Day 3

Posted On July 24, 2007

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There are two major branches of Buddhism: Mahayana & Theravada.

The artifacts discovered in the Bujang Valley of Kedah point to the existence of Mahayana Buddhism in the 4th or 5th century. The writings of a Chinese pilgrim Yiqing in the 7th century suggest that Kedah, a vassal of Srivijaya, was already an important port for trade as well as a major religious satellite centre.
Srivijaya, the first Indonesian kingdom, was a centre of Buddhist learning. Its historical record presents the evidence of Mahayana Buddhism in the Malay Peninsula in those days.
The 8th century saw northern Peninsula under the influence of Buddhism. Perak became part of the great Malay Buddhist kingdom of Srivijaya.
Another form of Buddhism, Theravada, spilled over to Kelantan and Terengganu from Thailand in the 10th century.
As the Srivijaya kingdom declined in the 11th century, Buddhist influence gradually disappeared. The influx of Chinese traders and migrant workers reintroduced Mahayana Buddhism to Malaysia, particularly under the British rule in the 19th century. Kek Lok Si Temple (Penang) was built at the end of the century.
The immigrants of Sri Lanka brought with them Theravada Buddhism and founded the Brickfields Buddhist temple, Maha Vihara (Kuala Lumpur), in 1894.
Two years after the 1957 Independence, the Malaysian Buddhist Association was formed to promote unity and social welfare of Malaysian Buddhists.


1. Praise God for
a. His love for the Buddhists.
b. The harmonious relationship among all religious groups in the country.
2. Religious barriers that may prevent the Buddhists from being receptive to the Gospel be broken down.
3. Hearts and minds to be enlightened to see the TRUTH.


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