Author Topic: What are the Benefits of Building a Monastery/Shrine/Chapel/Temples?  (Read 7065 times)

dsiluvu

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AFTER READING THIS... MAKES ME WANNA GO BUILT A DORJE SHUGDEN SHRINE/CHAPEL/TEMPLE!!!

Even insects that get killed under the feet, under the rocks or whatever, during the building of a temple, will never get reborn in lower realms, they will be reborn in higher realms, such as the devas!



In the sutra, Mindfulness, Buddha’s teaching, it is mentioned that making statues, temples and places for Sangha, with bedding and other needs, makes one’s life go from happiness to happiness. All the future lives will be always in happiness, going from virtue to virtue, always positive; not just being born human and having ordinary pleasures, not just that—virtue to virtue means having a virtuous life. Even for 1000 ten million eons the virtue collected by having provided these things will never get lost; so you see, it is unbelievable merit.

As Buddha advised King Sangyal regarding the benefits of building monasteries. “Any human being building Buddha’s temple, even while still in samsara, in future lives will always have incredible wealth, like radiating palaces, like the king of devas.” That includes power and so forth. “In all the lives you will have happiness, will get good rebirth, and will create good karma in the next lives. While experiencing the result for ten millions of eons, all the time you will enjoy your life, with joyful mind, with no sorrow, and in the end will achieve the state of peace, the cessation of suffering and its causes.”

Then also in the sutra it says, showing the ripening aspect result of the karma, “Anybody who builds a temple, without doubt in the future lives will become king. You will do the work for many transmigratory beings, many sentient beings.” Then, “You are harmonious with all sentient beings,” everybody is harmonious with you, they like you. If everybody is harmonious with you, you can benefit them, bring them to enlightenment.

Also the great Indian yogi, Nagden Pawo said, “To establish a temple for the mighty aryan beings (Sangha) of Shakyamuni Buddha, soothing somebody with the words, ‘please help to build,’ ‘please donate,’ ‘please give a hand with the work’…”—any group of people who help to build a monastery, even during sleep, while standing up, eating, whatever they do, the merit of building the temple continuously increases, immeasurably.

Another Indian pundit, whose name I am not sure of, mentioned, “Even the insects that get killed under the feet, under the rocks or whatever, during the building of a temple, because the temple is the hall of the Buddha, will never get reborn in lower realms, they will be reborn in higher realms, such as the devas. Why? Because they died for the work of a temple of Buddha.” This is mainly due to the power of Buddha having ceased all the gross and subtle defilements and having completed all the realizations, due to Buddha’s inconceivable qualities. It is said that even the negative karma of anyone who is touched by the smoke from food being cooked for the workers gets purified. Again, it is the power of Buddha.

So it is extremely worthwhile to build a monastery. Here it is not just a temple but a place for sentient beings, especially monks, to do practices to purify the mind, collect merit and actualize the path. As well, it is providing for the needs of the monks, rooms and so forth. Helping physically or in whatever way one can offers unbelievable merit and purification.

Lung.shi, the Vinaya, explains how to define the existence of the holy Dharma: “As long as the activities of the Vinaya are done precisely, the teaching of the holy Dharma is existing.” If the activities of the Vinaya are not practiced, such as the so.jong gaya, it is not Buddhadharma, the holy Dharma has degenerated. It happened before but now it’s not happening.

Emphasizing the importance, Lama Tsongkhapa explained: “All the Buddha’s teachings come into the Tripitaka, the Three Baskets; the essence it reveals is of three types and the very beginning, the foundation is morality. That is the Vinaya.” It says, “The holy Dharma taught well, as explained in many of the Vinaya teachings, the learned one understands well the higher and lower stages of the teaching of Buddha”—I think the levels of the ordination vows—“So why not enjoy that?”

Another great Tibetan Lama from Amdo, Kalmen Gyatso, said, “The means to benefit the general teaching of Buddha and the sentient beings depends on the existence of the pure field, Sangha. Therefore, if one benefits monastic discipline with skilful means, the traditional practice of Vinaya will last a long time.”


Big Uncle

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Yes, there is tremendous merits for creating powerful and beneficial Buddhist institutions because they are physical locations from which the Dharma can be propagated. However, the motivation must be set right and there's a legendary tale that cautions against the building of such religious sites for other than Dharmic reasons.


Encounter with Emperor Xiao Yan
The Anthology of the Patriarchal Hall tells us that in 527 during the Liang Dynasty, Bodhidharma, the first Patriarch of Chan, visited the Emperor Wu (Emperor Xiao Yan (posthumous name Wudi) of Liang  China), a fervent patron of Buddhism:

Emperor Wu: "How much karmic merit have I earned for ordaining Buddhist monks, building monasteries, having sutras copied, and commissioning Buddha images?"
Bodhidharma: "None. Good deeds done with worldly intent bring good karma, but no merit."
Emperor Wu: "So what is the highest meaning of noble truth?"
Bodhidharma: "There is no noble truth, there is only void."
Emperor Wu: "Then, who is standing before me?"
Bodhidharma: "I know not, Your Majesty."

After Bodhidharma left, the Emperor asked the official in charge of the Imperial Annals about the encounter. The Official of the Annals then asked the Emperor if he still denied knowing who Bodhidharma was? When the Emperor said he didn't know, the Official said, "This was the Great-being Guanyin (i.e., the Mahasattva Avalokitesvara) transmitting the imprint of the Buddha's Heart-Mind."

The Emperor regretted his having let Bodhidharma leave and was going to dispatch a messenger to go and beg Bodhidharma to return. The Official then said, "Your Highness, do not say to send out a messenger to go fetch him. The people of the entire nation could go, and he still would not return."

This encounter was included as the first koan of the koan-collection The Blue Cliff Record.
« Last Edit: July 12, 2012, 05:40:47 PM by Big Uncle »

Tenzin K

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The Buddha taught that the supreme means of accumulating merit and wisdom through our body, speech, and mind is through building monasteries and teaching centers, especially where there have been none before. Of the three types of generosity—material generosity, generosity of giving protection, and generosity of giving the Dharma—the highest is Dharma generosity.

But just wishing to provide the Dharma is not enough—there must be a place for people who need the Dharma to meet. Once the monastery is completed, it will not be a place where only one person comes; it will be a place where thousands of people come. And it will not be a place where only one person teaches, as there will be many different teachers. And with many teachers and limitless students meeting in a place where there was no monastery ever before, there is a tremendous benefit. The peerless benefit of making the teachers and the Dharma available continues not for one day or a year, but for generations. And within those generations, the benefit that comes from this project will be limitless.
There is a reason why the Buddha said that building teaching centers and monasteries where none existed before is a supreme means of accumulating merit. When you truly help one individual through material generosity, or protection, or by giving the Dharma, there is a great benefit indeed. But the help that you are providing is to only one person. When you build a monastery, you benefit countless beings, and the merit that you accumulate is supreme.

Even when there is no teaching going on within the monastery, by simply being there it inspires the mind and develops the devotion of people who visit. Through such inspiration, people come to follow the path and are led to its fruition; this could be the result of their initial contact with the monastery and the Dharma. The merit in this is beyond any conception.

Dorje Pakmo

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It is greatly meritorious for one to be able to build a temple. One first must have enough merit for such good Karma to begin with! The Temple, a holy place that shelters the Buddha statues, scriptures, Dharma text, the Sangha and a place where the sacred teachings of the Buddha are being taught to benefit so many,  a place where actual healing of the mind begins.

All true happiness comes from the teaching of the Buddha, which was passed down to all the holy Gurus before our time who in turn learned, practiced and  taught down from generations to generations. Building a place that enables and continues the holy teachings of the Buddha to benefit so many others. Oh my…. One must be very very lucky for such wonderful task that can continuously generate and accumulate good merits as long as the temple remains. Even when the temple is gone for whatever reason, the lives and minds which had benefited and in turn benefit others will continue to generate good merits for the individuals who have built it.

Hence, taking on a project, funding, contributing with effort and donating to establish a temple is greatly meaningful and beneficial. It creates the cause for one’s good rebirth in order for him/her to continue benefitting others. It is said by building road leading to the temple for the ease of people coming to learn the teachings of Lord Buddha can prolong one's life, or the person he/she dedicate the merit towards.


Quote
In the sutra, Mindfulness, Buddha’s teaching, it is mentioned that making statues, temples and places for Sangha, with bedding and other needs, makes one’s life go from happiness to happiness. All the future lives will be always in happiness, going from virtue to virtue, always positive; not just being born human and having ordinary pleasures, not just that—virtue
to virtue means having a virtuous life. Even for 1000 ten million eons the virtue collected by having provided these things will never get lost; so you see, it is unbelievable merit.
DORJE PAKMO