In the past major monasteries in Tibet would have a very large
Shakyamuni Buddha statue that contained the Kangyur in pecha form.
Other monasteries would have a Buddha statue and a wall of bookshelves
containing the Kangyur. Some monastery would have just Kangyur
and by having a copy then be called a Kangyur Lhakang [Kangyur
Temple]. All of these would make the monastery a special place
for practice, visits, and pilgrimages.
Khenpo Gawang Rinpoche thought for many years that with modern
technology it might be possible to bring the tradition of the
statue and the Kangyur into the home and so be available for individuals.
Thanks to microfilm we have accomplished this aspiration reducing
the 103 volumes of the Kangyur to a size that fits into an 7 inch;
As told by Khenpo Gawang Rinpoche:
The whole process of the parts of this statue coming together
was auspicious and I want to thank my friends and students who
made the parts of this statue possible. I was thinking about this
for a long long time. I told this idea of making a statue with
the Kangyur in it to many people. It is my understanding that
this is a unique statue which we want to share with our dharma
friends. May it help and support your practice of dharma and be
an object that helps you to accumulate merit.
Ju Mipham mentioned in Pema Karpo [White Lotus], the supportive
text to the sadhana [practice] named The Treasury of Blessing
of the Liturgy of the Muni, that a statue or thangka the size
of an outstretched hand, which is about 7inches, is an excellent
focal point for practicing this text or for shamatha meditation.
During the time of the British occupation of India, Buddha's
bone relics were found during an archeological dig. The British
government gave these relics to Thailand since the Thai king was
Buddhist. Later the Thai king gave part of these bone relics back
to India in a beautiful pagoda. This pagoda can be seen at The
National Museum in New Delhi.
Later the Bhutanese ambassador to India was given a small amount
of these relics. The tiny bit of these precious relics mixed with
sacred substances and placed in these statues is from that part
of the relics. My good friend, Khenpo Yeshe Gyaltsen Rinpoche,
provided me these very precious relics.
Buddha's bone relics, along with other substances, are mixed
into earth from eight holy places of Buddhism. These sites are:
Lumbini, his birth place, in Nepal; Bodhgaya, the place in India
where he achieved enlightenment; Sarnath, where he delivered his
first teaching; Kusinagar, where he passed into Parinirvana, Shravasti,
where he spent the largest amount of time, Rajgir, where he taught
the Prajnaparamita [Perfection of Wisdom]; Sankasia, where he
descended from the Tushita Pure Land after having taught his deceased
mother and Vaishali, where he ordained the first nuns.
Another good friend of mine, Khenpo Sonam Thenphel Rinpoche,
requested His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama to write the mantra
of Buddha Shakyamuni for placement into this statue.
My classmate, Khenpo Pasang Tendzin Rinpoche, was in Bodgaya.
I asked him to try to find some bodhi leaves from the Bodhi tree.
He sent Bodhi leaves along with a set of robes that are offered
daily to cover the Mahabodhi Buddha Statue in Bodhgaya.
We started looking for microfilm. Candia Ludy and Debbie Burch
found Linco Micro-Image Systems, Inc. through
the sangha of Lama Zopa Rinpoche. Linco was kind enough to prepare
a complete Dergé Kangyur for these statues.
My nephew, Lopon Kunzang Nyima, was in Chengdu, China and I
ask him to research possibilities of making a Buddha statue. I
sent a photo of the Mahabodhi Buddha Statue to him which he took
to a good foundry. When he showed the photo to them they recognized
it immediately and pointed to a large statue they were making
of the same one.