As the birthplace of the Buddha Shakyamuni, Lumbini in Southern Nepal is one of the holiest places for 500 million Buddhists around the world. Every day, thousands of devotees makes pilgrimage to this sacred site, which serves as a reminder that each and every one of us can become a fully awakened Buddha. Lumbini is a UNESCO World Heritage site that features a special Monastic Zone housing many monasteries from all Buddhist traditions. This tranquil zone brings peace and delight to Buddhists and non-Buddhists alike, and creates the positive conditions for us all to connect with our innate capacities for wisdom and compassion.
It would be truly excellent if we could build a large temple in Lumbini.
Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche
The late Kyabje Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche, one of the most renowned 20th century meditation masters in Tibetan Buddhism, envisioned building a large temple in Lumbini. Rinpoche believed that Pal Thubten Shedrub Ling Monastery would serve as an important place of learning and practice for generations to come, preserving and spreading the teachings of the Buddha. Now his son Chökyi Nyima Rinpoche is leading the effort to carry out this enlightened wish.
Designed in the traditional Tibetan Buddhist style, the monastery is located just 1 km from the Mahadevi temple, sacred birthplace of the Buddha. The five-storey structure is designed to symbolize the three bodies or aspects of the Buddha’s enlightenment and features:
- Three statues, each 28 feet (7.6 meters) high, representing the Buddhas of the past, present, and future. These statues are on the ground floor.
- 1000 Buddha statues, each 18 inches (46 cm), symbolizing all the Buddhas of our time—the age of good fortune, also housed on the ground floor.
- Statues of Avalokiteshvara, the Buddha of Compassion, and the eight great Bodhisattvas on the first floor;
- A statue of Amithabha and a library of Buddhist texts in Pali, Sanskrit, Tibetan, Chinese, Mongolian, and other languages on the second floor;
- Statues of the sixteen Arhats (noble ones), twenty-one Taras, and Padmasabhava will also be displayed.
A magnificent temple with many statues blessed by great masters benefits the world and all of its inhabitants by planting a seed of awakening in the mind-streams of those who visit the temple to make offerings, circumambulate, study, practice, receive teachings, or simply take delight in being in such a peaceful, uplifting place.
Once the temple is completed, dharma quarters will be constructed, including accommodations for both monastics and lay people. Finally, a large botanical garden will be planted. Chökyi Nyima Rinpoche always reminds us that the beauty of flowers calms and inspires, and that it is important to take care of our natural surroundings.
Helping this benevolent vision become reality brings immeasurable merit, virtue, and good fortune.