Atualização 05/09: Mais fotos
Noventa ônibus e incontáveis carros particulares seguiram na procissão pelas ruas de Kuala Lumpur na Malásia levando o corpo do Ven. K Sri Dhammananda. A cremação ocorreu no Nirwana Memorial Park no dia de ontem. Uma excelente cobertura fotográfica foi feita por Oon Yeoh, o qual também escreveu o seguinte no jornal Today de Cingapura:
Buddhist icon Dhammananda dies at 87
KUALA LUMPUR — Leading Buddhist leader K Sri Dhammananda died yesterday in hospital after a long illness.
The 87-year-old monk, who was popularly referred to as “Chief”, had been critically ill for the past six weeks after suffering from a stroke. .Last week he was flown back to Kuala Lumpur after spending three weeks at the Mount Elizabeth Hospital in Singapore. He suffered a second stroke shortly after returning from Singapore and has been slipping in and out of consciousness since then. A leading figure in the Buddhist community in Malaysia and Singapore, the monk arrived in Malaysia in 1952 from Sri Lanka (then known as Ceylon) to help tend to the spiritual needs of the Sinhalese community in Kuala Lumpur. Shortly after his arrival he was summoned by the High Commissioner to Malaya, Sir Gerald Templer, who asked him to teach Buddhism among the Chinese communities in the new villages set up to help check the spread of Communism.
Thus began his missionary work, lasting over half a century, which eventually spread throughout Malaysia and later, Singapore as well. He was the Chief Monk of the famous Maha Vihara Temple in Kuala Lumpur and is technically the head of the Theravada denomination in Malaysia and Singapore. In Buddhism there are two main denominations: Theravada and Mahayana. “He’s such a towering figure in the Buddhist community here that he’s widely referred to as the ‘Chief’ by everyone regardless of which denomination they belong to,” says Mr Charlie Chia, 51, a veteran Buddhist teacher.
“In Malaysia, there is only one icon for Buddhism, and that’s the Chief,” says Mr Lim Kooi Fong, founder of the Buddhist Channel, a non-denominational website. “Being that Malaysia is his adopted home, perhaps it’s significant that he died on independence day.”