Maha Bodhi Temple

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Re: 100kg Thai gold for Shrine

Postby David N. Snyder » Wed Nov 20, 2013 6:19 pm

I suppose those are rhetorical questions, but I'll answer them anyway.

chownah wrote:First, does anyone really think that gilding the spire will appreciably increase tourism?........


It might. If not, that is okay too. It will still look nice and inspire some. It may not inspire you, but it would for millions of others.

are people not going to visit the temple because it is too ugly and blinging it up like a Las Vegas casino will make the difference?


Probably not, but it will still look nice and inspire some.

If it will attract people interested in seeing the bling are these the kinds of tourists we want to attract?


Sure, why not? Buddhism is not for arahants only. People are at all levels of stages and development along the Path. It is not an elitist religion. And the Buddha did use skillful means.

And if this is the way we want to attract more tourists do you really think that the poor people of the region will benefit?


Yes, most definitely. There are numerous mom-and-pop businesses and street vendors, hotels, etc. there.

Seems like those already in a business catering to tourists (I'm assuming there are already lots of tourists going there with businesses catering to them) will just make more money and the trickle down to the poor will be marginal. If we accept that perhaps some poor people will be helped then if a group of Thai Buddhists wanted to fund the largest Golden Arches in the world and put it right across the street from the temple and establish the largest McDonalds hamburger stand in the world there should we whole heartedly agree that it's a good idea as it will help the poor people in the area?


The local vendors are poor and they do make a living from selling souvenirs and other items to Buddhist pilgrims. That is up to McDonalds and the local zoning if they are to open there.

Should we be enthusiastic about gilding famous religious structures around the world to increase tourism and thus help the poor people of the area......places like the wailing wall in Jerusalem?


That is not our concern what others want to do with their religious structures. The Sikh golden temple is pretty beautiful. And there are some Hindu golden temples too. And of course the Shwedagon Pagoda in Burma is gold as is the Kyoto Temple in Japan.
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Re: 100kg Thai gold for Shrine

Postby lyndon taylor » Wed Nov 20, 2013 6:30 pm

The obvious effect is if they gild the top of the Bodhagaya temple, David will be obligated to gild the top of the replica scaled down temple in his yard!!!
18 years ago I made one of the most important decisions of my life and entered a local Cambodian Buddhist Temple as a temple boy and, for only 3 weeks, an actual Therevada Buddhist monk. I am not a scholar, great meditator, or authority on Buddhism, but Buddhism is something I love from the Bottom of my heart. It has taught me sobriety, morality, peace, and very importantly that my suffering is optional, and doesn't have to run my life. I hope to give back what little I can to the Buddhist community that has so generously given me so much, sincerely former monk John
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Re: 100kg Thai gold for Shrine

Postby David N. Snyder » Wed Nov 20, 2013 6:42 pm

lyndon taylor wrote:The obvious effect is if they gild the top of the Bodhagaya temple, David will be obligated to gild the top of the replica scaled down temple in his yard!!!


No, I won't be doing that. Regardless of what gets done at the Maha Bodhi Temple, I will leave the replica the same as it is.
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Re: 100kg Thai gold for Shrine

Postby bodom » Wed Nov 20, 2013 7:26 pm

mikenz66 wrote:Actually, this sutta talks about stupas and pilgrimages:....

28-31. "And why, Ananda, is a Tathagata, an Arahant, a Fully Enlightened One worthy of a stupa? Because, Ananda, at the thought: 'This is the stupa of that Blessed One, Arahant, Fully Enlightened One!' the hearts of many people will be calmed and made happy; and so calmed and with their minds established in faith therein, at the breaking up of the body, after death, they will be reborn in a realm of heavenly happiness...


:goodpost:

Excellent Mike thanks!

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The heart of the path is SO simple. No need for long explanations. Give up clinging to love and hate, just rest with things as they are. That is all I do in my own practice. Do not try to become anything. Do not make yourself into anything. Do not be a meditator. Do not become enlightened. When you sit, let it be. When you walk, let it be. Grasp at nothing. Resist nothing. Of course, there are dozens of meditation techniques to develop samadhi and many kinds of vipassana. But it all comes back to this - just let it all be. Step over here where it is cool, out of the battle. - Ajahn Chah
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100kg Thai gold for Shrine

Postby GraemeR » Wed Dec 04, 2013 9:29 am

Personally I would like to see more spent on basics such providing water, sanitation, medical care and education than on 'improving' this building

Graham
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Re: 100kg Thai gold for Shrine

Postby chownah » Wed Dec 04, 2013 12:05 pm

Does anyone know exactly who the Thai people are who are funding this project? I'm wondering if it might be people from the Dhammakaya temple. Seems like this is the kind of thing they might do to promote their brand.

How would people feel if the Dhamakaya temple did this and then used it as a promotional concept?
What if Brazen Bank financed it and then advertised it as the "Brazen Bank Golden Spire"?
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Re: 100kg Thai gold for Shrine

Postby David N. Snyder » Wed Dec 04, 2013 8:52 pm

chownah wrote:Does anyone know exactly who the Thai people are who are funding this project?


Whoever they are, they are devotees earning great merit. Good on them.

What if Brazen Bank financed it and then advertised it as the "Brazen Bank Golden Spire"?


A little melodramatic; you know that isn't going to happen.
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Re: 100kg Thai gold for Shrine

Postby chownah » Thu Dec 05, 2013 3:36 am

What is the difference between the board which directs the activities of a Wat giving the gold or the board which directs the activities of a bank giving the gold? Do banks have some kind of kamma blocker? Can kamma not penetrate a legally constituted corporation?
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Re: 100kg Thai gold for Shrine

Postby David N. Snyder » Thu Dec 05, 2013 4:28 am

chownah wrote:What is the difference between the board which directs the activities of a Wat giving the gold or the board which directs the activities of a bank giving the gold? Do banks have some kind of kamma blocker? Can kamma not penetrate a legally constituted corporation?
chownah


Huh? As far as I know, there is no Wat giving out gold and no one said anything about banks having some kind of kamma blocker. This is about lay devotees donating gold to beautify the top of the Maha Bodhi Temple, the Mecca of Buddhism, not some playground or school or police department but arguably the most significant spot in Buddhism. Much merit to them for their generosity.
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Re: 100kg Thai gold for Shrine

Postby chownah » Thu Dec 05, 2013 5:00 am

David N. Snyder wrote:
chownah wrote:What is the difference between the board which directs the activities of a Wat giving the gold or the board which directs the activities of a bank giving the gold? Do banks have some kind of kamma blocker? Can kamma not penetrate a legally constituted corporation?
chownah


Huh? As far as I know, there is no Wat giving out gold and no one said anything about banks having some kind of kamma blocker. This is about lay devotees donating gold to beautify the top of the Maha Bodhi Temple, the Mecca of Buddhism, not some playground or school or police department but arguably the most significant spot in Buddhism. Much merit to them for their generosity.

My questions are theoretic and are meant to help illuminate how kamma might enter into this subject.
A little melodramatic: "Mecca of Buddhism".......after all, the Maha Bodi Temple is mostly just a pile of construction materials (which will soon have a thin layer of shiny metal temporarily applied to its external surface).
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Re: 100kg Thai gold for Shrine

Postby gavesako » Thu Dec 05, 2013 6:19 am

The place of the Buddha's Awakening has been seen historically as the Navel of the Earth or Centre of the Universe, such was its enormous spiritual significance.

Mahabodhi temple from above:
http://binged.it/1c2UTlE


It seems that within two centuries of the Buddha's enlightenment, the name Uruvela fell into disuse and was replaced by four other names: Sambodhi, Bodhimanda, Vajrasana and Mahabodhi. The oldest and least commonly used of these names was Sambodhi, meaning 'complete enlightenment'. In his Eighth Rock Edict issued in 256 BC, King Asoka says he "went to Sambodhi" (ayaya Sambodhi) referring to his pilgrimage to Bodh Gaya four years previously. Another ancient name, Bodhimanda, refers to a circular area around the Bodhi Tree. The Kalingabodhi Jataka describes the Bodhimanda before the Buddha's enlightenment as being covered with silvery sand without a blade of grass growing on it and with all the surrounding trees and flowering shrubs bending, as if in homage, towards the Bodhi Tree.

The exact place where the Buddha sat when he was enlightened was called Vajrasana meaning 'Diamond Throne'. It was believed that when the universe is finally destroyed, this would be the last place to disappear and that it would be the first place to form when the universe began to re-evolve again. The Vajrasana was also sometimes called The Victory Throne of all Buddhas (Sabbabuddhanam Jayapallankam) or the Navel of the Earth (Pathavinabhi). In later centuries the name Vajrasana came to be used for the exact location of the Buddha's enlightenment, for the temple built over it (Vajrasana Gandhakuti) and for the general location.

The most widely used and also the most enduring of Bodh Gaya's names was Mahabodhi meaning 'great enlightenment'. Originally a term for the Buddha's experience, it later came to be used as the name for the place where that experience had occurred.

http://www.buddhanet.net/bodh_gaya/menu.htm


:buddha2:

"The Vajrasana is the place where the Buddhas attain the holy path. It is also called Bodhi-manda. When the great earth is shaken, this place alone is unmoved."
Hiuen Tsang, 7th cent. AD
Bhikkhu Gavesako
Kiṃkusalagavesī anuttaraṃ santivarapadaṃ pariyesamāno... (MN 26)

ajahnchah.org - Teachings of Ajahn Chah in many languages
Dhammatube - Videos on Buddhist practice
Ancient Buddhist Texts - Translations and history of Pali texts
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Re: 100kg Thai gold for Shrine

Postby gavesako » Thu Dec 05, 2013 6:24 am

I happened to be there at the Mahabodhi temple in Bodh Gaya on 27 November 2013 when the new golden spire (chatra) was finished. We chanted "Jayanto bodhiya mule" and "Sabba-buddhanubhavena" as a blessing next to the Bodhi tree. The spire is now shining and visible from all sides as a focus of the devotion of many Buddhists who come on pilgrimage.
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Bhikkhu Gavesako
Kiṃkusalagavesī anuttaraṃ santivarapadaṃ pariyesamāno... (MN 26)

ajahnchah.org - Teachings of Ajahn Chah in many languages
Dhammatube - Videos on Buddhist practice
Ancient Buddhist Texts - Translations and history of Pali texts
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Re: 100kg Thai gold for Shrine

Postby chownah » Thu Dec 05, 2013 12:15 pm

gavesako,
Thanks for the posts. Does the picture on the left show the extent of the area clad with gold? It appears that my conception of the project was majorly in error. I thought that a large extent of the building was to be covered in gold leaf but the picture seems to show gold plates of substantial thickness covering only the very top portion.
Thanks again,
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Re: 100kg Thai gold for Shrine

Postby gavesako » Thu Dec 05, 2013 3:53 pm

The area covered with gold is only the very top of the spire. There was scaffolding erected for climbing up and guarded by Thai security personnel for several weeks. Monks also went up to inspect the work being done. Artists from northern Thailand were invited to perform the work.

Very good article with pictures about the history of Mahabodhi temple:
http://silentpagesindia.blogspot.com/20 ... -gaya.html

(there is a photo of the current work being undertaken)
Bhikkhu Gavesako
Kiṃkusalagavesī anuttaraṃ santivarapadaṃ pariyesamāno... (MN 26)

ajahnchah.org - Teachings of Ajahn Chah in many languages
Dhammatube - Videos on Buddhist practice
Ancient Buddhist Texts - Translations and history of Pali texts
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Re: 100kg Thai gold for Shrine

Postby David N. Snyder » Thu Dec 05, 2013 6:02 pm

:bow: Thanks Bhante for that report. I updated my Maha Bodhi page to reflect this great improvement. That blog link is a good historical account too.

http://www.mahabodhitemple.com/
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Re: Maha Bodhi Temple

Postby cooran » Fri Dec 13, 2013 7:01 am

Some more photos of MahaBodhi temple Bodhgaya:

http://www.photodharma.net/India/Bodhga ... abodhi.htm

With metta,
Chris
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