Sunday, April 3, 2011

Lessons on Buddhism and Stephen Hawkings @ Chin Swee Temple, Gentings 2April2011

The Genting Skyway from Highlands Hotel to Chin Swee Temple costs RM3/person at 30 minutes intervals or take the free shuttle bus from the entrance of the hotel.

Blowing balloons while waiting for the cable car. x

Although we have been to Gentings many times before, this was the first time we are visiting Chin Swee temple. Midway between Awana and Genting Highlands, we had only seen its pagoda from afar.

The nine storey pagoda.

I was very out of breathe by the time I reached the 4th floor...puff...puff..but Fai and Han happily ran up the spiral staircase.

Fai and Han found a long-horned beetle on the 5th floor of the pagoda. It made a rasping sound when Fai picked it up. The boys observed it as it tried to climb up a stool and used its antenna to prop itself upright when it turned turtle.

The gateway to heaven.

Beautiful stone carvings of creatures such dragons, pheonix and carp on the railings leading up to the archway.

The kids and their grandma lighting joss sticks.

One of the realms in hell. The boys were horrified by the gory scenes. One of the realms were for tax evaders.

Fai and Han had spent the night before drawing chinese dragons. So they were fascinated by the sight of so many dragons - stone carved, statues, around pillars...

More stone carvings.

The main temple was beautifully decorated with dragons circling the pillars.
Han and Ean got to ring a bell and beat the huge chinese drum three times when they made a donation under their names.

Dear Hubby who had to put up with my many queries about the religious customs his family adheres to, was busy talking to the curator.
Later, DH related this to me:
1) It is a tradition to light joss sticks. It is not part of the religion. the burning of joss sticks can be done away with, if you so wish to.

2) The deities in the temple should not be prayed to, just 'greet' them and send well-wishes.

3)What ever was written and proven mathematically by Stephen Hawkings is all 'kindergarten level' in terms of buddhist sutras. All that and more has already been proven and written down thousands of years ago. Anything you want to know about the universe and the relationship between the cosmos is written in there somewhere. He went on to say that you might not find the answers within this lifetime. That's why there is reincarnation - to continue where you left of; to finish unfinished business.

Now, the last thing I expected was hearing Stephen Hawkings being mentioned in a chinese temple. It was mind boggling. Science in religion. Makes me want to dig deeper. I need air!
This trip to Gentings was a refreshing change from the usual theme park visit. My kids reconnected with their grandma. she was the perfect doting grandma. The boys had fun with her. JY taught her origami.
And DH and I got new insights into life and religion.

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