At Mangala Vihara the main images of the Buddha are installed in the Main Shrine Hall, Sima House (2), and Bodhi Tree. There is also a Reclining Buddha.
Buddha Image in the Shrine Hall
The present Buddha Image in the Main Shrine Hall was the first Buddha Image installed at Mangala Vihara. It arrived at Mangala Vihara on 10 October 1960 from Union Buddha Sasana Council of Burma. With much effort, the Buddha Image was carefully shifted up a narrow but sturdy wooden ramp to the altar.
On 30 June 1991, the same Buddha Image was relocated temporarily to the Buddha Image was relocated temporarily to the Bodhi tree when the old Shrine Hall Building was demolished for the construction of a new Shrine Hall Building.
When the new Building was half-way through its construction, the Buddha Image was transferred back from the Bodhi Tree to the half-completed altar.
Budhha Images at the old and new Sima House
The Sima House was completed and officially opened on 6 November 1966. A marble Buddha Image, donated by Mr & Mrs Fong Peck Yew, was installed in the Sima House.
It remained in the Sima House until 15 May 1982, when the Sima House was demolished to make way for the Extension building.
The Buddha Image was transferred to Mr Fong Peck Yew’s house for temporary Storage.
When the Extension Building was completed, a new fiberglass Buddha Image was installed in the new Sima House on 22 October 1983.
The original Buddha Image from the old Sima House, which was kept at Mr Fong’s house, was eventually brought back to the Temple and installed at the third level of the new Shrine Hall building in 1994. This Buddha Image has remained there since.
Reclining Buddha Image
One significant Buddha Image installed at Mangala Vihara was a replica of the historical Reclining Buddha at the ancient city of Polunnaruwa, Sri Lanka.
Renowned artist and sculptor, Ven Mapalagama Vipulasara Thera, was appointed, through Ven W. Sarada Thera to make one for Mangala Vihara. The Reclining Buddha arrived at Mangala Vihara on 11 August 1984 and the Opening Ceremony was officiated on 19 August 1984 by the High Commissioner for Sri Lanka, Mr Balasubramaniam. The Maha Sangha was also invited to conduct the religious ceremony, attended by a few hundred members and devotees.
Upon completion of the new Shrine Hall Building, the Reclining Buddha was located on the second level of new Shrine Hall Building with murals depicting Kusinara painted as the backdrop.
Buddha Image at Bodhi Tree
On 5 August 1994, a new Buddha Image donated by Madam Chan Chee Lan and her son Mr. Han Kyaik Juan was installed at the Bodhi Tree. The significance of placing a Buddha Image under the Bodhi tree is to remind people that Lord Buddha attained Enlightenment while meditating under a Bodhi tree at Bodhgaya, in the Ganges Valley, in India.
Daily Bodhi Puja is carried out at the Bodhi Tree in the evening. Other services at the Bodhi Tree includes the weekly Bhojhanga Chanthing sessions on Saturdays and the annual Sanghamitta Day. The Buddha at the Boddhi Tree is a favourite spot for visitors to the Temple.
by Linda Sim Hwee Ai & Leong Kum Seng