to Mandarin for there were many non-English speaking people present. He was quite funny — cracked several jokes which was unfortunately lost upon those who couldn’t understand English. Luckily I could, and I thoroughly enjoyed his talk and his light-hearted mannerisms. Quite a nice change from some of the other monks we had listened to.

I didn’t know who he was then, until my seniors informed me that he was THE Chief Reverend for both Malaysia and Singapore. He sure didn’t act like it — you would expect someone of such significance to be serious and uptight and all. Well I was young, and thankfully that view of mine was proven wrong, not just by the Chief Reverend but also by a couple other monks I would later meet and get to know.

A few years later, the Chief Reverend’s pictorial autobiography was published. I bought a copy, and had the good fortune to have the Chief Reverend sign my book when we paid him a visit at the Brickfields temple. In the meantime I had read up about the Chief Reverend. From what I learnt, he was instrumental in preaching religious tolerance and harmony, especially in Malaysia when we faced so much troubles before (and still do, but a slightly different set of troubles now, I think).

The Chief Reverend himself wrote many books; I believe the most popular one is What Buddhists Believe‘. There are a couple of others that I also enjoyed, such as “Why Religious Tolerance?”, “The Buddhist Concept of Heaven and Hell” and “Life in Uncertain, Death is Certain”. You can download his free publications here.

I particularly like his logical approach to certain issues that I seek answers to, and his works were very helpful during the ‘finding-myself’ days. He was one of the reasons why I believe that Buddhism is the one religion I could most understand and relate to. I don’t claim to be a very good Buddhist; really I am far far far from it but imagine — if there wasn’t Buddhism, I could turn out worse?

Sad day for Malaysians and all of humanity indeed.

Wesak Day @ Buddhist Maha Vihara, Brickfields 2005 - 16 portrait of Ven Dr K Sri Dhammananda

May the Chief Reverend attain parinirvana. If not this life, then surely the next.

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Comments

  1. Amitabha
    Amen
    Insya Allah

  2. rest in peace, my beloved teacher.

  3. I met him once before, when he came to my college to give a talk. I’m a poorer buddhist than you are, but I tend to think of myself as one anyway. So, during his talk he mentioned something about original sin which I thought was original and sensible. Not that it in itself swayed me towards Buddhism, but it just made a lot of sense, though I can’t remember what it was exactly that he had said.

    Was sort of waiting for you to blog thus..

    May he find the kind of happiness that comes from being moderate and thoughtful in life.

  4. Om mani padme hum !

  5. Can’t find you in the picture at all

  6. James: standing third from right

  7. Tan Wee Khien says:

    I think all is not lost, at least during his (Chief Reverend) time, he manages to “touch” the heart of so many youngsters like us.

    Thank you sunnie for the link to his books/articles.

  8. We will truely miss him. Thanks for writing about Chief.

  9. Tan Kong Wai says:

    It’s hard to find such an inspiring and selfless teacher like Chief that never ever stop propagating the Dhamma regardless of his age and health condition. The respect that Chief has gain through his lifetime of contribution to society, Buddhism and unity of people of different faith is evident from the turn out in the funeral and cremation. Thousands of people from all walks of life, different religion and all over the world came to pay their final respect to Chief in BMV and Semenyih. Even the heavy rain yesterday didn’t deter the devotees from attending the creamation ceremony.

    Thank you Chief for your existence and deeds that have inspired and touched our hearts. I know you will be well no matter where you’re now. Even though your physical body is no longer with us but you will live forever in our memory. So let us always remember and practice everything that Chief has taught us so that he can continue teaching and inspiring everyone through the ages. We shall never stop practicing when Chief is no longer here because if we do than everything Chief has done will soon be gone with his departure.

    Thanks Suanie for this link.

    May you be well and may all beings be well.

  10. i been to the funeral. in fact i virtually stayed there in the office for 3 days.

    more details of the funeral can be found in http://www.buddhistchannel.tv
    http://www.ksridhammananda.com

    sukhi hotu

  11. He is a great man who represents the real meaning or peace, wisdom and the real teaching of Buddhsim.

    I have not personally met him, but his teachings have enable me to understand Buddhsim as its suppose to be understood.

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