Kechara is superfluous!

26 January 2011 - 3:51am Comments Off

Question:

Kechara has many lavish buildings and locations. Why do we need something so expensive for the Dharma? Can’t it be much simpler and less expensive?

Answer:

This can be answered on many levels. On one level, the perceived lavishness is actually an offering to the Buddhas. In the scriptures, it is said that when Buddha Shakyamuni arrived at any destination in India, there were huge festivities and much celebration. Why? It was because they were welcoming a being with the ability to help them achieve the highest potential any human being can aspire to.

The Buddhas have the method to real and lasting happiness, therefore should we not offer up the best that we can?

We can offer up money and other worldly pleasures to VIPs or influential people who can help us in our business, so why should we not go all the way when we are talking about the Buddhas whose teachings can give us TRUE and LASTING happiness?

In the past, practitioners gave up even their flesh to receive teachings. This is because they knew the benefits and preciousness of hearing such profound teachings.

Although we cannot see the Buddhas coming, according to the lamrim, the Buddhas do come when we do our prayers and make our requests. Therefore we should try to invite the Buddhas to a place that is beautiful and well-maintained.

A beautiful environment is an offering from the students because it is not just about the money. A beautiful environment is an offering because it takes a lot of care and dedication to ensure the building is renovated on time, and to a high standard. It takes a lot of devotion to ensure the building is pleasant to the senses, and that it is maintained that way. This effort from the students is an offering.

People in this degenerate age are filled with much desire, and are generally attracted to beautiful forms and items. My experience suggests that the smallest imperfection can turn a person away from the Dharma, or cause them not to be able to connect with the Buddhadharma. Hence all care must be taken to ensure the environment is as comfortable as possible, so people can focus on the real treasure, which is the Dharma. By caring to make things beautiful as we can, we train our minds to always do the best for others, because the key to happiness is making others happy.

The Buddhas certainly do not need our offerings or nice environments, but by making nice offerings and creating beautiful environments, we are also creating the causes for the Dharma to grow and for us to be reborn in pleasant environments in the future.

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