The Burmese Buddhist Temple is located on Tai Gin Road in Novena
. Founded in 1875, the temple is the oldest Theravada institution and the only Burmese Buddhist temple of its kind in Singapore. The temple houses the largest pure white marble statue of the Buddha outside of Myanmar
, and has become a religious landmark for Burmese and Singaporean devotees to make merits and take part in merit sharing activities alike.
A Bodhi tree (Ficus religiosa), can be seen in the compound of the temple that was grown from a seed from its parent tree which is situated at Mangala Vihara Buddhist Temple at 30 Jalan Eunos, Singapore. A Buddha image is placed under the Bodhi tree to remind people that Sakyamuni Buddha attained Enlightenment while meditating under a Bo tree at Bodh Gaya, in the Ganges valley, circa 600 BC. It was nurtured by the late Madam Boey, a devotee of Mangala Vihara. Its parent tree was a sapling brought from Sri Lanka
. The Bodhi tree in Sri Lanka was brought by Venerable Mahinda, the son of King Asoka from India
, was a descendant of the Bodhi tree under which the Buddha attained Enlightenment.
Activities and management
The temple's resident Sangha consists of four Burmese monks headed by Sayadaw U Pannavamsa while the management of the temple's operations is run by a management committee that consists of devotees from the Burmese and Singaporean communities. The monks conduct regular Dhamma talks, chants and blessings for devotees all year round. Its annual calendar of events includes New Year Special Offering to the Sangha, Chinese New Year's Eve Chanting, Water Festival (Thin Gyan), Vesak Day, Vassa (Rain Retreat) Offering of Robes, Kathina Celebration and Novitiate Programme. Weekly activities include Dharma and Abhidhamma classes, puja, meditation and Dhammacakka chanting.