Honorable Minister for Land Reform, Dr Gopal Dahit, the Chief Guest of today’s 2561st Buddha Jayanti program, Honorable State Minister, Yashoda Kumari Lama ,Your Excellencies, as well as other dignitaries and distinguished guests from abroad, Dharma Gurus and representatives of different religions, representatives from various organizations, and respected ladies and gentlemen,
As the 8th Chiniya Lama and Supreme Head of the Great Stupa of Boudhanath and Boudha-Melamchi Ghyang Guthi, I cordially welcome all of you who have accepted my invitation and gathered here today on the occasion of the 2561st Buddha Jayanti. Keeping in heart and mind Lord Buddha’s immortal message of peace and non-violence, I extend my heartiest greetings and best wishes for the peace, progress and prosperity of all humanity.
Although we have been celebrating Buddha Jayanti in the premises of the Great Stupa of Boudhanath every year, today is the first time that we are celebrating Buddha Jayanti after renovations were carried out with the support and cooperation of various organizations, both national and international, since the Stupa was damaged by the earthquake that struck Nepal. In the capacity of the 8th Chiniya Lama, I fulfilled my responsibility by facilitating the renovation works and carrying out the “Prana Pratistha” (Consecration) Pooja, “Kshyama Pooja” (religious rituals for forgiveness), including pooja of the four gateways of the Stupa, and opening of the sacred eyes of the Buddha. Thereafter, the Stupa was opened for all pilgrims, devotees, national and international tourists, and the general public. I would like to extend my heartfelt gratitude and thanks to all those who contributed towards the renovation of the Stupa in both institutional and personal capacities at the national as well as international levels.
We are feeling a sense of pride at being able to organize this grand function on the occasion of the Buddha Jayanti in the premises of the Great Stupa of Boudhanath which was built in the 5th century. I would like to present some information regarding the proud history of the Great Stupa of Boudhanath and Boudha-Melamchi Ghyang Guthi.
The Great Stupa of Boudhanath was built by Jadzima and her four sons. There was a drought in the country during that time. The devotees collected the morning dew to mix with the mortar for the construction of the Stupa. After its completion, all the 84,000 Buddhas, Bodhisattvas Gods, Goddesses and Dakinis entered into the Great Stupa which stands as the main root of Buddhism representing the minds of all the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. It is also called the wish-fulfilling jewel of all aspirations. Once in every 12 years, during the Jhya Lho (Bird Year), which falls in this year, ambrosia seeps out of the Great Stupa. Bazrayana, the highest teaching, symbolizes the mind of all Buddhas. After the great Stupa of Boudhanath, Guru Padmasambhava consecrated the first Bazrayana monastery in Tibet, Samye Ling.
My ancestor, Prince Taifosing, was appointed the Chiniya Lama and Supreme Head of the Great Stupa of Boudhanath and Boudha-Melamchi Ghyang Guthi by King Rajendra Bir Bikram Shahdev in 1854 A.D. along with the royal official seal (lalmohar). He became the Supreme Head of Lumbini, birthplace of Lord Buddha, Boudhanath Stupa, Swayambhunath Stupa and Helambu-Melamchi region and was given the responsibility of looking after all religious and social affairs of these places. Since then, my ancestors have continuously held the post of Chiniya Lama, namely, His Holiness Buddha Bazra Lama, His Holiness Punya Bazra Lama, up to my father, former Right Honorable Ganesh Bazra Lama. In this continuous line of descendants, as the 8th Chiniya Lama, I have undertaken the responsibility of the Chiniya Lama of this Boudha Ghyang Guthi, and I am, at present, functioning in this capacity. The 3rd Chiniya Lama had provided land for the construction of monasteries, including Samteling (Mongolia), as well as Shakya, Shechen, White (Urgyen), Dabsang (Kagyu) and Tharig Tulku monasteries around the Boudhanath Stupa. He had also provided land for the construction of the Mahendra Boudha Higher Secondary School. A college has also been built on the land covering 14 ropanis. I feel blessed to celebrate the 2561st Buddha Jayanti in this sacred spot, which is a world heritage site, and a revered centre of pilgrimage for all Buddhists. I have been associated with this place in my past lives and have a deep connection to this place. That is why I am committed to the protection of this sacred site and re-establishment of the root and authentic teachings for the benefit of all mankind.
After the unlimited grace showered by Lord Buddha upon all sentient beings, Guru Padmasambhava appeared in this world as an incarnation of Lord Buddha, in order to destroy sins. Guru Padmasambhava spread the light of kindness, compassion, peace and goodwill in this world by destroying demonic forces. On an auspicious full moon day when the Dharma Gurus and Lamas were praying while placing the crown on top of the Boudhanath Stupa, I was born due to the immense grace of Guru Padmasambhava.
I have invested 30 years of my life in the observation and preservation of Buddha Dharma abroad. Now I have returned to my motherland as per my karma to fulfill my responsibilities. Despite being the birthplace of Lord Buddha, the way we practice dharma is similar to milk adulterated with water. We are like a child playing with a diamond without knowing its value. Dharma should be practiced with a pure heart and without any selfish motives like a mother’s unconditional love for her only child. Otherwise, it will not be meaningful and effective. The three jewels are the most precious possessions in the world. The principle of every religion is based on ultimate wisdom and compassion but due to the five poisons, we perceive differences in terms of caste, creed and color. It is very essential to keep pure dharma in our hearts. Otherwise, there is no hope for peace and happiness. In every sector, be it business, politics, etc, there should be peace. Without peace, there is no possibility for progress. We cannot understand religion just by studying it. There are many monasteries and temples, but we seem to have forgotten the main principles of purity and compassion which are the fundamentals of dharma practice. Dharma is very simple for all sentient beings but complications arise due to selfish interests. Even a potent medicine cannot be effective unless it is pure and unadulterated. Only by sincerely following the sublime teachings of the root Guru and authentic master and wholeheartedly devoting one’s life to service, can a student attain true happiness. If you think and act for others, it is true dharma or real religion. Dharma has to be grounded in reality. It is my commitment to increase the prestige of Buddhists all over the world as well as make Boudhanath area clean, green, well organized and prosperous.
Due to the increase of pride and arrogance in today’s world environment, many great wars have occurred and various chemical and atomic weapons have been manufactured which pose a grave threat to the continuity of the human race. There is a possibility that this earth might be destroyed as a consequence of the pride and ill-will that presently exists between humans and nations. The use of chemical and atomic weapons manufactured as a result of the pride and anger of humans might destroy the universe at any moment. To minimize the human traits of envy, jealousy and hatred and establish a sense of brotherhood between the human beings of this world is the need of the hour and if steps were taken for implementation of the above mentioned goals, the celebration of Buddha Jayanti would become even more meaningful and relevant.
Based on Lord Buddha’s immortal message of peace and non-violence, Buddhist wisdom is the sole means of benefiting all the beings in the entire universe. Today, the nation is suffering due to the effects of political differences and polarization. In order to make the country prosperous and accelerate the momentum of development, every citizen and government official should fulfill his or her responsibilities sincerely. Only by maintaining peace and goodwill, can order and stability be established in the country. We should renounce personal vices and ill-will, and simultaneously fulfill our duties by adopting goodwill and positive thinking, then not only will the relevance of today’s Buddha Jayanti celebration be proved, but will further become a source of inspiration, not only for this country and its people but the entire world. This is my pledge. The main objective of today’s grand function is to spread the light of kindness, compassion, peace and goodwill, which form the main foundation of Buddhist wisdom, throughout the world.
Today, people have become more inclined towards material pleasures, due to which the society has become very corrupt, as a result of the extreme greed and impure mentality. To control this wicked behavior and impure mentality, one must modify society by the means of good and positive behavior, moral conduct and a peaceful mind. Then we will be able to create a beautiful society by adopting the principles of Buddhist wisdom. In this context, it is my firm belief that today’s Buddha Jayanti will be able to contribute towards the establishment of a corruption-free nation by leading the national servants and civil society on a new path in line with the principles propounded by Lord Buddha. I want to convey the message of peace to all citizens along with a call to develop a common vision for a peaceful world by spreading peace and non-violence among the people of this world on the auspicious occasion of Buddha Jayanti, the 2561st birth anniversary of Lord Buddha, who is known as the Light of the World and the Fountain of Peace. In a similar manner to this year’s Buddha Jayanti celebration, we hope that we will be able to celebrate Buddha Jayanti in the coming years in an even more grand and civilized way.
In conclusion, I would like to extend my heartfelt thanks and gratitude to all those present at this peace ceremony – the Chief Guest, all distinguished delegates, as well as all invitees, security personnel and all the people participating on this occasion. Today, we are all gathered here – of various castes, colors, cultures, countries and races in this very holy place with the sole purpose of world peace and welfare of all sentient beings. Let us all chant in one voice with our pure body, speech and mind, the mantra of Guru Padmasambhava – OM AH HUNG BAZRA GURU PEMA SIDDHI HUNG!