One of Lama Zopa
Rinpoches many ongoing Dharma Projects is the construction
of a gigantic 500 feet Statue of MAITREYA, the future Buddha
in Bodhgaya. Lord Maitreya is the Buddha who symbolizes Loving
Kindness and when built the Statue will be the largest Holy
Object in the world.
On May 16th 1998,
during a Tea party organized to thank the sponsors and FRIENDS
OF MAITREYA held in Singapore, Lama
Zopa Rinpoche explained
the great merit of building THE MAITREYA STATUE.
" .. and so you see, if Mahayana
exists then all other teachings of the Buddha will also exist.
So Lama Yeshes purpose to build the statue is for
Mahayana teachings to last a long time. But why so large ? It
is because then it has these benefits, these qualities.
First, that the Mahayana
teachings of Buddha will last. Maitreya means loving kindness.
statue of Maitreya will create not just individual karma but
also collective karma.
By serving others so much merit is collected, and so much bad
karma is purified. This is how the statue can contribute to
the liberation of sentient beings; to world peace with
The question why not build
hospitals ? Why build such a large statue ? so here .. one thought
came to my mind think of sending so many billions of
dollars on atomic bomb. Money spent on statue ie on holy object
will plant imprint of seed of liberation in the mind. Just
seeing the statue, even only seeing a picture of the statue
will plant seed
will have a positive imprint and then gradually achieve liberation
and eventually the peerless happiness of enlightenment. Even
when one sees the Buddha at a moment of anger even just
seeing a picture of Buddha it purifies the mind.
In daily lives what makes our actions
cause for happiness or suffering is our attitude. If this is
virtuous, positive and pure, non egotistical and non self centered
mind only then can our actions become cause of happiness.
If done with pure mind with dharma.
If these actions are done with
Bodhicitta they become cause for enlightenment- will be cause
for happiness for the future lives. Also becomes energy to cut
is important now here with Holy Objects, Statues, Stupas
and Scriptures as soon as offerings, prostrations and
circumambulation are done to holy objects they become
immediate cause of enlightenment, and will achieve liberation
from suffering and cause for happiness, good rebirths for so
many lifetimes. This is due to the power of the holy object.
So with holy object, it makes
it so easy to create good luck; to have good karma, to create
cause for happiness. Usually most of us have delusions no matter
how much we dont like to get angry still it takes years
to reduce anger, to control anger. It requires a lot of effort.
holy object it is So easy.
the general benefit of a holy object.
So the BIGGER
the statue, the more people come and see the statue and the
more sentient beings use the statue to purify the mind so more
sentient beings will benefit.. The statue can liberate so many
thousands of sentient beings.
As I explained before, sufferings
cannot come from outside, but instead it comes form the mind.
Therefore there is the need to transform the mind. Real development
must come from the mind.
Real liberation comes from ourselves.
For this we need to create circumstances to create this liberation;
to create merit and purify obstacles
Also the project offers social
services. Bihar ( the state in India where Bodhgaya is
sited and where the Maitreya statue will be built ) is very
poor so this Project will create employment and even after the
statue is built and actualized, it will bring economic benefits.
We do not have
the pure mind at the moment to see Buddha. So the karma we have
is to see only statue. Therefore this holy object is for sentient
beings to have realization to collect merit; able to understand
the teachings. So the existence of the teachings depends on
the existence of the statue.
asked Buddha this, and Buddha replied "
In future when sentient beings make offerings to the statues,
it is the same amount of merit as making offerings directly
to me "
So, other thing which Buddha explained:
How many atoms
statue has, the most powerful wheel turning king- that many
cause for perfect concentration to proceed to higher levels.
Without this one cannot have the wisdom that leads to ultimate
happiness. .. how many atoms the statue has that will be that
many causes for enlightenment.
So anybody who contributes to building
the statue will have so much merit, and also anyone who has
connection with Maitreya project, when you descend into the
world will become the first disciples of Maitreya Buddha. In
Tibet are stories of lamas who build large statues. This lama
sent manager to raise funds this makes many people to
make connection with Buddha so Maitreya, likewise so many people
can collect merit.
Inside the statue .. different
shrine rooms. According
to Mahayana tradition, we cannot keep statues empty
many problems can come with empty statues. Must fill
up with mantras. So MEDICINE BUDDHA. So powerful for
success, not just health. By reciting mantra will never be born
into lower realms and all prayers will succeed. 21 TARAS
represent all the Buddhas actions - good fortune. The 6 Arhats,
the 1000 armed Buddha offerings to Chenrezig
and all other Buddhas
and then the heart sutra will be
written in gold merit
is greater than the whole Universe filled with stupas.
Building one stupa alone is unbelievable benefit now here 3
galaxies of the Universe filled with stupas. This is the merit
of writing one heart sutra.
At the heart of the Maitreya Buddha
will be Shakyamuni relics so people can circumambulate and make
In the garden also statues and
stories. Eg.. Shakyamuni Buddha gave his body to a family of
hungry tigers. Maitreya did not
so Shakyamuni attained
So you must think ..
" I should
not live my life only for myself. I shall live my life for others
.. and cessation of suffering is the ultimate liberation.