April 11, 2020

Bir, India

Our teacher and guide, the Omniscient one, has always told us that all compounded things are impermanent and never satisfying. 

He taught us that our life is like a bubble, a shooting star, a dream, a mirage. And yet, our habit of denial is so strong that, even today when the whole world is brought to its knees by COVID-19, we still cannot let go of our grip on wishing ‘life’ to return to business as usual. 

So great is the compassion of the Tathagatha that, offering us solace even within this dream-like and illusory existence, he has given us the most profound and formidable path in which we can take refuge, with the Sugata as our guide and the sangha as our community.

As long as we beings have merit to wear the crown and inhabit this castle of the Three Jewels, every tunnel has light. 

And so, to the most venerable Triple Gem, we take refuge and offer our most precious and beloved possession – our mind that always illuminates. We offer too all that shines and illumines – from the mighty sun and moon to the smallest dust particle. And thus, we offer here also our fabricated lights to illumine the sacred Mahabodhi Temple in Bodhgaya. 

In this dark and bleak time, I want to thank everyone who has given time, money, ideas, rejoicing and well wishes to this Mahabodhi lighting project, which is very well under way and will come to fruition soon. 

I have not the slightest doubt that we will soon celebrate overcoming this present darkness by coming together in the very near future under the Bodhi Tree where the four mighty ones realized the truth, where 996 more will realize the truth, and where we – those who are connected to this tree – will also realize the truth above this very vajrasana.

Here are some images of the new lighting at the Mahabodhi Temple.