Relics ceremony at the stupa of Wat Boonyawad (Ajahn Dtun)

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gavesako
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Relics ceremony at the stupa of Wat Boonyawad (Ajahn Dtun)

Postby gavesako » Wed Jul 04, 2012 7:33 am

Last weekend many monks and laypeople attended the ceremony of enshrining relics in the newly constructed stupa (chedi) at Wat Boonyawad, Chonburi, Thailand. Ajahn Dtun, one of the disciples of Ajahn Chah who has also taught abroad, has always kept his monastery focused on the monks' meditation practice and free of any building activity, in fact used to be critical of other forest monasteries which were engaged in such activities. However, since a few years ago when he was diagnosed with cancer, he gave the opportunity for his lay disciples to gather funds to construct a massive concrete stupa (steel-reinforced) which has got a big space inside for meditation as well. Relics of the Buddha, various monks and one nun (Mae Chee Kaew) were placed inside during the ceremony. The stupa was built to last for a thousand years and in order to prolong the lifespan of the Sasana. It will probably become a popular pilgrimage site for Buddhists in this area of central Thailand. See some photographs here:

http://www.watpa.com/board_detail.asp?board_id=3837
http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set= ... 700&type=1

:buddha1:
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Kiṃkusalagavesī anuttaraṃ santivarapadaṃ pariyesamāno... (MN 26)

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Re: Relics ceremony at the stupa of Wat Boonyawad (Ajahn Dtun)

Postby manas » Wed Jul 04, 2012 9:54 am

Greetings Bhante,

thanks for posting those links. I look forward to (hopefully) being able to visit that impressive stupa when I get to Thailand one day. I hope Ajahn Dtun recovers from his illness. I met an Ajahn Dtun once, he was taking a retreat in Melbourne, Australia. He was a slender, serene monk who radiated kindliness & a quiet wisdom. I think he might have been that very same Ajahn Dtun, unless I'm mistaken.

manas :anjali:

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Re: Relics ceremony at the stupa of Wat Boonyawad (Ajahn Dtun)

Postby buja » Thu Jul 05, 2012 7:30 am

As can be seen in this picture showing the artist-rendering of the finished structure.

https://plus.google.com/u/0/photos/1008 ... 8730171410

The stupa is a kind of closed stupa contained all the relics inside. The space for meditation is the surrounding vihara.
According to Ajahn Dtun, he emphasized the longevity of the structure that must be able to protect the inside relics for the next thousands of years.

The interesting question is that : How the building and enshrining of the relics in Stupa contribute to the existence of Buddhasasana ?

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Re: Relics ceremony at the stupa of Wat Boonyawad (Ajahn Dtun)

Postby gavesako » Thu Jul 05, 2012 6:24 pm

In order to understand the context and what people in Theravada Buddhist countries believe, we should be familiar with a story in a post-canonical Pali text called the Anagatavamsa which has been composed several centuries ago and it reflects the way of thinking at that time (assuming that nobody can realize Nibbana at present anymore and we should perform meritorious acts while waiting for the next Buddha to appear):


[Before the coming of the Maitreya, the holy religion will decline.] How will it occur? After my decease, first will occur the five disappearances. And what are the five disappearances? The disappearance of the attainments, the disappearance of the method, the disappearance of learning, the disappearance of the symbols, the disappearance of the relics. These are the five disappearances that are to occur.

The attainments: Only for a thousand years from the time the Blessed One passes into Nirvana will the priests be able to acquire the analytical sciences. Then as time goes on my disciples will attain only to never-returning, to once returning, to conversion. As long as such exist the disappearance of the attainments will not yet have occurred. But with the death of the last disciple that has attained to conversion, the attainments will have disappeared. This, O Shariputta, is the disappearance of the attainments.

Disappearance of the method: My disciples being unable to realize the trances, the insights, the Paths, and the Fruits, will keep only the four purities of conduct. Then as time goes on they will keep only the commandments forbidding the four deadly sins. As long as there are a hundred or a thousand priests who keep the commandments forbidding the four deadly sins, the disappearance of the method will not have occurred.

But when the last priest shall break the precepts, or shall die, the method will have disappeared. This, O Shariputta, is the disappearance of the method.

Disappearance of learning: As long as the text of the Three Baskets, which is the word of the Buddha, and as long as their commentaries are extant, the disappearance of learning will not have occurred. But as time goes on there will be irreligious kings of base extraction, and the courtiers and others in authority will be irreligious, and then the country people throughout the kingdom will be irreligious. On account of their irreligion the god will not rain in due season, and the crops will not flourish properly. And when the crops do not flourish, those who are wont to give the reliances to the congregation of the priests will be unable to do so any more. And the priests, not receiving the reliances, will not teach the novices, and as time goes on learning will disappear.... [and likewise with the disappearance of the symbols]

'Then when the Dispensation of the Perfect Buddha is 5,000 years old, the relics, not receiving reverence and honour, will go to places where they can receive them. As time goes on and on there will not be reverence and honour for them in every place. At the time when the Dispensation is falling into (oblivion), all the relics, coming from every place: from the abode of serpents and the deva-world and the Brahma-world, having gathered together in the space round the great Bo-tree, having made a Buddha-image, and having performed a "miracle" like the Twin-miracle, will teach Dhamma. No human being will be found at that place. All the devas of the ten-thousand world system, gathered together, will hear Dhamma and many thousands of them will attain to Dhamma. And these will cry aloud, saying: "Behold, devatas, a week from today our One of the Ten Powers will attain complete Nirvana." They will weep, saying: "Henceforth there will be darkness for us." Then the relics, producing the condition of heat, will burn up that image leaving no remainder.

'This, Sariputta, is called the disappearance of the relics.'


http://www.mircea-eliade.com/from-primi ... n/189.html
Bhikkhu Gavesako
Kiṃkusalagavesī anuttaraṃ santivarapadaṃ pariyesamāno... (MN 26)

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Re: Relics ceremony at the stupa of Wat Boonyawad (Ajahn Dtun)

Postby sutira » Fri Jul 06, 2012 2:40 pm

:buddha1:

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Re: Relics ceremony at the stupa of Wat Boonyawad (Ajahn Dtun)

Postby gavesako » Fri Jul 06, 2012 5:32 pm

This is the website of Wat Boonyawad which has some additional information and photos and teachings (in English too) of Ajahn Dtun:

http://www.watboonyawad.com/new/

:reading:
Bhikkhu Gavesako
Kiṃkusalagavesī anuttaraṃ santivarapadaṃ pariyesamāno... (MN 26)

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Re: Relics ceremony at the stupa of Wat Boonyawad (Ajahn Dtun)

Postby Cittasanto » Fri Jul 06, 2012 7:05 pm

gavesako wrote:This is the website of Wat Boonyawad which has some additional information and photos and teachings (in English too) of Ajahn Dtun:

http://www.watboonyawad.com/new/

:reading:

can't see the english section Bhante!
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
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Re: Relics ceremony at the stupa of Wat Boonyawad (Ajahn Dtun)

Postby sutira » Sat Jul 07, 2012 4:11 pm

I have read an interesting background story of this stupa project from Channel 3 website. So here's a brief English summary which you might find interesting.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The reason behind the construction is that in July 2008 Ajahn Dtun had a vision of this chedi, together with the Uposoth Hall and all, exactly as we see them today. Two days later when Khun Ratana Maleenon, the owner of Channel 3, learned about this vision, she offered to donate money to construct this project to protect and prolong the life of Buddha-sasana (Buddha's era) and to offer the chedi as Budda-puja to prolong the life of Ajahn Dtun. (Ajahn Dtun was diagnosed with stage-3 cancer, had undergone chemotherapy, and was in a pretty bad shape. Now he is cancer-free.)

Relics offered to Ajahn Dtun to be put inside this chedi came from various places such as Sri Lanka, Burma, Laos, Chiang Rai, etc. I see that one of the major relics donors was Khun Loong Tongdee whose relics collection is among the world's greatest, and whom P'Ton once brought me to visit. A set of Buddha's relics appeared at Wat Boonyawad by themselves. And a set of Sivali Thera's relics appeared by themselves to Ajahn Dtun on September 8, 2010 at 10.30 am. He was talking to/teaching the laypeople while a beam of light suddenly appeared on his receiving cloth. When opened, he saw Sivali Thera's relics on his receiving cloth.
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