Maha Bodhi Temple

Pictures of revered teachers, places, rupas, temples, bhikkhus, shrine rooms etc. that bring inspiration to our members. Pilgrimage advice, devotion etc.
chownah
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Re: 100kg Thai gold for Shrine

Post by chownah » Sat Nov 16, 2013 4:18 am

I think there are two projects. One is to put gold leaf on a spire and the gold has been donated by Thai people (100 Kg)......and one is to put gold on a dome and the gold has been donated by His Majesty the King of Thailand (300Kg).
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dagon
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Re: 100kg Thai gold for Shrine

Post by dagon » Sat Nov 16, 2013 6:05 am

Two projects - two temples
Several Buddhist temples and monasteries have been built by the people of Bhutan, China, Japan, Myanmar, Nepal, Sikkim, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, Tibet and Vietnam in a wide area around the Mahabodhi Temple. These buildings reflect the architectural style, exterior and interior decoration of their respective countries. The statue of Buddha in the Chinese temple is 200 years old and was brought from China. Japan's Nippon temple is shaped like a pagoda. The Myanmar (Burmese) temple is also pagoda shaped and is reminiscent of Bagan. The Thai temple has a typical sloping, curved roof covered with golden tiles. Inside, the temple holds a massive bronze statue of Buddha. Next to the Thai temple is 25 meter statue of Buddha [9] located within a garden which has existed there for over 100 years.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bodh_Gaya# ... st_temples

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Bhikkhu Pesala
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Re: 100kg Thai gold for Shrine

Post by Bhikkhu Pesala » Sat Nov 16, 2013 8:50 am

Mahāparinibbāna Sutta

5. And the Blessed One spoke to the Venerable Ānanda, saying: “Ānanda, the twin sala trees are in full bloom, though it is not the season of flowering. And the blossoms rain upon the body of the Tathāgata and drop and scatter and are strewn upon it in worship of the Tathāgata. And celestial coral flowers and heavenly sandalwood powder from the sky rain down upon the body of the Tathāgata, and drop and scatter and are strewn upon it in worship of the Tathāgata. And the sound of heavenly voices and heavenly instruments makes music in the air out of reverence for the Tathāgata.”
Yo kho, Ānanda, bhikkhu vā bhikkhunī vā upāsako vā upāsikā vā dhammānudhammappaṭipanno viharati sāmīcippaṭipanno anudhammacārī, so Tathāgataṃ sakkaroti garuṃ karoti māneti pūjeti apaciyati, paramāya pūjāya. Tasmātih'Ānanda, dhammānudhammappaṭipannā viharissāma sāmīcippaṭipannā anudhammacārinoti. Evañhi vo, Ānanda, sikkhitabba”nti.
“Yet it is not thus, Ānanda, that the Tathāgata is respected, venerated, esteemed, worshipped, and honoured in the highest degree. But, Ānanda, whatever bhikkhu or bhikkhuṇī, layman or laywoman, abides by the Dhamma, lives uprightly in the Dhamma, walks in the way of the Dhamma, it is by such a one that the Tathāgata is respected, venerated, esteemed, worshipped, and honoured in the highest degree. Therefore, Ānanda, thus should you train yourselves: 'We shall abide by the Dhamma, live uprightly in the Dhamma, walk in the way of the Dhamma.”
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DNS
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Re: 100kg Thai gold for Shrine

Post by DNS » Sat Nov 16, 2013 6:41 pm

A large portion of the gold appears to be donated by lay devotees; not all from the King. If it inspires people to practice to have a beautiful temple, why not? The Shwedagon Pagoda and many other Buddhist temples have gold and gold plating. This is the Maha Bodhi Temple, the most significant place in Buddhism, the site of the Tathagata's enlightenment. I think it is great.

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Virgo
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Re: 100kg Thai gold for Shrine

Post by Virgo » Sat Nov 16, 2013 7:16 pm

I think it is wonderful too.

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chownah
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Re: 100kg Thai gold for Shrine

Post by chownah » Sun Nov 17, 2013 2:57 am

I think the Buddha would like it too........he really loved his bling didn't he? I can't remember where in the Pali Canon he talks about how inspirational bling is......can some find a reference to this so we can show how really important bling can be?
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Re: 100kg Thai gold for Shrine

Post by DNS » Sun Nov 17, 2013 3:27 am

chownah wrote:I think the Buddha would like it too........he really loved his bling didn't he? I can't remember where in the Pali Canon he talks about how inspirational bling is......can some find a reference to this so we can show how really important bling can be?
chownah
See this post from Ven. Pesala:
Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:Sandalwood is expensive, about £300 for 15kg (story), and I am sure that it was equally expensive in the Buddha's time. One might use it to make a jewellery box, but no one would use it to make tables and chairs. However, the Buddha's Gandhakuṭi was made entirely of the best quality sandalwood. In today's money it would have cost millions just for the timber.

The point is that wealthy donors can offer luxurious gifts to monks or the Saṅgha if they wish. If a wealthy business person or film-star wanted to invite a monk to give a blessing, would they buy them an economy class ticket or a business class ticket? If they themselves usually travel business class, to buy an economy class ticket might be regarded as mean.

From the monk's point of view, we should not care whether donors offer plain or luxurious requisites. If we reflect as we should then we will remain content with the bare minimum required to sustain the holy life. If donors offer excellent things, then we can rejoice in their generosity and faith in the Dhamma.
http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.ph ... 83#p265859

And note, this proposed gift is not for any monk(s) in particular, but to all Buddhists who venerate this pilgrimage site.

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Re: 100kg Thai gold for Shrine

Post by Bhikkhu Pesala » Sun Nov 17, 2013 5:43 am

From the Mahāsi Sayādaw's Discourse on the Wheel of Dhamma
The effort to rouse wholesome states that have not yet arisen means that one should, to the best of one’s ability, perform meritorious deeds that one has not done yet. Giving alms (dāna), undertaking and observing precepts, the practice of tranquillity meditation, and the practice of insight meditation are all meritorious deeds.

Some distort the true teaching of the Buddha by teaching that meritorious deeds will prolong the cycle of existences. According to them, meritorious deeds are volitional actions (saṅkhārā), which are conditioned by ignorance (avijjā). The Law of Dependent Origination says, “Conditioned by volitional actions rebirth consciousness arises (saṅkhāra paccayā viññāṇaṃ).” Therefore, according to them, meritorious deeds (kusala saṅkhārā) will cause the arising of rebirth-consciousness, so they must be abandoned. Such an assertion contradicts the true meaning of the Buddha’s teaching and is very misleading. In fact, if meritorious deeds were to be given up, one would be left entirely with demeritorious deeds, which would not only prolong the cycle of existences, but would surely lead to the four lower realms. The real cause for the ceaseless rounds of rebirths is rooted in the defilements of ignorance and craving. These defilements can be removed by meritorious deeds, which should therefore be performed with a view to eradicating these defilements.

A simple meritorious deed can lead to rebirth in a fortunate abode (sugati), whereas Dhamma can be studied and practised to become a Noble One, thus escaping from the suffering of the lower realms and the endless cycle of existence. The story of the frog deity serves to illustrate this point.
The frog deity was a frog in his previous existence when he happened to hear a discourse given by the Blessed One. Without understanding a word of the discourse, the frog listened to it with respectful attention and devotion, for which meritorious deed, he was reborn in the deva realm. As a deva he gained the opportunity of listening to the Buddha’s teaching again, by virtue of which he attained the stage of a Stream-winner.

Thus effort should be made to rouse any kind of wholesome states that have not yet arisen, especially the meritorious deeds that would lead to the Noble Path. Every time such an effort is made, one is developing the path factor of Right Effort.
So no one should dissuade anyone from performing meritorious deeds such as charity, if they are so inclined. To do so would be the unwholesome kamma of causing an obstruction to charity, which would result in poverty throughout many lives.

However, those giving charity should reflect wisely so that they have the noblest motivation.

Three Kinds of Donation
Donation longing for praise and fame is inferior; donation hoping for wealth or celestial realms is medium; donation aspiring to nibbāna is superior.
Giving charity is also practising the Dhamma in accordance with the Dhamma. However, observing morality is superior to giving charity, and developing concentration and insight is superior to both. See the Kutudanta Sutta of the Dīghanikāya for details.
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Mr Man
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Re: 100kg Thai gold for Shrine

Post by Mr Man » Sun Nov 17, 2013 10:31 am

Would gilding be in keeping with the architectural aesthetic of the temple? Isn't the temple a "World Heritage Site"?

chownah
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Re: 100kg Thai gold for Shrine

Post by chownah » Sun Nov 17, 2013 10:51 am

David N. Snyder wrote:
chownah wrote:I think the Buddha would like it too........he really loved his bling didn't he? I can't remember where in the Pali Canon he talks about how inspirational bling is......can some find a reference to this so we can show how really important bling can be?
chownah
See this post from Ven. Pesala:
Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:Sandalwood is expensive, about £300 for 15kg (story), and I am sure that it was equally expensive in the Buddha's time. One might use it to make a jewellery box, but no one would use it to make tables and chairs. However, the Buddha's Gandhakuṭi was made entirely of the best quality sandalwood. In today's money it would have cost millions just for the timber.

The point is that wealthy donors can offer luxurious gifts to monks or the Saṅgha if they wish. If a wealthy business person or film-star wanted to invite a monk to give a blessing, would they buy them an economy class ticket or a business class ticket? If they themselves usually travel business class, to buy an economy class ticket might be regarded as mean.

From the monk's point of view, we should not care whether donors offer plain or luxurious requisites. If we reflect as we should then we will remain content with the bare minimum required to sustain the holy life. If donors offer excellent things, then we can rejoice in their generosity and faith in the Dhamma.
http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.ph ... 83#p265859

And note, this proposed gift is not for any monk(s) in particular, but to all Buddhists who venerate this pilgrimage site.
Do you think the Buddha would have liked it? That is what I was talking about, not whether people have the right to give bling as a meritorious deed. Certainly people can give whatever they want and consider it to be a meritorious deed. If giving bling is as meritorious as you can get then by all means give bling......and after all it is the thought that counts and many people think that gold is special in some way that escapes me and I certainly would not want to get in the way of anyone wanting to bling up an ancient structure.

Do you think that it is possible for some people to have some deluded ideas about gold and it's importance?......like thinking that gold is special in some way or that it's application is somehow beneficial?......like thinking that gold is "precious"? If there are mistaken beliefs about gold do you think it would be good if people were gently shown that their value system is skewed? Is it possible that for some people the application of gold to a temple or image constitutes an empty ritual.....or even idol worship?

Do you think the Buddha would have liked the temple better with gold trimmings? If one meditates at the base of a tree would it be better if the tree had gold trim?....sort of like a Buddmas tree?

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Re: 100kg Thai gold for Shrine

Post by Virgo » Sun Nov 17, 2013 11:21 am

This is from the Netti (the Guide): http://vipassana.weebly.com/uploads/1/1 ... li1977.pdf
  • "<It was indeed a mighty thing
    That I upon the monument
    Erected to the Greatest Sage
    [141] Did place four lilies and a wreath.
    Today these thirty aeons have passed,
    And I since then have no more been
    To a bad destination; for
    I honoured the Master's monument> ( ).
This is the type of Thread dealing with morality.
  • 801. <1 honoured once the monument of him that wore
    The Marks of a Great Man that number thirty-two,
    The Helper of the World, Victorious in Battle,
    For which I have rejoiced a hundred thousand aeons.
    Such was the merit that I stored away [thereby]
    And such the godly blessing through that merit [gained]
    That I had work of kings to do [for all that time]
    Without once ever going to perdition. [Now]
    My heart is so disposed that I obtained in full
    799/1 C, Ba and Bb read vaddhetha. The Pattern of the Dispensation 189
    That Eye [of understanding] in the Dispensation
    Of him that was the Tamer great of the untamed;
    My heart is freed, and now the Creeper, has been shaken off>
    ( )•
This is the type of Thread dealing with morality."

Best,

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Re: 100kg Thai gold for Shrine

Post by Virgo » Sun Nov 17, 2013 11:28 am

Making an offering to such an amazing monument is no trifling act...

Kevin

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Re: 100kg Thai gold for Shrine

Post by Virgo » Sun Nov 17, 2013 11:40 am

Having and respecting monuments, shrines, etc. is allowable and good.

See:

"Every time the Buddha stayed in Savatthi, Anathapindika visited him. At other times, however, he felt bereft without a tangible support for worship. Therefore, one day he told Ananda of his wish to build a shrine. When Ananda reported this to the Enlightened One, he answered that there are three types of shrines; memorials, monuments, and holy places. The first type was based upon a corporeal relic, which, after the death of an Enlightened One, was stored in a stupa; the second was based on an object which had a connection with the Enlightened One and had been used by him (often an almsbowl); the third was a symbol without a material object. Of these three visible supports for worship, the first was not yet a possibility as long as he was living. The third possibility would not be appropriate for those who could not content themselves with a mere picture or a symbol. There remained only the second possibility.

The Tree of Enlightenment — the Bodhi tree in Uruvela — seemed the best object to serve as a memorial to the Blessed One. Under it the Enlightened One had opened the door to the Deathless, to salvation; under it he had taught and had remained in absorption. So it was decided to plant a small shoot of this tree in Savatthi.

Maha Moggallana brought a cutting from the tree which was to be planted at the gate-tower of the Jeta Grove in the presence of the court and the most distinguished of the monks and laity. Ananda presented the sapling to the king for the ceremonial planting. But King Pasenadi replied, with princely humility, that he served in this life merely as a steward for the office of the king. It would be more appropriate that someone with a closer relationship to the Teaching consecrate the tree. So he presented the shoot to Anathapindika who was standing next to him.

The tree grew and became an object of devotion for all the pious laity. At the request of Ananda, the Enlightened One spent a night sitting under the tree in order to bestow on it another more distinguished consecration. Anathapindika often sought out the tree and used the memories associated with it and the spiritual upliftment which he received there to focus his thoughts on the Enlightened One. (J 479)"

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... el334.html

Kevin

chownah
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Re: 100kg Thai gold for Shrine

Post by chownah » Mon Nov 18, 2013 3:24 am

Virgo wrote:Making an offering to such an amazing monument is no trifling act...

Kevin
Indeed making offerings is not a trifling act. It is of such importance that I think it is worth studying in detail and examining closely to discern its many facets and ramifications........turning it this way and that way to see it fully........studying the reasoning and the emotions behind this non-trivial act.
chownah

chownah
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Re: 100kg Thai gold for Shrine

Post by chownah » Tue Nov 19, 2013 2:52 am

Virgo wrote:Having and respecting monuments, shrines, etc. is allowable and good.

"...............
.................
The Tree of Enlightenment — the Bodhi tree in Uruvela — seemed the best object to serve as a memorial to the Blessed One. Under it the Enlightened One had opened the door to the Deathless, to salvation; under it he had taught and had remained in absorption. So it was decided to plant a small shoot of this tree in Savatthi.
...............
................"

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... el334.html
Here it seems that some thought was given as to what was most appropriate......and it seems that something which was closely associated with the life of the Buddha was considered to be most appropriate. The Bodhi tree when viewed by the faithful will almost assuredly lead the mind toward the life and teachings of the Buddha. I wonder how gold can be considered to be appropriate when used to adorn a building.....that is what is the basis for its use? Does gold used this way tend to lead the mind to ponder the life and teachings of the Buddha or does it tend to lead the mind to ponder grandeur and wealth? Of course this is a question that each person must answer for themself. I am not in any way trying to indicate that I know why people give gold in this way and I am not in any way trying to say that it is inappropriate.....I am just wanting to explore different aspects of meritorious deeds.
chownah

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