UCA News
Contribute

Sri Lankan Buddhists mourn passing of revered elephant

Nadungamuwa Raja, the main casket bearer of the Esala procession, has died at the age of 69
Sri Lankan Buddhists mourn passing of revered elephant

Volunteers help to lift the body of Sri Lanka's sacred Nadungamuwa Raja in Weliweriya on March 7. (Photo: AFP)

Published: March 09, 2022 03:27 AM GMT
Updated: March 09, 2022 03:41 AM GMT

Sri Lankan Buddhists are mourning the country's most sacred elephant, who had carried the sacred Tooth Relics of Lord Buddha every year since 2005. Nadungamuwa Raja, a 10.5-feet pachyderm, died on March 7 at the age of 69.

Hundreds of Buddhist devotees and monks mourned the passing of the highly revered elephant, while the country's president ordered his remains to be preserved for posterity.

Nadungamuwa Raja had his own armed guards as the government allocated troops to provide security for the animal as it walked about 90 kilometers along main roads to attend the temple festival in Kandy.

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa declared the tusker a national treasure and ordered his remains to be preserved for future generations to witness.

“I was deeply saddened to hear of the Raja, who had been carrying the Tooth Relics on his shoulders since 2005 with great pride," Rajapaksa said in a Twitter message on March 7.

"May the elephant, who has been revered by the people of the country and abroad for many years, be able to attain the great Nirvana and be inspired by the noble merit of carrying the relics of honor at the Temple of the Tooth." 

We always loved the elephant that carried the sacred Tooth Relics and many people today are saddened by the loss of the animal

Nadungamuwa Raja was the main casket bearer of the Esala procession held in Kandy — one of the better-known Buddhist celebrations in Asia and one of the oldest and grandest festivals in Sri Lanka. The festival takes place for 10 days in July or August with musicians, dancers, jugglers, fire-breathers and decorated elephants.

Hundreds of devotees traveled to pay respect to Nadungamuwa Raja, whose body was covered in a white cloth and adorned with flowers at his residence on the outskirts of Colombo.

Monks performed Buddhist funeral rites on March 7 evening. Mourners including old people, monks and school children paid their respects to Raja, praying and touching his mighty tusks in reverence.

The death of Nadungamuwa Raja, who was born in the Indian city of Mysore in 1953, came as a shock to many Buddhist devotees and environmentalists.

Among the mourners was Sunethra Adikari, 65, who said that people loved the tusker and brought food when he walked along the road.

"We always loved the elephant that carried the sacred Tooth Relics and many people today are saddened by the loss of the animal," she said. "When the media reported that the tusker walked on the streets, hundreds of people including children ran to the road to pay respect.”

A few years ago, the government issued a 15-rupee postage stamp and a first day cover in honor of Nadungamuwa Raja’s religious and cultural mission.

M. Santhini, who came with a group of people to see the dead tusker, said the decorated elephant marched proudly in processions. "Elephants are revered as a part of our culture," said the Sunday school teacher.

Wilson Kodithuwakku, who had taken care of the elephant for 25 years, said he was deeply saddened by Nadungamuwa Raja's death and he had taken the elephant on foot to every procession including Kandy.

Elephants are protected in Sri Lanka and laws have been tightened to ban the capture of wild elephants. Some people keep them as pets because they are status symbols.

Help UCA News to be independent
Dear reader,
Lent is the season during which catechumens make their final preparations to be welcomed into the Church.
Each year during Lent, UCA News presents the stories of people who will join the Church in proclaiming that Jesus Christ is their Lord. The stories of how women and men who will be baptized came to believe in Christ are inspirations for all of us as we prepare to celebrate the Church's chief feast.
Help us with your donations to bring such stories of faith that make a difference in the Church and society.
A small contribution of US$5 will support us continue our mission…
William J. Grimm
Publisher
UCA News
comment

Share your comments

10 Comments on this Story
KONG
Please share and forward to all friends We would like to inform everyone about YIP KUM FOOK, president of SAMNAK SAMBODHI BUDDHIST TEMPLE, Taman Desa Jaya, Kepong, YIP KUM FOOK has never embarrassed people about him always lying, cheating, insulting Buddhist teachings, etc. Recently a lot of people are talking about his character, before this he was a truck driver who sends furniture everywhere, then he studied law courses at some universities but we don’t know he studied courses or not because he doesn’t know law, he deceives people. everywhere. and how lawyers can deceive people without fear of the law Hope everyone should care about this name YIP KUM FOOK (LAWYER OR MCA GOMBAK CHAIRMAN AND PRESIDENT OF SAMNAK SAMBODHI BUDDHIST TEMPLE), also needs to be shared and forwarded to all. If you make a mistake, you will lose everything, this man or YIP KUM FOOK is very dangerous and his son (YIP JIUN HANN) is also the most dangerous. By KOK MENG, KEPONG Translated by Dr. Chew
KONG
wahai semua penganut agama Buddha, YIP KUM FOOK (MCA Gombak) adalah kesilapan yang paling besar kerana dia menghalau sami dari Kuil Buddha (SAMNAK SAMBODHI) Taman Desa Jaya, Kepong, Kuala Lumpur ... dia tidak tahu bahawa kuil itu diasaskan oleh Sami Buddha ini, dia hanya menjadi presiden kuil, dan sekarang ramai orang bercakap tentang apa yang dia lakukan dengan Sami Buddha. Buddha adalah 2500 tahun yang lalu tetapi tidak pernah mendengar yang baru seperti itu, dia boleh berbuat seperti itu, semoga anda menghina dan memberontak kepada Buddhisme dan anda adalah relatif dan memusnahkan Buddha dalam kehidupan terdahulu... anda adalah jawatankuasa kuil tetapi tidak pernah tahu tentang ajaran Buddha sama sekali, jika anda tahu apa yang Buddha ajar, anda tidak akan melakukan perkara sedemikian atau perkara tersebut YIP KUM FOOK (MCA Gombak) dan pasukan dia sangat gembira kerana mereka berjaya mengeluarkan Sami Buddha dari kuil Buddha tetapi anda tidak tahu apa yang akan berlaku di belakang, semua yang anda(mereka) lakukan akan tercatat dalam fikiran orang dan semuanya tidak dapat dipadamkan dari fikiran orang kini kuil menjadi tempat pembuangan malang olih jawatankuasa, dan juga ramai penganut yang mengetahuinya, jadi penganut cina tempatan tidak berjalan di kuil, hanya penganut Myanmar sahaja yang masuk, mereka masuk kerana Sami Buddha Myanmar bermastautin di kuil.. jawatankuasa kuil mengupah mereka untuk menjaga kuil Rakyat Desa Jaya, Kepong
LEE
Seorang ahli politik MCA DATUK YIP KUM FOOK(叶金福) menghina Sultan Selangor kerana mengambil gelaran Datuk untuk menipu dan berbohong kepada orang Cina Malaysia dan dia seorang ahli perniagaan dan lain-lain, dia sentiasa sombong dan menipu wanita-wanita untuk kepentingan dirinya. DATUK YIP KUM FOOK(叶金福) juga seorang peguam di Taman Desa Jaya, Kepong….dia ada kedai peguam di Taman Desa Jaya, Kepong.. terbuka untuk menipu orang ramai, kini ramai yang mengenali(tahu) dan mengesyakinya kerana di kawasan Kepong selalu ada masalah pada sebelum ini seperti tokong Hindu letak api di Taman Daya, Kepong tendang Sami-sami Buddha keluar dari KUIL BUDDHA SAMNAK SAMBODHI (三宝寺) dan lain-lain. Kita semua harap Sultan Selangor mengambil kembali semua gelaran Datuk kerana jika YIP KUM FOOK(叶金福) diteruskan gelaran Datuk, negara kita akan runtuh dan musnah...seterusnya Taman Desa Jaya kita, Kepong akan dapat bahagia dan harmoni. Sekarang anak dia(叶君瀚 YIP JIUN HANN) jadi pengerusi MCA Gombak, sama juga sebab ayah ajar anaknya jalan sama, dan kedua-duanya pun tak malu dan masa sekarang orang boleh hantar mesej tahu dengan cepat, anda tak boleh lari dari orang gosip perkongsian oleh AHLI JAWATANKUASA SAMNAK SAMBODHI (三宝寺), Taman Desa Jaya, terdahulu
LOW
We Buddhists in Malaysia are very shameful and very low in the knowledge of Buddhist teachings, also low in morality in Buddhism, this is because the president of the三宝寺 SAMNAK SAMBODHI BUDDHIST ASSOCIATION (DATUK YIP KUM FOOK) in Malaysia, kicked out of Buddhist monks(Sangha) from the Temple and used police and gangsters Today, there are many Buddhist messages abroad to us about what is happening in Malaysia, but we cannot answer wrongly because the political elite party (MCA) created with Buddhist monks and news, sharing, forward and everywhere on the internet but This Datuk never solves problems. DATUK YIP KUM FOOK (叶金福) is a lawyer and political but his knowledge is too low, he always cheating on people and playboy with people's wives, if you research on the internet and type "YIP KUM FOOK" everything will appear on your screen monitor or your smartphone DATUK YIP KUM FOOK appointed his son (叶君瀚 YIP JIUN HANN, MCA Gombak) to be MCA chairman division Gombak but also the same system because his son was more playboy than a father, MCA party need to change and remove the dirty one, in future maybe can collapse like Buddhist Temple in Kepong (吉隆坡甲洞帝沙再也三宝) Sharing by Ms Ong, Gombak
LOW
We would like to announce to all Malaysian Buddhists, that if anyone is political, please do not allow them to join any Buddhist Temple committee or Buddhist association because they hope and expect something from Buddhists, like the SAMNAK SAMBODHI BUDDHIST TEMPLE(吉隆坡甲洞帝沙再也三宝), there now is very problematic because the president is an MCA politician “DATUK YIP KUM FOOK (叶金福 Datuk Yip Kim Hock)” For example, like DATUK YIP KUM FOOK 叶金福 and he is cheating everywhere, also playboy to people wives everywhere, he doesn't have any Buddhist rules, then after go to get a position as Buddhist temple president, this is very ugly and shameful.... used police and gangsters to remove the Buddhist monks out from Temple This SAMNAK SAMBODHI BUDDHIST TEMPLE(吉隆坡甲洞帝沙再也三宝) is founded by Buddhist Sangha Kelantan at Taman Ehsan and then moved to Taman Desa Jaya, Kepong...You! (YIP KUM FOOK) just become a president of Temple but you reject all old committees, your mind is very dirty.... now Buddhist devotees wake up to understanding what happened at Temple We and the devotees know very well about SAMNAK SAMBODHI because we are close to the Buddhist monks in Kelantan, we were in the committee for a long time because the last time Temple was nothings, we had to support the Sangha to build the Temple, but you (Yip) defrauded the Sangha of RM20,000.00, this is a dirty mind and stupid thought Political ideas and Buddhist teachings, please do not mix because Buddhism is a way of human life in this world and the afterlife, DATUK YIP KUM FOOK叶金福 needs to understand more on this, because of he / you higher education (law graduate), we are ordinary people, cannot be compared to you Tony Keong, Kepong
CHONG
His son (YIP JIUN HANN叶君瀚, 律师) also has the same behavior and habits as his father because father (YIP KUM FOOK叶金福, 律师) does bad things in society, cheats people about money and has sex with people's wives everywhere and the children(son) also play women everywhere too now many people know about this YIP KUM FOOK叶金福 family in their way of life, but they can't escape from people gossiping about what they have done. in the end life is hard.. pity those who do evil, not in this life but have to bear it for another life as well. They will tremble all their lives in life and they are not free all their lives like animals touching hot water, in Buddhist who broke the Sangha community, this is the greatest sin, also not easy to confess and there is no way to cleanse it Really to happen to you, your friends and relatives will laugh at you, you will be lonely without friends because when you have a lot of money, you are proud of them, at that time nobody wants you...you will walk the road alone Shared by loke & friends in Kepong
LOW
We have opened and founded the SAMNAK SAMBODHI BUDDHIST TEMPLE (吉隆坡甲洞帝沙再也三宝) in Taman Ehsan in 1989 and we invited Datuk YIP KUM FOOK叶金福 to open the temple as well but moved to Taman Desa Jaya in 1990, in 1993 we bought the place where it is now. Our chief monk who worked hard for our Temple also rented a house for the temple for payment by our chief monk at that time because we all need to go to the Buddhist temple to stay in Taman Desa Jaya, Kepong for some devotees to come to chant and pray because there is no and does not have a Buddhist temple When we moved to a new place, DATUK YIP KUM FOOK叶金福 set up a new committee, and the old committee fired all of them, the temple has some problems because this Datuk Yip runs the temple like a political system because he doesn't know about Buddhist teachings, also because he is a businessman who sells a furniture store in Taman Desa Jaya and he is also an MCA Chairman in Taman Daya Also the son of DATUK YIP KUM FOOK叶金福...YIP JIUN HANN叶君瀚, 律师 who is the chairman of MCA Gombak always told the devotees about the temple, he said this temple is my father's temple and belongs to my father, when any devotees hear that, they are not happy and don't like it, we know his son is mentally ill since he was a small child In 1994 DATUK YIP KUM FOOK full position as the president of SAMNAK SAMBODHI BUDDHIST TEMPLE (吉隆坡甲洞帝沙再也三宝) then slowly many problems happened, then Ven. U Nandiya came and stayed in the Temple, soon because the next land had to have one Buddha statue, then Ven. U Nandiya plans to have a Marble Buddha Statue from Myanmar, after which Ven. U Nandiya arranged to collect donations from devotees Therefore, donating sufficient funds to pay for the Buddha statue, then Ven. U Nandiya and our Master went to Myanmar to see the statue, then the statue arrived safely but the donation money is still having problems because the money is in Ven. U Nandiya's hand, DATUK YIP KUM FOOK叶金福 heard the remaining money donation with Ven. U Nandiya. In one day later, DATUK YIP KUM FOOK叶金福 came to Ven. U Nandiya to cheat about money...Document about donation money on internet "https://committeesamnaksambodhi1.blogspot.com/2019/01/" anyone can research it, this is very shameful for our Buddhist in way of life Other topics Buddhist monk (Ven. Phra Piya Thammo) was pushed out of the temple, DATUK YIP KUM FOOK叶金福 used thugs and police to remove the Sangha from the Buddhist temple, this is very insulting to the Sangha in the world, all monks are Buddhist students or Buddhist followers if you destroy one sangha, Other Sangha will protect other Sangha and also very big sins in Buddhism, he叶金福 will vibrate or shake for your whole life, karma will come to you Now we are very sad when we drive past the temple because it is very quiet, no one goes to the temple, only Myanmar monks are there to take care of the place, maybe soon the temple will be closed, but DATUK YIP KUM FOOK叶金福 is not a problem because he has money a lot already….DATUK YIP KUM FOOK叶金福, need to think about the money building temple is money donation by devotees Ah Lee former committee’s members of SAMNAK SAMBODHI BUDDHIST TEMPLE(吉隆坡甲洞帝沙再也三宝), “next message, we will explain more about this”
LIM
DATUK YIP KUM FOOK is deceiving everyone, even his close friends he is deceiving like Mr. Steven, Ah Chia and others, he is a court case, many people are also suing him...he is a lawyer making law..it is a shame, in Malaysia for having people like that Maybe the court of blind justice made him win some cases because some people say that.... only Malaysians in this world are lawyers sued by people. "We have never heard of people suing lawyers" maybe these lawyers are very low standard or maybe they don't know the words law, it is very pitiful and more pitiful This lawyer, maybe he has never read the internet and looked on the internet because he never knew how many people complained, commented and posted on the internet about him...we know he is from a low family and sells vegetables in the Market and he works such as furniture. ..Unfortunately There are very good people who from poor and become rich, plus (added) they are very good and kind people, also follow the teachings of the Buddha or the advice of some teachers in Buddhism, this is called a Noble One, his good karma will always support him, like Datuk Yip who wants to support him because his mind too dirty, even ghosts also run away from him From Alex Chan, Kepong Forwarded by Buddhist group, bukit desa…kepong
CHONG
Datuk Yip Kum Fook has destroyed Buddhists and MCA Malaysia because he did a bad idea and removed Buddhist monks from places of worship without checking the individual who is a Buddhist monk by mistake or not A few years ago, a victim (Venerable Phra Piya Dhammo) wrote several longer messages on the internet to inform the public about the incident at SAMNAK SAMBODHI, Taman Desa Jaya, Kepong. When it happened that day, many people witnessed as ah chuah, ah wah, Bob Tan and some Temple committee were also there, they did with the Buddhist monks like animals to get the Buddhist monks out of the Temple...Datuk Yip and his team planned to do that And some Buddhist monks had to rent a hotel for the night because they had no place to stay, Mr Bob Tan managed them...this committee is not the brain to think about that, they(the committee) only look at money or income. ..They (committee) do not know which Temple is financed by public or private funds What respected Ven. Phra Piya Dhammo comments and posts are the real words that make up his mind, ordination of Phra Piya Dhammo by MAHINDARAMA BUDDHIST TEMPLE, PENANG (under the head monk VENERABLE DR. ELGIRIYE INDARATANA MAHA THERA) before becoming a Buddhist monk, he was CID in Singapore Shared this message by Jason Tan, Kepong Baru
LEE
DATUK YIP KUM FOOK banyak melakukan kejahatan kepada orang di kawasan Kepong, lelaki (Datuk Yip) ini mengganggu ramai isteri orang, membakar Kuil Hindu di Taman Daya, mengeluarkan sami Buddha dari Kuil di Taman Desa Jaya, Kepong, dan menipu wang. ENCIK SIMON LOW KOK MENG (Taman Daya) adalah pembantu (CID) Datuk Yip atau abang iparnya, berapa ramai yang memboikot mereka, Banyak sangat masalah di kawasan Kepong, kerana Datuk Yip Pengerusi MCA di Taman Daya, Kepong. . , dia dibayar wang kepada polis dan DBKL untuk mengganggu orang ramai, dan sebagainya YIP KUM POH No: 19B, Jalan Sg 1/9, Taman Industri Bolton, 68100 Batu Caves, Selangor Malaysia (pejabat peguam) YIP KUM POH bukan peguam tetapi boleh membuka pejabat peguam, dia adalah adik lelaki Datuk Yip Kum Fook….”MALAYSIA BOLEH” Kami tidak senang ketika itu kerana kami berada di bawah kawalan MCA di tempat kami, dan juga Datuk Yip telah digunakan oleh Gangster di kawasan Kepong dan Gombak, kami tidak berharap kepada MCA lagi dan kami adalah kumpulan yang meletak jawatan dari MCA Kami telah mendengar, bahawa AGONG MALAYSIA (Sultan Johor, Sultan Ibrahim) telah mengambil kembali (Tarik) GELARAN DATUK (Datuk's title), dan kami akan menulis kepada Agong tentang perkara ini DATUK YIP KUM FOOK (Lawyer) tidak fikir orang bodoh dan anda boleh menghina Buddha dan Hindu tetapi tentang Islam, anda dihina jika anda tidak mempunyai tempat tinggal. Oleh Ah Keong, Kepong, Kuala Lumpur
Asian Bishops
Latest News
UCA News Catholic Dioceses in Asia
UCA News Catholic Dioceses in Asia
UCA News Catholic Dioceses in Asia