Yun-Jie Bodhisattva 128th Birthday Celebration on 20th Dec 2009
Yun-Jie Bodhisattva Birthday falls on the 16th day of the eleventh lunar month. A one day prayer ceremony to celebrate the occasion will be held in the Temple’s premises on 20th Dec 2009.
Yun-Jie Bodhisattva is surnamed Teo, by which all his followers address him - Master Teo. His full name is Teo Siu Ngor and is born in the year 1881 during the seventh year of Guang Xu Emperor, Qing Dynasty, to a wealthy merchant family in Tu-Gow village, Pu Ning County, Teochew district of Guangdong Province, China. At a tender age, he embraced Buddhism in his vow to attain buddhahood and sought refuge in Mount Low-Pu. He practised benevolence by providing free medical treatment and medicine, giving away free caskets and burials. He has a passion for culture and literature. During his lifetime, he built two flagship temples - Dang Niah Gak See Sean Tong and Teng Gang Gak Zheng Sean Tong in the Pao Tai region to give assistance to sick and destitute as well as victims of disasters. He was entrusted by Reverend Song Ta-Fung to restructure and revitalise Tua-Goh Seu Teck Sean Tong in the village of Hong-Zhi for the benefit of many people.
In 1926, Patron Teo completed his passage on earth and passed away in Tua-Goh Seu Teck Sean Tong at the age of forty-six. He attained enlightenment to become Yun-Jie Bodhisattva. His holy remains or relics are enshrined in Gak See Sean Tong and draws countless devotees including those from overseas to pray to him in the belief that all prayers will be answered.
Celebration of Reverend Song Da-Feng 970th Birthday on 15th Dec 2009
Reverend Song Da-Feng’s birthday falls on the 29th day of the tenth lunar month and a one day prayer ceremony to celebrate the occasion will be held in the Temple’s premises on 15th Dec 2009.
Reverend Song belonged to the period toward the end of the Northern Song dynasty. Not many people including the old village folks knew about his nickname and life. Based on records, Reverend Song was not a member of the village but an outsider from some other places
Reverend Song built a bridge for the ease of travelling across the river and served as an alternative to boats. It was recorded in the books of Teochew as follows: Before Reverend Song Ta-Fung built the bridge, he had notified the Water God and others to bless the project. What followed was no tide for 7 days. He had collected enough donations before the construction of the bridge commenced and a year later, he had built 19 arches leaving two still uncompleted. Unfortunately he passed away and Cai Gong Yuan took over the project and completed it.
There was a rumour that Ta-Fung was a gifted person. On one occasion while attempting to cross the river, he displayed his power by opening an umbrella at the last resort, and placed it on the river. He then sat on it and sailed across the river.
67th Anniversary Celebration on 15th & 16th Oct 2009
The Temple’s 67th anniversary celebrations will culminate with a two day elaborate prayer ceremony to be held in it’s premises on 15th and 16th Oct 2009. A grand dinner will also be hosted on 15th Oct for more than 1,000 guests. The guest-of-honour for the dinner will be Mrs. Josephine Teo, TPSTST Honorary Advisor, MP for Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC and Advisor to Bishan-Toa Payoh GROs. The highlight of the evening will be the performance from the Toa Payoh East Community Centre. On this occasion, a total sum of more than $350,000 was donated to 20 charitable organizations and groups inclusive of hongbao to 117 needy citizens on Public Assistance and 72 needy senior citizens not on Public Assistance in Toa Payoh East and 66 patients of TPSTST-NKF (Yishun) Kidney Dialysis Centre.
Ullambana Festival On 6th Sep 2009 (18th Day of the 7th Lunar Month)
TPSTST organizes the ullambana ceremony annually on the third Sunday of the 7th moon and accordingly, this year’s ceremony was conducted on 6th Sep 2009. The ceremony combines prayers and offerings of food with joss paper for ancestors and the salvation of the solitary souls. The crowd increases yearly and on this occasion, there were registration for prayers to more than 1,700 ancestors.
The ceremony has its origin dated back to time of Buddha Sakyamuni. A disciple, named Mu Lian approached Buddha to help his mother whom he visualized during meditation to be suffering in Hades after her demise. Buddha advised Mu Lian to approach the monks to conduct a prayer ceremony on the full moon day of the 7th lunar month. It is understood that during that period the weather is usually the hottest and huge amounts of insects appear everywhere. In order to minimize the accidental killing of the insects, all monks were required to stay in their respective temples to meditate and is therefore considered to be in a very pure state. Hence, the practice of Ullambana.
However, as it is not possible for everyone to conduct ceremonies on the same full moon day, such festivals are being staggered and in TPSTST’s context a Sunday was chosen to facilitate the participation of all devotees who are working.