By Dr. Dinesh

The road to Wandoor is undulating, full of greenery and a pleasant drive. At times, the terrain gets hilly as you encounter windy roads like those in a hill station. The greenery is a visual treat for the weary eyes of city dweller. On either side of the road you will see the trapped water of the tsunami of 2004. While going through to Wandoor due to my inquisitiveness I paid a visit to the Buddhist Mission Centre at Mayemeo at a hillock. The temple was in a dilapidated condition over the last few decades though now some Buddhist followers though in minority came forward seeing the pathetic condition and renovated the temple at Maymeo. A “floating decoration” which had come adrift probably from Burma/Thailand after two and half months was found in Morris Deara beach and Karmatang beach in Mayabunder, Middle Andaman and had been painstakingly brought to Port Blair by some devotees in a  truck and installed at an appropriate place which had an Buddha idol in it. This floating decoration is called Loi Krathong which is a long established and immensely popular tradition in Thailand, and thousands of people celebrate the festival every year. The name Loi Krathong can be translated to mean “floating decoration” which originates from the custom of making an attractive decoration that is then floated on a river, lake or even the sea. The decoration is traditionally made using a slice of trunk which is then decorated with leaves, flowers and candles. The festival takes place every year on the evening of the full moon which typically falls in November. It is believed the origins of Loi Krathong stem from Buddhism and that the festival provided the opportunity to pay respectful thanks to the Goddess of water. Many Thai people believe the Krathongs carry away their bad luck, which in turn helps to bring them good fortune. The festival has also become associated with love, and it is a common scene it seems to see couples floating their krathongs while making a wish for their future life together. I could only imagine how truly magical is to observe krathongs, with their candles sparkling, as they gently drift along the Andaman sea beneath the full moon. The Burmese Buddhist Mission, at Maymeo, celebrated the traditional Buddhist New Year. The celebration started in the Maymeo here on 16th April with the bathing of the Buddha idol with scented water, Buddha chants reverberates in the hall. Mrs. Masan w/o Late Aung Mynt aged 73 yrs is an entrepreneur & one of the most respected lady of Burmese community who had travelled all the way from Rangat just to offer prayers, a day before she had offered free food to the large gathering of around 400 devotees at the Buddhist temple at Mayabunder, which had been looked by her and maintained by her since many years. The Buddha Puja, which started in morning, was followed by offering food to devotees. The initial ritual was followed by water festival. Many followers of Buddhism participated in the celebration. Buddhists were seen splashing scented water over each other’s shoulder.

There is acute fund crunch in the Buddhist committee of Maymeo still with the help of some Buddhist followers they are planning to make a meditation hall and other amenities which will self generate some revenue for the renovation and maintenance of the temple. Since it is situated about 5 kms from the Wandoor which is a famous tourist spot they are hopeful this meditation hall will be an immense help for the tourists and local people to. Buddhist mediation techniques have become increasingly popular in the world, with many non-Buddhists taking them up for a variety of reasons. Core meditation techniques as path toward enlightenment and Nirvana, Buddhist meditation encompasses a variety of meditation techniques that aim to develop mindfulness, concentration, supra mundane powers, tranquillity and insight.