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Words of Wisdom

Selections from Compassionate Action by Chatral Sangye Dorje Rinpoche (vegetarian), Part 1 of 2

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Born in Tibet in 1913, Chatral Sangye Dorje Rinpoche left home as a young teen, traveling on foot to study and practice with several highly respected spiritual Masters of the time. After briefly serving as a personal guru to Tibet’s Regent-king, he cast aside worldly life once again and spent years meditating alone in mountain caves. This was how he received the name “Chatral,” which means hermit. As a strict vegetarian himself, Chatral Rinpoche also rescued millions of fish that had been destined for slaughter by purchasing them and then releasing them into a protected area of the Indian Ocean. During his life and since his passing at age 102, Chatral Sangye Dorje Rinpoche is considered among the most highly realized Tibetan Buddhist Masters.

We will now share with you excerpts from “Compassionate Action” as Chatral Sangye Dorje Rinpoche briefly explains the benefits of building a Buddha stupa and the gains that the faithful ones are able to derive from prostrating, making offerings and circumambulating it.

“In the sutra The Way of Distinguishing it is said: The Buddha told the young Brahmin Naytso, ‘There are eighteen benefits of building a Tathagata stupa. What are these eighteen? One will be born as the child of a great king. One will have an excellent body. One will become very beautiful and attractive. One will develop a very sharp intellectual capacity. One will become widely renowned. One will have a great entourage of servants. One will become a leader of people. One will be a support to others. One’s greatness will be expounded in the ten directions. One will be able to extensively express whatever one wishes in word and verse. One will be worshipped by Gods. One will possess many riches. One will obtain the kingdom of a universal monarch. One will have a long life. One’s body will be like a collection of vajras. One’s body will be endowed with the major and minor marks of a Buddha. One will take rebirth in the three higher realms. One will swiftly attain complete Nirvana. These are the eighteen benefits of building a Tathagata stupa.’”

“In the Sutra of the White Lotus of the Sacred Dharma, it says: Walls are made from mud and bricks and a stupa of the Victorious One is made likewise. Therefore, even if made by a simple heap of dust in a remote place of despair, or if a child playing games makes one from a mound of sand, whomever simply builds one on the account of the Victorious One, all of them will attain enlightenment.” “Whoever makes a melodic music offering at a Buddha stupa will have an abundance of courageous eloquence in profundity and knowledge, their physical body will be perfect and their mind and speech pure. Their voices will fill the world.”

“In the Decisive Verses on Circumambulating a Stupa, it is said: The excellent qualities of circumambulating a stupa of the Buddha, Protector of the World, cannot be sufficiently described with mere words.”

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