All the Buddha statues of L.U.M. were specially chosen, located and arranged by Rinpoche himself. When you walk up to the main hall through the ascending staircase, from a distance you will see a 4.8 meters high statue of Buddha Shakyamuni smiling and gazing at you. Seated in the space beside this main statue are the smaller statues of Buddha Dipamkara and Maitreya. These three statues, surrounded by auspicious clouds as their background decoration, symbolize the Buddhas of three times (past, present and future). Another unique feature that differentiates the hall from others' is its circular arrangement of the statues. When you look around from the center of the hall, you will be inspired with feelings of devotion and faith, as if you are personally attending a Dharma gathering accompanied by various Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. Buddha Shakyamuni at the centre is teaching Dharma, and listening to the discourses are Manjushri, Caturbhuja Avalokiteshvara, Amitabha, Baishajyeraja, Akshobhya, Vairochana, Vajrasattva, Aparimitayus, Green Tara, Yellow Zambhala and others. You are surrounded by the Thousand Buddhas of this Fortunate Eon. A Lotus Lamp adorns the Hall at the top of the dome. Through special lighting, the Hall will brighten gradually, layer by layer, following the curve of the dome, shining at various aspects of this sacred hall. Holy objects and relics will be enshrined at the center of the Lotus Lamp.
To be able to circumambulate the Stupa indoors was a dream of people visiting Lumbini who have to cope with months of very hot weather and a rainy season. We have now made this dream a reality in L.U.M.
What is the merit of circumambulating a stupa? This was discussed in many sutras spoken by Buddha himself. In one such story from the Buddha’s time, a fly was reincarnated as a monk, who later gained the fruition of liberation (arhatship), by merely following the smell of cow and accidentally circumambulating a stupa. This is just one example recounted in the sutras.
The process of circumambulation signifies our journey to enlightenment. When you first enter into the corridor, you will see statues of two heart disciples of the Buddha, Shariputra and Maudgalyayana, guarding and supervising the main entrance; followed by Kshitigarbha, Mayadevi, Milarepa, Vajrachanda, Nirvarana-viskambi, Lokeshvara, Vajravarahi, White Tara, Usnisa-Sitatapatra, Maitreya, Samantabhadra, Achala Krodharaja, Thousand-arm Lokeshvara, Kurukulle, Vajrapani, Akashagarbha, Mahakala, Padmasambhava, Nagaraja Vasuki and Manjughosha; then there are the Four Heavenly Guardians: Dhritarastra, Virudhaka, Virupaksha, and Vaishravana. Various Bodhisattvas, standing or sitting, in peaceful or wrathful form, are models and inspirations of great love and compassion. They are all our spiritual friends, protecting, encouraging and motivating us along our way to Buddhahood.
Rinpoche has been very particular about the styles of the Buddha statues. He emphasizes time and again the importance of reviving the ancient style of statue making, which provides the closest depiction of the Buddha’s original features.
In addition to Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, we must have representations of the dharma patrons, like Ashoka, who assist us by various means along the way. The L.U.M. Project would not be a success without their vigorous and dedicated participation; activities of benefiting others would not be successful without their generous sponsorship and assistance. Under Rinpoche's advice, handprints of major patrons will be imprinted along the corridor circulating the Stupa as if they are making prostrations to the sacred Stupa. Hand prints of great masters and lineage holders of all major traditions of Buddhism will also be imprinted to symbolize the non-sectarian spirit that is beyond all labels and distinctions.
Latest Photo of the architechture
Simplicity best describes the style and design themes of L.U.M. This teaches us that our defilements can be purified once we simplify how we live.
The purpose of L.U.M. is not only to provide the Sangha members a conducive environment for their practices, but also to create a sacred and wonderful place for all spiritual seekers, cultivators and pilgrims in enhancing their spiritual quests for enlightenment.
Although we have successfully completed its main structure, there is still a long way to go before we achieve our final goal.
Let us make a wish
that the Lumbini Udyana Mahachaitya become a reality
for all of us and for future generations.
Let each and every one of us become part of the noble cause in establishing a sound base
for the transmission of key teachings of the Buddha
for the lasting joy of all living beings.