Building Buddha statues and stupas, and printing texts of the Buddha words, is to create symbols of awakened Body, Speech and Mind. These all can be discovered in our innermost being––the nature of mind. It is taught in the sutras and tantras that we cannot fathom the merit generated by creating these three objects of veneration. It is immeasurable.
“An excellent straightforward way to create merit is to build the symbols of awakened body, speech, and mind.”
The reason for building monasteries, stupas, and statues is that we need to develop our faith. For example, for most of us, when we say “I take refuge in the Buddha”, our faith naturally arises and increases when we have a beautiful statue of the Buddha in front of us.
Why is faith important? It is said that faith is the root of the practice of dharma. If there is no faith, the practice will not benefit us. With the practice of dharma we obtain benefit in this life and in future lives for both ourselves and others.
In a world designed for rapid movement, we tend to run from place to place without taking time to examine our minds, our connection to the dharma. As we develop our faith and introspection, we need environments that direct all the beauty and power of the external world towards the recognition of those qualities within ourselves. The Lumbini temple will be just such a place.
When we create symbols of the awakened body, speech, and mind, we gather an immeasurable amount of merit, virtue, and good fortune. Why do we need merit? If we have merit, all our aims and wishes will be fulfilled. Secondly, it is said in the texts that if we do not have merit, we cannot come to realize genuine emptiness.
With sufficient merit, we can fulfil all our aims and wishes for the benefit of beings, and come to a genuine realization of emptiness.