Saturday, August 30, 2008

My Revered Teacher



The Chief Reverend Dr K Sri Dhammananda




Today (31 August) is a very special day for this nation, Merdeka. It is extra special for me. Merdeka means Independence or Freedom. For this nation, Merdeka means freedom from the shackle of colonial control. My revered Dhamma (Religious) Teacher also celebrated Merdeka today. It was today two years ago that my revered Teacher gained freedom from this cycle of births and deaths. My revered Teacher passed away today two years ago. Today is his 2nd death anniversary.



The Most Ven. Dr. K Sri Dhammananda Maha Nayaka Thera was very well known for his tireless Buddhist missionary work. His base was the Brickfields Buddhist Temple in KL. It was in this temple 20 yers ago that I learned most of my Buddhism from him. For about one year, every Friday night at 8pm sharp without fail, I would be there listening to his talk. That period was special for me as Chief Reverend (that was how everyone addressed him) was answering all my questions. He had very kindly consented to answer all my questions which I submitted to him. So over a period of about one year I learned my Buddhism, Chief Reverend's style!! I recorded all these talks and also have transcribed them into 2 books.



It is common knowledge that geniuses, artists, great musicians and all others who have very special abilities are born with these talents. However there is one area often overlooked or taken for granted simply because it is just plain ordinary fare. Each of us also brought with us a certain affinity towards certain interest. As for me, since I was small I was always interested in Buddhism. I still have with me hand-written and typed copies of notes on Buddhism which I copied from books borrowed from the local library when I was a young student. It was to my second sister's credit that I was enrolled in the Sunday School at the Penang Buddhist Association when I was (I think) 10 years old. Although I did not learn much over that short period, the experience left a permanent imprint in my spiritual pursuit, later in life.




The first Buddhist book I bought for (I think) $2.50 at that time in 1968 was "Why Worry" by the Chief Reverend. Exactly 40 years ago!! I still have the book with me. Now the latest edition is twice the thickness and I got it free from the temple!! You can see both the pictures here.


My first Buddhist book (bought 1968)






Latest edition (2008)




Fast forward a bit to 1978, I went to work in KL. I was at that time staying just opposite the Brickfields Buddhist Temple. What a coincidence!! The apartment is Bangunan Tong Weng just next to the newly built Temple Of Fine Arts, along Jalan Berhala. Strangely at that time I wasn't attracted to the temple just opposite. I knew Chief Reverend was there, but did not make attempt to be there. It was only when I shifted to Subang Jaya and when my daughter was big enough to attend Sunday School that I began to associate more with the temple. It was during this time that I really became a student of the Chief Reverend.





Justin Choo with The Chief (1988)

Chief Reverend came to Malaysia in 1952 and was at the Brickfieds temple until his death. The temple has since changed its name to Brickfields Buddhist Maha Vihara. Every Friday night the Chief would give his 8pm evening talk. He used to joke that the old record had been going on for umpteen years. (For you youngsters, "old record" means the ancient record player!) The Chief was the spearhead who disseminated Buddhism, especially to the university students. The current well educated young Buddhists are the fruits of the Chief's untiring dhammaduta (missionary) legacy.



The Chief's forte was in his ability to write books and give talks. He was a natural speaker (often a real joker) creating laughter in an otherwise bland and sober sermons! His most influential book is "What Buddhists Believe".



Chief's most influential book.


Chief's autograph on the book.

The Chief Reverend, my revered Teacher lived until age 87. A very fruitful and pure life. Whatever it is, nature takes its course.




Anicca Watta Sankhara


(All component things are impermanent.)


*****************************************

Latest Up-date (2 Dec 2008)

Chief Reverend IS now in You Tube:



Who Is The Buddha? : The Buddha Explained Himself



Buddhism : Nothing To Believe



East Vs West (#12 of 18) Handling Problems



Handling Problems


Blue is West: Take direct steps to solve the problems.

Red is East : Try to avoid conflicts, and if can, don't leave any trail.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Devils : Real and False


http://www.flickr.com/photos/wgt_sanjeewa/2098539220/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/highglosshighs/47387177/


The Star reports today that the Grand Old Man is saying that Anwar could "convince even the devil to follow him". The Grand Old Man is insinuating that those who support Anwar are devils.




Well, it takes a real devil to catch all the false devils!!



Dr Mahathir predicted that once back in Parliament, Anwar would make “life very difficult” for PM Abdullah. Do we need him to "predict" that?? We can tell the whole world for sure that Anwar will make life difficult for the PM. That is precisely why we support Anwar!!

The Grand Old Man needs a thorough mental check-up!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Amazing Technology !!


You will not be able to know what's ahead of you until you have seen at least 4 pictures and read the explanation of what they are.
The future is here and it's incredible!! What an age we live in.
Amazing technology from Japan . . .


Look closely and guess what they could be...



Are they pens with cameras?


Any wild guess? No clue yet?
You've just looked into the future...
You've just seen something that will replace your PC in the near future.
Here is how it works:
In the revolution of miniature computers, scientists have made great development with bluetooth technology...
This is the forthcoming computer you can carry in your pocket!
This 'pen sort of instrument' produces both the monitor as well as the keyboard on any flat surface from where you can carry out functions you would normally do on your desktop computer.


Looks like our computers are out of date... again!!!
We are now living in the computer stone-age !!
What shall we call this....Penuter?

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

P44 : THE RAKYAT HAVE SPOKEN







THE RAKYAT HAVE SPOKEN LOUD AND CLEAR!
THE VOTERS OF PERMATANG PAUH ARE THE HEROES OF THE NATION TONIGHT!
THEY HAVE SPOKEN ON OUR BEHALF!



THANK YOU PERMATANG PAUH!


CONGRATULATIONS! SAUDARA ANWAR IBRAHIM (MP PERMATANG PAUH)!


THE NEXT CHAPTER, MP WILL BECOME PM!!


OFFICIAL RESULTS:
ANWAR (PKR) : 31,195
ARIF (BN) : 15,524
MAJORITY : 15,671

VOTERS TURNOUT : 81%

P44 : The Heroes Of Permatang Pauh

























The Heroes of Permatang Pauh. The nation's fate rests on your shoulders today. We salute you.


Please go to vote and make the right and honourable decision.


Make it a BIG majority !!

Send the LOUDEST MESSAGE today !!
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The last rite??
Picture taken yesterday at the perimeter of a Chinese cemetery in the Permatang Pauh constituency.
Picture courtesy of TV SMITH's Dua Sen, which I quote:
"The by-election is being played out like a cliff-hanging soap opera. At every dramatic turn, a confessing party hopes to bury the other. Even though it is the tail-end of the Chinese Ghost Month, the phantoms still hold court".

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Today The Chinese People Stand Tall!!






























Today, the Chinese People are standing tall.


In 1949, Chairman Mao proclaimed to the world at Tien An Men Square that the Chinese people had stood up. Today, after 59 years, the Chinese people have stood tall!

As I confidently
wrote earlier that China would end the Games on top of the medal list; today it has become a reality!

This is the resilience of the Chinese people. It has proven time and time again that with a united vision and a strong and efficient government, a nation can be nurtured to succeed, whatever odds it may face.


China tops the gold medal tally at 51. It has 21 silvers and 28 bronzes, making a nice figure of 100. Trailing next is the United States with 36, 38, 36 with a total of 110. While Russia takes up third place with 23, 21, 28; a total of 72. The rest also participated.


Congratulations!! China!!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

P44 : A Tale of Two Tell-tale Signs !!

SIGN #1
This picture (above) from Anil's blog which I quote:

"Last night (Friday, 22 Aug), while I was in Seberang Jaya, I couldn’t help noticing a number of BN road-side ‘operations centres’ that were deserted. No one home. Mind you this was in BN candidate Ariff Shah’s stronghold, his Penang state assembly seat area."


SIGN #2

And the above also from Anil's which I quote again:
"They came from far and near to Permatang Pauh last night (Saturday, 23 Aug)
This was the scene at the Pakatan ceramah in Seberang Jaya last night."


This is indeed a cause for celebration for all Malaysians! Lim Guan Eng has declared Tuesday 26 August a public holiday for Penang!!
Anwar must win BIG!!
To send a Loud Message!!





History and Profile of a" Flip-Flop"













One early morning, some 50 years ago, my father, back from the market showed us excitedly a pair of funny-looking sort of slippers with a "y"-shaped strap.


"What's that, Dad?"
"Oh, they're Japanese slippers. See, how comfortable!" Dad slipped into them.
"They are actually worn by the Japanese, especially the ladies , but with socks."


Thus began the saga of the flip-flops. The rest is history, so they said.


I searched the
Wikipedia and came up with this:


"In
footwear and fashion, flip-flops (also known as thongs, jandals, slippers, or pluggers) are a flat, backless, usually rubber sandal consisting of a flat sole held loosely on the foot by a Y-shaped strap, like a thin thong, that passes between the first (big) and second toes and around either side of the foot. They appear to have been developed based on traditional Japanese woven or wooden soled sandals."


Hey, wait a second! There is another meaning to "flip-flop". You got to be politically correct when explaining this special term. So again, I rely on
Wikipedia and it says:


"A flip-flop (used mostly in the
United States) or a U-turn (used in the United Kingdom) is a sudden real or apparent change of policy or opinion by a public official, sometimes while trying to claim that both positions are consistent with each other. Often it will occur during the period prior to an election in order to maximize the candidate's popularity."


In this "Boleh" little country called Malaysia, the equivalent would be the following:


Pusing kiri, pusing kanan : Turn left, turn right
Pusing sini, pusing sana : Turn here, turn there
Kepala pusing : Head turning


No matter how one turns, one ends up in the same position looking the same old familiar stupid fool. This is the epitome of desperate and incompetent politicians where there are tons of them in this Bolehland.



Flip-flops are very comfortable to wear. They make walking a breeze. They are so light. When one side is up, the other must be down. Once down, the other side must be up. You see, perfect syncronization and balance!!


But the silly and foolish politicians think that the voters are like their feet; can be stepped up and down with their flip-flops!! Just like flip-flops, a time will come when the strap will snap or the the sole will wear out. That will be the time when these stupid politicians will begin to feel the pain in their souls..oops, sorry...soles!
Come Tuesday 26 August may all the desperate souls...ops...soles feel the excruciating pain when the results are announced. Make it The Mother of All By-elections!! It will be a "Bye-election", no doubt about it!!


Desperados will resort to desperate manoeuvres, even swearing on grandmothers’ graves. Petrol price will not be reduced before Sept 1 but today (Aug 23) it's reduced! It’s like sinking on quick sand, the more they struggle the faster and deeper they sink, ultimately killing themselves through self-suffocation!!


Friday, August 22, 2008

P44 : Local Boy??






Bernama news reported the PM as saying that it was time for the Permatang Pauh electorate to give an opportunity to a local candidate who resided in the area to represent them in Parliament.


The logic it seems that to him "if the Permatang Pauh voters chose an outsider, the elected representative would not be able to understand what they want except for someone like (Datuk) Arif Shah (Omar Shah) who always resides here."

If this is the logic of a genius, then the PM has got a problem because he too does not reside at his constituency either! And so are many of the MPs who do not reside at their respective constituencies.


My sincerely apologies if I misinterprete.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Haris Ibrahim's open letter to Anwar




Every decent and peace-loving Malaysian must read Haris Ibrahim's open letter to Anwar Ibrahim HERE.


I wish to quote three very important statements which represent the inner feelings of many of us:


"Yes, most of my friends and I, like my sister, have long forgiven you for your involvement in the atrocities committed by Mahathir during his reign of destruction and pillage, even if only by association and your failure to dissociate with his regime.
But like you, we, too, have not forgotten.
Just as remembrance will serve you well, so too us."


"Before I proceed further, so as to lessen the hurt, if any, of what I am about to say, let me first say that whilst I have the highest regard for YB Lim Kit Siang and YB Lim Guan Eng, yet in the matter of the politics and governance of this nation, I do not trust them implicitly and without question, because they are politicians and 50 years of BN politics has delivered a hard and painful lesson to many of us.
Don’t trust politicians completely."


"In the run-up to polling day on the 26th, my friends and I will be in Permatang Pauh to help you in any way we can.
By God’s Grace, you will soon be returned to Parliament. May He also continue to bestow you with wisdom and courage to discharge your duties faithfully."


Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The Sound Of Music : 40 Years Later !!



The Sound Of Music!! 40 years old!!


Do you know I never actually sat to watch this movie from the beginning to end?! But I know every scene and know the whole story. This is because I have been sitting watching parts of it for the past 40 years!!

You won't believe this: only yesterday I had to torture myself listening to Do Re Mi again and watching Julie Andrews teaching the 7 children the basics of music notes. I had to babysit my grand daughter, and wifey said, " Put on the Sound Of Music!". "Oh no, not again!!" I searched for the dvd and inside were 3 discs. I was so sure that disc 1 would be a bore, so I put on disc 2 and sure enough the Do Re Mi song was at the beginning of that disc!!


I always joked with my family that the scene showing Julie Andrews "running here and there," "jumping up and down," singing on the mountains reminded me of the Bollywood film only minus the background dancers which usually appeared like magic in Bollywood!


Strange is life. I never like watching Sound Of Music but had to watch it for 40 years even till yesterday. Oh my goodness, will I have to endure for another 40 years when I reach age 98!!??


These photos were related to a BBC documentary, interviewing the "children" of the "Sound of Music" movie. The "children" are middle-aged people now. Not everyone had smooth-sailing in his/her life. Some had broken marriages; and some had difficult times in their careers. BBC had tried to include Julie Andrews in the program as well; but somehow that did not materialize.


The Sound of Music ... 40 years Later...









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