Happy Wesak

KUALA LUMPUR: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak in his Wesak message today said buddhism advocates harmony and selflessness.

In his Wesak message, which was posted on his Facebook page, Najib said, "Buddhism's essential teachings are in line with our philosophy of moderation which we strive to promote and practice in our daily lives in Malaysia."

For Malaysia, he added, unity in diversity must continue to be the nation's most treasured asset.

Wesak Day has always been a time of charity for Buddhist devotees - regardless how big or small their take-home pay is.

In Malaysia, Wesak is an annual national holiday since 1962.

At Chetawan Temple in Petaling Jaya, throngs of devotees come in through the high gates to donate money and seek enlightenment from Buddha's teachings.

Some drive up in big and expensive cars while others come in motorcycles. Mostly, just walk in.

In the midst of pre-recorded sanskrit chantings (suttas) of 'the middle path' blaring out of loudspeakers, devotees silently give thanks and pray for peace in the presence of orange-robed monks.

They light up oil lamps (fuelled by palm cooking oil) as a symbolic gesture of seeking enlightenment to overcome the darkness of ignorance.