My mum was really excited to show me a ‘spot’ she found recently: a temple/exhibition hall called Sau Seng Lum in Putra Perdana, Puchong. The place been around for years, but we never got down to visiting it because we didn’t know there are actually lots of things to see there!
*SSL is a non-profit Buddhist organisation, well known for providing cheap dialysis services and doing charitable work, with branches all over Malaysia.
We went there on a weekend. There were a few tour buses parked. It was still decked out in Chinese New Year decorations, with loads of lanterns hanging at the entrance.
Divided into two storeys, the building has seven exhibition halls and an outdoor garden. It is perhaps most well known for having 500 Arhats statues in two halls (Arhats are Buddhist deities, who have achieved Enlightenment).
The main hall had a large tapestry spanning two floors, with statues of the Buddha flanked by smaller Bodhisattvas (also deities.) You’re probably wondering what the difference is between Arhats and Bodhisattvas. They are both entities that have achieved enlightenment, but in different ways. A good explanation here.
Detailing on the statues was exquisite. Must have been done by master crafstmen.
More deities, each representing an animal sign.
A separate, smaller hall was dedicated to the Medicine Buddha, who sat amidst a circle of smaller glass Buddha statues. The light effect with glass made it look very serene and pretty.
Devotees can make a donation to have a glass Buddha placed in the temple – as a way of gaining merits and helping the temple for charity.
There were hundreds of glass Buddhas lining the walls, which had nooks for them to be placed. Because they were carved into a piece of glass-like material, whenever the visitor moved while staring at the Buddhas, it gave off the illusion that the figure was rotating to look at you!
Writing well wishes on colourful pieces of paper.
The 500 Arhats exhibition halls are upstairs. Photography wasn’t allowed but I sneaked a few in… >-<
(Above) carved from a single piece of wood! Again, amazing craftsmanship.
The pitfalls of being a ‘banana’ (I can’t read Chinese) is that you get left out of a lot of things.. the mantras written here were all in Chinese – you’re supposed to roll the golden bells from one end to the other while chanting verses at the top of each bell. I rolled them anyway, just without the verses.
For a donation of RM10, they give you a lotus flower to float in the water, and you walk around a pond surrounding some deities to symbolize the path of purification. There was also a big glass bowl with folded papers. I fished out a pink slip and it told me what my Arhat for the day was. (No.67). I wasn’t allowed to take any pictures in the hall, so I’ll just describe it.
The first hall had three towering mountain models in the middle, and clusters of Arhats divided into groups. LED screens with moving animations of the universe, the desert, forests, or just light in general provided a backdrop, while tranquil music and Buddhist chanting played in the background. My Arhat was in the middle – it wasn’t indicated what he was called, but he had bushy white eyebrows and was riding an orange Koi. I liked his smile, because it wasn’t a big, booming smile; rather a quiet and furtive one, like the Mona Lisa. A volunteer told me to state my name, age and address (???why that last one though?) and pray for whatever.
The Arhats vary in expression, demeanour and physical appearance – some might even appear angry, others laughing.
Outdoor cafeteria where you can grab a vegetarian meal.
Pond with blessed water.
SSL Puchong is a nice place to understand more on Buddhist teachings, the volunteers are very helpful and it’s just a nice, cooling place to chill and meditate.
Pusat Pameran, Jalan Putra Perdana 10
Taman Putra Perdana,
Selangor Darul Ehsan,
Tel: 603- 7782 7546, 7782 4092
Fax: 603- 7783 7842
Every Sunday and public holidays
10.00 am to 4.00 pm (subject to change, place runs on volunteers)