Sunday, January 06, 2013

A story about friendship

Before the time of this story, people in Asia used to say that there would never be a time when an elephant and a dog would be friends. Elephants simply did not like dogs, and dogs were afraid of elephants.
When dogs are frightened by those who are bigger than they are, they often bark very loudly, to cover up their fear. When dogs used to do this when they saw elephants, the elephants would get annoyed and chase them. Elephants had no patience at all when it came to dogs. Even if a dog were quiet and still, any nearby elephant would automatically attack him. This is why everybody agreed that elephants and dogs were 'natural enemies', just like lions and tigers, or cats and mice.
Once upon a time, there was a royal bull elephant, who was very well fed and cared for. In the neighbourhood of the elephant shed, there was a scrawny, poorly fed, stray dog. He was attracted by the smell of the rich sweet rice being fed to the royal elephant. So he began sneaking into the shed and eating the wonderful rice that fell from the elephant's mouth. He liked it so much, that soon he would eat nowhere else. While enjoying his food, the big mighty elephant did not notice the tiny shy stray dog.
By eating such rich food, the once underfed dog gradually got bigger and stronger, and became very handsome looking. The good-natured elephant began to notice him. Since the dog had gotten used to being around the elephant, he had lost his fear. So he did not bark at him. Because he was not annoyed by the friendly dog, the elephant gradually got used to him.
Slowly they became friendlier and friendlier with each other. Before long, neither would eat without the other, and they enjoyed spending their time together. When they played, the dog would grab the elephant's heavy trunk, and the elephant would swing him forward and backward, from side to side, up and down, and even in circles! So it was that they became 'best friends', and wanted never to be separated.
Then one day a man from a remote village, who was visiting the city, passed by the elephant shed. He saw the frisky dog, who had become strong and beautiful. He bought him from the mahout, even though he didn't really own him. He took him back to his home village, without anyone knowing where that was.
Of course, the royal bull elephant became very sad, since he missed his best friend the dog. He became so sad that he didn't want to do anything, not even eat or drink or bathe. So the mahout had to report this to the king, although he said nothing about selling the friendly dog.
It just so happened that the king had an intelligent minister who was known for his understanding of animals. So he told him to go and find out the reason for the elephant's condition.
The wise minister went to the elephant shed. He saw at once that the royal bull elephant was very sad. He thought, "This once happy elephant does not appear to be sick in any way. But I have seen this condition before, in men and animals alike. This elephant is grief-stricken, probably due to the loss of a very dear friend."
Then he said to the guards and attendants, "I find no sickness. He seems to be grief-stricken due to the loss of a friend. Do you know if this elephant had a very close friendship with anyone?"
They told him how the royal elephant and the stray dog were best friends. "What happened to this stray dog?" asked the minister. He was taken by an unknown man," they replied, "and we do not know where he is now."
The minister returned to the king and said, "Your majesty, I am happy to say your elephant is not sick. As strange as it may sound, he became best friends with a stray dog! Since the dog has been taken away, the elephant is grief-stricken and does not feel like eating or drinking or bathing. This is my opinion."
The king said, "Friendship is one of life's most wonderful things. My minister, how can we bring back my elephant's friend and make him happy again?"
"My lord," replied the minister, "I suggest you make an official announcement, that whoever has the dog who used to live at the royal elephant shed, will be fined."
This was done, and when the villager heard of it, he released the dog from his house. He was filled with great happiness and ran as fast as he could, straight back to his best friend, the royal bull elephant.
The elephant was so overjoyed, that he picked up his friend with his trunk and sat him on top of his head. The happy dog wagged his tail, while the elephant's eyes sparkled with delight. They both lived happily ever after.
Meanwhile, the king was very pleased by his elephant's full recovery. He was amazed that his minister seemed to be able to read the mind of an elephant. So he rewarded him appropriately.
The moral is: Even 'natural enemies' can become 'best friends.'

Friday, December 21, 2012

Mercy Killing?

According to Buddhism, mercy killing cannot be justified. Mercy and killing can never go together. Some people kill their pets as they cannot bear to see the pets suffer. However, if mercy killing is the correct method to be practiced on pets or other animals, then why are people so reluctant to do the same to their beloved ones? For example, a person who suffer from the last stage of cancer, do the family members have the right to end that person's life, just because of one simple reason, it's to end the person's suffering? No matter how sincere one can be, Mercy killing in Buddhism, is not a correct approach. However, some people try to justify mercy killing with misconception that if the motive or reason is good, then the act itself is good. No doubt their original intention or motive is good. But the evil act of killing which occurs through a later thought, will certainly bring about unwholesome results. On the other hand, a being may suffer owing to one's bad karma, the debt will have to be paid in another existence. As Buddhist, all we can do is only to help to reduce the pain of suffering in others, but not to end one person's life.

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

NPBS 32nd anniversary night -Forever young

28th November 2012, 6.30-9.00pm, is NPBS 32nd anniversary night. It's such a memorable and meaningful event where all the previous year's alumni gather together with our current committees and members. The theme 'Forever young' indicated something important which played a role where the alumni were able to recall their previous younger years studying in Ngee Ann Polytechnic. It also indicated that although time passed and people grow, but our memories will not change together with time. The event started as the organizing committees gave out snacks and drinks together with souvenir as appreciation towards all members who support the event. Talking about the souvenir, thanks to all the logistics committees who spent so much time on finding suitable resources in buying the pens and the decoration of the lotus flower attached on it.The event started smoothly with the MC's well prepared opening speech, following with all organizing committees lively dancing performance  Next, a video presenting the history of NPBS is shown to all members.  The previous alumni were able to recall their past memories through this. After the presentation, our beloved president, Angela gave her speech and appreciation to all members, and hoped that all of us enjoy the night. There is also entertainments such as games which allowed bonding between alumni and members. A cake cutting session following with birthday song sang by all members.  Awarding session where prizes were given to those who win the games. Cake distribution also took place at the same time. To collaborate with our theme, Forever young song was sang by all members. Finally dinner took place as the event came to a stop. Delicious and supreme food was provided. Thanks to food and beverage committees! Lastly, thanks to all members who helped out in our event. Sadhu! sadhu! sadhu!

Saturday, December 01, 2012

Be Positive!

Positive thoughts, generate positive feelings, and attract positive life experiences. Even there's peaks and valleys, ups and downs, the mindset is the most important thing which affects our life. 

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Once upon a time there was a little boy with a bad temper. His father gave him a bag of nails and told him that every time he lost his temper, he should hammer a nail in the fence. The first day the boy had driven 37 nails into the fence. But gradually, the number of daily nails dwindled down. He discovered it was easier to hold his temper than to drive those nails into the fence.
Finally the first day came when the boy didn't lose his temper at all. He proudly told his father about it and the father suggested that the boy now pull out one nail for each day that he was able to hold his temper. The days passed and the young boy was finally able to tell his father that all the nails were gone. The father took his son by the hand and led him to the fence.
"You have done well, my son, but look at the holes in the fence. The fence will never be the same. When you say things in anger, they leave a scar just like this one. You can put a knife in a man and draw it out, it won't matter how many times you say 'I'm sorry', the wound is still there."

Thursday, November 08, 2012

Our own " Amazing Quest"

Sanctuary Expedition
This rousing event kicked off just after the common test in June 2012.
Buddhist temples in Toa Payoh area with different tradition and practice are selected for the
tour. These temples include Lian Shan Shuang Lin Monastery,Burmse Buddhist Temple,Sri
Lankaramaya Buddhist Temple and Buddha Dhamma Mandala Society. It was a wonderfully
sunny day with a clear blue sky and everybody was enjoying a two-week holiday with immense

Registration went smoothly, followed by F&B session:a loaf of bread and a cup of coffee to
invigorate our participants.

The organizers briefed members about the tour. Several ice-breaking games went on to warm up the contestants and many of their talents unveiled.

The actual fantabulous tour flagged off and the clues for each temple have given out.

In the scorching heat of June, tricky clues have made some of the participants ponder seriously where their allocated temple is and often led them to wrong places. Nevertheless, all of them were welcomed and treated with courageous smile by our friendly station leaders upon their arrival to the sanctuary. The sanctum healed the exhaustion of our aficionados in complete calmness and peace. Gradually, a day came to the end.

15:00 onwards
The event was supposed to wrap up at 16:00 according to the schedule. Due to unforeseen
circumstances, the event was dragged to 17:30. Participants arrived and gathered at Toa Payoh Town Park starting from 16:00.The exhilarating finale and the prize giving ceremony took place in this stupendous ground with variety of landscapes, fauna and flora. Needless to say, general public was occupying almost the whole area in this beautiful day. Together with the spectacular sunset, “Sanctuary Expedition” was accomplished lucratively with the effort and contribution of our members, committee and volunteers.

We would like to say thank you very much from the bottom of our heart for your commitment.
Our event cannot be accomplished successfully without u guys. You all are the heart and soul of the family. We deeply appreciate your generous contribution and effort. Love u all guys!!!

NPBS Dhamma Camp (2012) - when the day met our unity

                      25th of August, was the day one of the biggest event, the annual Dharma Camp. It was a seamless and delightful moment filled with breezes of happiness and the fragrance of Buddha’s teaching. It was memorable 3-day and 2-night camp thrilled together with approximately 60 people. Refreshing activities and fruitful Dharma talks were carried out successfully. We had amusing games such as ice-breaking games, captain balls and wet games. Plus, we came out with our own creation game, “the CSI”. In this game, we made a crime scenes look alike places around the campus and leave clues and puzzles to be figured out by the investigation group, the participants. Not only this, we cooperate with NP Entertainers’ Club and get help from them to perform in our event. It was indeed a thriller. Here’s where fun things stop and there comes our previous moment, Dharma talks which were conducted by Bhante Vayaminda and our spiritual advisor Bhante Dhammika giving explanation on meditation and its benefits and our camp theme “mindfulness”. It’s really interesting and left many things to think about. Our camp comes to an end on 27th afternoon wrapped up with the auction and photo montage.
                       A very touching and exciting moments of our NPBS dhamma camp 2012 will be always remind us the how hard we have tried to achieve such wonders and we are ready to launch more and more of such active and enjoyable events in the future.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012