GURU RINPOCHE SPEECH 28/06/23
I acknowledge the Dja Dja Wurrung, the traditional owners of the land and welcome you all to this special event.
I especially welcome the Sangha. And thank Venerable Tsapel for leading this puja and Venerable Jampa for organising the puja. I thank Venerable Thich Nguyen Tang and sangha from Quang Duc Monastery, and monks and nuns from Quang Minh Temple, monks from Thubten Shedrup Linh and Atisha Centre, and nuns from Machig Labron nunnery for their attendance.
In 2004 Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche told me we must create a Padmasambhava statue based on the one in His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s temple at Nyamgyal Monastery. Rinpoche said that the powerful energy of this statue would help us overcome obstacles to the speedy construction of the stupa.
With the help of our friends at Tushita centre in Dharamasala we had many photos taken of the statue in His Holiness’ temple. Then through our friends at FPMT Mongolia we were put in touch with a monk who said that for USD$15,000 he would have our statue made. We sent the cash to him and thereafter had no further communication with the monk. While I never completely gave up hope I was very relieved when 6 months after we’d handed over the cash, we received an email from a shipping company saying Your statue is in Hong Kong.
When our big one-piece brass statue arrived, we were faced with the challenge of filling it. With ingenuity Dennis and Bob Waterhouse lay the statue on his back on a big heap of sand. This allowed Thubten Khedup and several volunteers to be able to fill the statue. Then came the very delicate operation of transporting the statue to the stupa and lifting it upright. Geshe Doga and Thupten Khedup said many prayers for the success of this operation.
Chun Roo and a monk from Taiwan came over to gold leaf the statue. And then we continued to build the stupa around it. We covered it as best we could and continued to lift steel and pour concrete around it.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama consecrated the statue while he was at the Great Stupa in 2007.
Over the past year this statue has been restored and the auras added by the amazing construction and art team at the stupa: including Tony, Guy, Finn, Lucy, David Williams, Dennis, Graham, Andrew, Tara, Larry, Cynthia, My Phuong, Yvette, Nicole, Tanith-Lee, Rosie, Annie, Donna, Marie, Deborah, Jan, Skye, David, Zach, Bridget, Haozhen, Cathie, Francesca, Ruofei Chen and her Mum. While not part of the art team Venerable Jampa and Garrey Foulkes deserve many thanks for their advice on the Padmasambhava statue.
I also express sincere thanks to the benefactors who helped fund this project. I pay particular thanks to the Sangha and students of Chua Quang Minh and Chua Quang Duc for their support and sponsorship.
Today is Guru Rinpoche day and we will celebrate this day every year with a puja in the presence of the truly blessed statue.
I will now hand over to Venerable Tsapel. After the Tibetan Buddhist puja we will ask Thay Nguyen Tang to lead prayers in Vietnamese.
Ian Green OAM
-Chairman of the Great Stupa of Universal Compassion
- Founder of the Jade Buddha for Universal Peace.