In 1918, U Kyaw Gaung, a Myanmar traditional medicine doctor, was appointed as a trustee for the Buddhist temple. He decided to donate a big Buddha statue to the temple according to his belief.
As he wished, he managed to bring the 11-foot statue from Mandalay to Singapore by land and by water, despite great difficulties. The statue has been maintained by Trustee U Kyaw Gaung and his team at the hall on Kinter Road for over 70 years. On 1st May 1988, the Sitting Buddha statue was moved in a crane to current Burmese Buddhist Temple location as planned. The temple foundation was laid in 1989 and completed within a year. The statue is placed at the level 1 Main Shrine Hall once the temple was opened since 29 December 1999.
Hand gesture pointing to the earth (Bhumiphassa Mudra)
Gesture: The Buddha’s left hand lies on the lap with the palm facing upwards. The right hand bends over the right knee with fingers pointing down touching the ground.
Meaning: The image of the sitting Buddha at the first floor in the Burmese Buddhist temple shows the Hand gestures (Mudra). It signifies the call upon the earth goddess to witness the ten perfections which the Buddha fulfilled during his Bodhisatta days in his previous lives on earth.
Background: The Buddha in sitting position under the bodhi tree of enlightenment. He was tempted by Mara, the evil force, who questioned him the right to occupy the invincible Throne. Buddha gesture in this Bhumiphassa Mudra and the Earth Goddess responded by rising from the earth and wringing her long-wet hair. Her action raised a torrential flood that drowned the demons. Mara fled and left the Buddha unscathed and in peace.