The Meaning of Mahasiddha Sanctuary

The Buddha taught us the healing power of immeasurable love and compassion for all beings, beyond bias and partiality. Rinpoche’s vision for Mahasiddha Sanctuary is a pure form that will represent the Buddha’s message of limitless love and compassion beyond boundaries. It is this all-inclusive spirit of tolerance and openness that will generate peace and understanding among nations, communities, and individuals throughout the world.

While the Mahasiddha Sanctuary will have physical form and substance, it will represent in four ways the sublime immaterial wisdom that transcends outer material form. First, it resembles a blossoming lotus. Just as a beautiful lotus flower grows in the mud, our true nature is innate purity, undefiled by temporary disturbing thoughts and emotions. Second, the form calls to mind a butter lamp, symbolizing the luminous clarity of wisdom, which dispels the darkness and ignorance in our minds. Third, the form resembles an offering mandala, representing skillful ways to accumulate merit and good karma through generosity and non-attachment. Fourth, the sanctuary resembles a stupa, which represents the unconditional state of enlightened mind.

In Rinpoche’s own words: “We are not building a Nepali temple. We are not building a Tibetan temple. We are not building a Thai, Japanese, or Vietnamese temple. We are building a temple that welcomes all people who are seeking for inner peace and comfort in their lives. We are building a sanctuary where all Buddhists and non-Buddhists alike can come together and feel at home. This is my vision for the great sanctuary in Lumbini”

The Sanctuary as Inspiration

There are many ways to view the Buddha. One realizes the true Buddha as primordial wisdom mind, which is absolute and beyond time and space. However one can see the Buddha as a wise man who conquered afflictions, tamed his mind, and became a great teacher. Or one can think of the Buddha as a radiant being who inspires others to follow a genuine spiritual path.

Similarly, the Mahasiddha Sanctuary can be understood in various ways. In the absolute sense, it is the unconditional, luminous essence that dwells within all beings. On another level, it is the physical form of a sanctuary in a truly blessed place, the birthplace of the Buddha. It is also a beautiful image that evokes serenity, radiance, inner peace, and true stillness.

His Eminence has stated that he is doing much more than building a temple in Lumbini. In some sense, this is Rinpoche’s opportunity to share the healing message of the Buddha with countless beings throughout the world. Rinpoche has said many times, “It is important to build temples, especially in pilgrimage sites such as Lumbini. However, it is essential for all of us to build a temple of awareness and peace within our own hearts. Wherever we go, whatever we do, we can always be inseparable with this temple within.”

In this way, building a physical temple is a skillful means to create virtuous karma and to help us reconnect to the glorious temple within our own hearts.