Category Archives: Malaysia

Experts disagree on religion practised at ruins older than Borobodur and Angkor Wat

Important find: Dr Mokhtar showing the furnace excavated from the archaeology site of ‘Relau Kg Chemara Jeniang’ to conference delegates at the festival site.

Important find: Dr Mokhtar showing the furnace excavated from the archaeology site of ‘Relau Kg Chemara Jeniang’ to conference delegates at the festival site.

The Star Online
BY ARNOLD LOH

Theorising that the valley’s iron smelters about 2,000 years ago practised animism, Prof Datuk Dr Mokhtar Saidin triggered a slew of questions from visiting archaeologists from around the world.

He was guiding the more than 20 archaeologists and conservationists yesterday on a tour of the Sungai Batu Archaeology Site 15km from here.

They are here to speak at the Old Kedah International Conference, held together with the Old Kedah Festival that will last till Monday. This is the first time such a big number of history experts have assembled here.

“The temple ruins we unearthed is unlike any other known in the world. Although the structure resembled Hinduism or Buddhism, this temple does not have the usual eastern or western entrance. Instead, the staircase leading into the temple has a southerly direction that aligns precisely with Mount Jerai in the distance,” Dr Mokhtar told the archaeologists.

Islam, Buddhism and Hinduism archaeology expert Prof Derek Kennet noted that Hindu temple architecture could still be seen on the brick layers of the square platform and said while it was “highly unusual” for this ancient populace to build a Hindu temple on top of the round base of a Buddhist stupa, it was not impossible.

Approached later, Kennet described the wall contours on the square platform, containing ledges, overhangs and a circular bulge, as the unmistakable wall architecture of ancient Indian temples.

“I respect Dr Mokhtar’s academic findings, though I feel that this has to be put through an academic discussion. I’m glad for this conference, which is giving us all a chance to discuss archaeological developments in the region,” he added.

The ruins of Sungai Batu have been proven to be older than Borobudur in Indonesia and Angkor Wat in Cambodia.

This unknown civilisation had thrived more than 1,000 years before the first sultans formed the beginning of today’s Malaysian states.

[link]

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‘Guan Yin Pu Sa: A Musical’ imparts positive messages of love and compassion

Guan Yin Pu Sa: A Musical tells four stories through song and dance in imparting universal life lessons on love, compassion, joy and equanimity.

Guan Yin Pu Sa: A Musical tells four stories through song and dance in imparting universal life lessons on love, compassion, joy and equanimity.

The Star Online
Sunday January 11, 2015 MYT 12:00:00 AM
BY ROUWEN LIN

In this musical, it’s entirely possible for pink lotus flowers to stretch on for all eternity in high definition, if the producer so desires – thanks to an impressive virtual reality stage set-up.

Painstakingly created by the folks at the Shanghai Virtual Performing Art Lab at the Shanghai Theatre Academy in China, this production integrates artistic content with scientific and digital technology, presenting a virtual reality stage in breathtaking 3D magnificence.

“Having a virtual reality stage really enhances the experience of watching the musical,” says Datuk Tan Swee Lai, producer of Guan Yin Pu Sa: A Musical, during a chat ahead of the musical’s opening.

“With these beautiful 3D effects, it feels like you are actually part of the scene. It feels very interactive. It is a big difference compared to when you utilise just props and conventional multimedia as we did in our previous productions,” she explains. Continue reading

Journey To The West – The Musical charts a monk’s epic tale

The cast of Xuan Zang: Journey to the West - The Musical by Han Production at a rehearsal in Kuala Lumpur. Producer/director Yang Wei Han calls this English and Mandarin musical an "epic production".

The cast of Xuan Zang: Journey to the West – The Musical by Han Production at a rehearsal in Kuala Lumpur. Producer/director Yang Wei Han calls this English and Mandarin musical an “epic production”.

The Daily Start
Published: Sunday October 12, 2014 MYT 12:00:00 AM

BY ROUWEN LIN

A monk’s lifetime quest for knowledge is immortalised in a musical.

Who hasn’t heard of Journey To The West, one of the four Great Classical Novels of Chinese literature? Inspiring numerous books, movies and drama series, this story relates the adventures of Buddhist monk Xuan Zang on his pilgrimage from China to the “Western Regions” (India) to obtain sacred scriptures.

Accompanied by three disciples, Monkey, Pigsy and Sandy, and a dragon prince, who goes under the guise of a white steed, they battle demons and monsters along the way, overcoming all odds in the quest for knowledge.

This 16th century novel, for all its fantastical elements and embellishments, was based on historical events nine centuries prior – though no less impressive in its own right.

Xuan Zang was a Tang Dynasty monk who, plagued by the discrepancies in the Chinese translations of Buddhist scriptures, left his homeland and travelled west overland to India in search of the originals. In defiance of the emperor’s ban on travel, he left Chang’an in 629 and headed for India where he spent the next decade and beyond visiting important pilgrimage sites and studying at the ancient centre of learning, the university of Nalanda.

When he returned to China with hundreds of scriptures and relics in his possession, almost 20 years had passed. Xuan Zang declined all appointments offered by the emperor and instead retired to a monastery and dedicated the rest of his life to the translation of these Buddhist texts. Continue reading

Lotus Sutra’s dance of peace

The lotus bud signifies the blossoming peace in one’s heart.

The lotus bud signifies the blossoming peace in one’s heart.

The Star Online
Published: Saturday May 24, 2014

BY REVATHI MURUGAPPAN

Dua Space Dance Theatre’s latest performance resonated with the philosophy of the Lotus Sutra.

AMONG the many teachings attributed to Buddha, the Lotus Sutra is regarded as the most complete and encompassing.

For three months, Malaysians got to sample some of the Buddhist wisdom at the Lotus Sutra Exhibition – A Message Of Peace And Harmonious Coexistence, co-organised by Soka Gakkai Malaysia and The Institute of Oriental Philosophy (IOP).

The exhibition, which concluded last weekend, featured historical photographs, illustrations and more than 100 pieces of artefacts, including manuscripts of the Lotus Sutra as well as replicas of the Dunhuang Grottoes.

These manuscripts, which were lost in India through various upheavals, have travelled all the way from various international archives from Britain, Russia, China, Japan and Nepal, where some of them have been preserved, translated and reproduced. Continue reading

Far Eastern University Professor in Art Expo Malaysia 2013

Manila Standard Today
12 October, 2013

FEU

John Paul “Lakan” Olivares, a visual artist and professor at the Far Eastern University – Institute of Architecture and Fine Arts, was among the Filipino artists who represented the country at the Art Expo Malaysia 2013 in Kuala Lumpur.

Olivares exhibited four of his pen and ink works created using metallic gel pens and drawn on the reverse side of illustration boards. Each artwork was based on mandalas—spiritual and ritual symbols in Hinduism and Buddhism; the largest pieces were created using the Buddhist process of mandala design while the smaller ones are calligraphic mandalas. Continue reading

Photo Essay: Medicine Buddha Chanting Ceremony

wilsonchin.blogspot
June 18, 2013

Chanting ceremony

Everyone are paying their full concentrate during the chanting season. So my job is try to take the best shoot possible within these 7 days.

I went to a Buddhist Temple at Kuala Lumpur, Cheras. Went there to become volunteer workers, as a photographer. They are organizing a 7 days chanting season. So I volunteer to become one of their photographer.

The Buddha teaching maybe different from other religion, and let me share with you some of the things that you will encounter if you join a Buddhist chanting ceremony like this.

For more photos, follow the [link].

Malaysia: Gearing up for Wesak Day

The Star
By OH CHIN ENG
Photos by ZAINUDIN AHAD
20 May 2013

Getting ready: A devotee arranging lotus candles on a table at Wat Chaiyamangalaram Temple in Burmah Lane, Penang.Getting ready: A devotee arranging lotus candles on a table at Wat Chaiyamangalaram Temple in Burmah Lane, Penang.

 

 

BUDDHIST temples and asso-ciations in George Town, Penang, are all geared up for the annual Wesak Day celebrations on Friday.

The Wat Chaiyamangalaram Temple in Burmah Lane was all abuzz with activity as some 70 volunteers were seen giving the temple a fresh, clean look.

The temple’s main attraction – the 33 metre-long reclining Buddha statue built in 1958 – was cleaned by only male devotees. Continue reading