VIPASSANA PAGODA

After the Mahaparinibbana of Buddha, his followers divided the corporeal Relics into 8 parts and built stupas over them. After 200 years of Lord Buddha’s Mahaparinibbana, the great mauryan king Dhamma Ashoka took those sacred corporeal Relics and placed them in 84,000 shrines in Jambu Island.

Thus throughout history, monuments to the Buddha have been created to inspire humanity. Keeping alive this tradition, a huge pagoda (stupa) about 325 feet tall is being built at Gorai, a suburb of Mumbai (Bombay) the commercial capital of India. Its purpose is to generate widespread awareness of the Buddha and his teachings to the commercial world of ignorance in which the wants and materialistic consumerism is overtaking the need of spirituality. This magnificent pagoda will have the genuine Buddha Relics enshrined at the center of a large central hall where about 10,000 students can sit around the Relics and meditate jointly, getting the spiritual advantage from the Relics. Just as the Tooth Relic temple at kandy in Sri Lanka and the Shwedagon pagoda of Yangoon (Burma) this Stupa with the genuine Relics enshrined, will become a centre of tremendous attraction for the devotees of the Buddha around the world to come and pay their respect to the Relics. Visitors, while marveling the architectural and engineering splendor will be drawn to various informative galleries exhibiting the actual historical life of the Buddha. The Stupa will be a vehicle for the spread of the Buddha’s true teachings along with a display of exquisite ancient Indian art and cultural heritage. The complex project is spread over an area of 17 acres. The basic structure will be on a 60 feet big raised platform with another four 60 feet high peripheral pagodas. Exhibition rooms spread over 15,000 sq. feet will display important incidents from Lord Buddha’s life using three dimensional story telling techniques along with state of the art audio-visual systems highlighting the important teachings of Lord Buddha.

 

The Buddha said  "Dhammo havey rakkhati dhammachari" which means Dhamma protects the dhammist. A dhammist is one who practices Sila, Samadhi and Panya and in order to get established in Sila (morality), it is necessary to have complete control over one's own mind. The mind should be fully restrained and disciplined. For this it is necessary to practice Samadhi (concentration).

Practicing only Sila without Samadhi is like standing on only one leg and straining one's self. On the other hand Samadhi without Sila is like one leg hanging in air with out support.

Again it is not enough to just concentrate one's mind. It is also necessary to develop Panya (wisdom). By this Panya it is possible to eradicate the ingrained habit pattern of the mind that generates, multiplies and accumulates Sankharas (reactions) of Raga (greed) and Dosa (hatred) out of Moha (ignorance). So if Sila and Samadhi are two legs on which one stands, balances and walks then Panya is like the eye which enables us to see things as they are, thereby avoiding the dangers and leading us through the safe Noble Eight-fold path, which forms the fourth Noble truth of Suffering.

The teachings based on Suffering seem to be pessimistic and deffinetly people would like to have an optimistic teaching. But, the question is not of pessimism or optimism; it is the question of realism on which the Buddha stresses. His teachings are not CUSTOMER ORIENTED but just TRUTH ORIENTED.

 

Noble truth of Suffering is no secret,

It is a truth we refuse to acknowledge

Truth undermines the Selfness of I, My, Mine

to which we cling so desperately

and shows the impermanence of all phenomena

Truth is not hidden from us

We are hiding from it.

 

What I feel that is, what I don’t feel that is not. This is the common feeling of all. Feelings form an important part of life. The body exists because one feels the body, pain exists because one feels the pain, and pleasure exists because one feels pleasure, and hence the general understanding that I feel therefore ‘I am’ looks as if it is absolutely right. This in turn leads to all other negativity’s like Ego, Pride, selfishness, hatred, jealousy and false view of Soul or Atman.

 

Buddha taking these very subject of feelings as the basis for his teaching, taught his followers the science of feelings called Vedananupassana also known as the contemplation on feelings and thus leading them on to the path of Sila (morality), Samadhi (concentration), and Panya (wisdom) he finally made them realize the ultimate truth of Anicca (Impermanence), Dukkha (Suffering) and Anatta (No-Self).

 

The vipassana meditation centres established in all the four continents by Kalyanmitra Shri S.N.Goenka are providing the basic infrastructure and facility to practice and experience the Buddha's teachings of impermanence, Suffering, and No-Self through Sila, Samadhi and Panya to attain the final liberation called Nibbana. This Vipassana Pagoda will be unique in the sense that it will not be just a place of worship and rituals but a meditation centre where ten thousands people at a time can meditate.

Thus the huge pagoda, about 325 feet tall being built at Gorai, a suburb of Mumbai in India is but a humble tribute of the Indians to the World-Teacher Buddha to whose Dhamma they owe their spiritual and cultural advancement.

 

Buddha the guide to humanity,

Showed Eight-fold path to the suffering humanity.

He said not to be obsessed with materiality,

But to follow the path of spirituality

This path He said is non other than

The path of Wisdom, Concentration & Morality.

Buddha has compared his teachings to that of a raft, which is used to cross over the ocean of suffering to the other shore called Nibbana. Therefore we can say:

Buddha's Dhamma is like a Ship

              With

SILA as its mechanism

SAMADHI as its power

PANYA as its captain

NIBBANA as its destination.

 

MAY ALL ATTAIN NIBBANA.

 

Venerable Bhikkhu Vinayarakkhita

Dharmayatana, Maharagama,

SRI LANKA.