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Buddha Dharma Education Association Inc.
A Guide to a Proper
K B M B
(M B C- S B)
, J /, S P,
P J, S.
One of the Þ rst things the Koperasi Buddhisme Malaysia
Berhad did when it was registered was to conduct a
survey on the services that the Buddhist community
felt were lacking. Many suggestions were made, but top
of the list was the need for a Proper Buddhist Funeral
The Buddhist community in Malaysia is com-
prised mainly of ethnic Chinese. Though Buddhism is
not alien to the Chinese, the practice as it is practised
in Malaysia is somewhat of a mixture of Buddhism,
Taoism and Confucianism. Through the practise of this
tri-ism, it is not surprising to Þ nd that for one who is
born a Buddhist and brought up a Buddhist to Þ nally
meet his end as a Taoist.
But why is this so?
Firstly, since Buddhism is a way of life, its concern
is more with moral conduct and the quest for enlighten-
ment. The only mention of regulated rite and ritual is
in the Vinaya and that, too, is solely for the discipline
of its monks.
Secondly, Buddhism teaches that upon death what
is left is only matt er and how the remains are treated
is normally of no direct consequence to the well being
of the departed.
This, however, does not mean that we can act dis-
respectfully towards the bodily remains of those who
had showered their love on us. As an act of gratitude
we should perform meaningful rites such as carrying
out meritorious deeds in their memory.
Though the Buddha did not lay down rules on
proper rites of passage for the laity, neither did he
speciÞ cally prohibit his lay disciples, who are still very
much att ached to worldly possessions, from outwardly
expressing their respect and gratitude, especially in
times of death and separation.
Hinder not yourselve