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Jul 31, 2009

Global Pagoda and the Power of Giving

To give for the welfare of all beings, without expecting anything in return, is the highest welfare one can gain. This is a law of nature, in the pure Dhamma tradition, that a Vipassana student directly experiences: the one who gives feels most grateful to the one who accepts.

"The gift of Dhamma Dāna, that leads to the welfare and liberation of beings from all suffering, is the highest gift," said Gotama the Buddha, as did wise people of the past and present.

" Dāna, when given with pure volition, is highly beneficial and makes our unhealthy minds healthy," says Principal Vipassana teacher Sayagyi U Goenka. "When one gives dāna, the mind which is filled with avarice, harshness, enmity, selfishness, miserliness, and dullness, becomes noble, gentle, tender, tranquil, generous, virtuous and lively."

More important that the quantity of dāna is the quality of the volition of the mind when giving, as Goenkaji explains in "Right Volition Of Dāna".

One gives to reduce the ego and be happier, not to increase suffering by increasing one's ego.

Grateful Vipassana students start experiencing such benefits of the laws of nature at a deeper level. By giving, we gain. We also realize how one loses absolutely nothing by donating services, time, money and the mental volition "may all beings be happy." Instead one feels much stronger, happier and more secure.

The best investment in life that one can make is a Dhamma investment. Dhamma takes good care, now and in future.

The Global Pagoda presents a rare oppurtunity to share all the benefits one has gained. To participate in such a project that is emerging to benefit humanity for millennia, is an invaluable chance of a lifetime.

"To give dāna, with the right volition of mind, is the fundamental duty of householders, " says Sayagyi U Goenka. "In the ancient spiritual tradition of India, dāna has always had special importance."

Fortunately, these weakened ancient traditions are returning, gaining strength and leading to a more prosperous India. That the Global Pagoda has been built with voluntary donations is another proof of such beneficial ancient traditions returning to immensely benefit India, Asia and all countries in the world. The next phase of work in the Global Pagoda is in progress. May all beings benefit from it.

Jul 30, 2009

The Etymology of 'Pagoda'

The Global Pagoda in Mumbai represents an ancient tradition of paying respects to Dhamma in the pure form - as instructed by the Sammasambuddha. This by not just enshrining the relics of the Sammasambuddha Gotama, but by enabling a facility to practice Vipassana meditation. In the past two years, the Global Pagoda has created history by enabling thousands of Vipassana students to meditate together under the bone relics of a sammasambuddha. Vipassana students meditate in the main dome hall of the Global Pagoda daily, and in one-day courses every Sunday.

Principal Vipassana teacher Sayaygi U S.N.Goenka explains the significance of the Global Pagoda:

"There is an ancient belief that whenever the construction of a pagoda is started, it should be completed, particularly a Pagoda in which the sacred relics of the Buddha will be enshrined. The Global Pagoda will proclaim our boundless gratitude towards our great benefactor Sayagyi U Ba Khin.

For hundreds and thousands of years to come, the people of India and the entire world will remember this great saint from Myanmar whose sole strong Dhamma desire was that the non-sectarian practice of Vipassana, which had been preserved in Myanmar for thousands of years, should return to India and benefit India and the entire world.

This Pagoda dedicated to him will inspire innumerable people towards Dhamma. The merits acquired by any assistance given for its construction will be truly priceless, invaluable."

The Vipassana Research Institute explains etymology (history of a word) of 'pagoda':

The popular term ‘pagoda’ is neither from Pali or Sanskrit nor from Hindi or any other Indian language. It is not from the Sri Lankan, Myanmar, Thai, Cambodian, Laotian, Chinese or Japanese languages. Let us see how it originated.The thūpa in which the relics of the Buddha or any arahant is enshrined was called dhātu-gabbha (dhātu=relics, gabbha=interior, cavity, cavern, womb).

With the passage of time, all thūpas began to be called dhātugabbha. Later this became corrupted to dhagabbha or dhagobā or dagobā. A few centuries ago, when Portuguese sailors first came to the east, they did not see any thūpas in India but they saw thūpas in many places in Sri Lanka. They asked the local people and were told that these were dagobā. They found it difficult to pronounce this new word and started to call dagobā as pagodā.

Later when they went to other nations that practice the Buddha's teaching, they saw many thūpas there which they called pagodā. As time passed, the thūpas that were earlier called cetiya, cedīgo or thūpa were all called pagodā. Later on, the term pagodā became popular not just among foreigners but also among the local inhabitants.

* Why the Global Vipassana Pagoda
* Making of the Global Pagoda 
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Jul 28, 2009

Global Pagoda Development Projects

Basic construction of the Global Vipassana Pagoda is now complete. It took 11 years to build, and apart from the cost of land, about Rs. 800 million (US $16.8 million) have been spent in the construction of the Pagoda.

Many Vipassana students and yet-to-be students from India and around the world have personally contributed to the Global Pagoda, and gained boundless merits.

The Global Vipassana Pagoda is unique among the historical monuments in the world. It is essential that the inspiring size of the Pagoda should be matched by its elegant, pleasing surroundings. Facilities have to be provided for the convenience and comfort of visitors.

So a major portion of developmental projects of the Pagoda are still pending. Therefore, all connected with the spread of Dhamma in their individual capacity, as well as all Vipassana centres, may avail themselves of the rare opportunity to earn merits by participating in the remaining beautification projects of the Pagoda.

Important remaining projects are:

1. External finishes to the Global Vipassana Pagoda

Putting up ornamental designs on the Pagoda, decorating the canopy, canopy pillars, verses (dohas) on the Pagoda walls, and golden painting of the Pagoda. The Parikrama path (around the Pagoda) will be laid with a special kind of marble, donated from Burma, whose temperature will change according to the weather - being cooler on hot days, and warmer on cold days, to ease walking barefoot.
Estimated cost of completion of these projects is Rs. 20 million (US$ 420,000).

2. Landscaping around the Global Vipassana Pagoda

Landscaping the outer areas of the Pagoda, building parks and roads, laying water lines etc. will require about Rs. 25 million (US $ 530,000).

3. Art Gallery and Welcome Hall

An Art Gallery on the Buddha’s life and a Welcome Hall will be built at an estimated cost of Rs. 20 million (US $420,000).

4. Small Pagoda - South of the Global Vipassana Pagoda

This small pagoda will be connected to Dhamma Pattana Vipassana Centre with a cell complex spread over four stories. 108 cells have been planned. The construction of each cell in this air-conditioned Pagoda is estimated at Rs. 150,000 (US $3,200).

4. Construction of Small Pagoda on the South Side of the main dome

This small Pagoda will be connected to the Dhamma Pattana Vipassana Centre, with a cell complex spread over four stories. 108 cells have been planned. The construction of each cell in this air-conditioned Pagoda is estimated at Rs.150,000 (US $3,200).

5. Construction of Guest Houses

Guest houses are essential to ensure the comfort of visitors to the Global Vipassana Pagoda. The cost of each twin-sharing room in these guest houses has been estimated at Rs. 600,000 (US $ 12,600).

All are welcome to share the merits of the above projects.

1. Donations by cheque/draft favoring: ‘Global Vipassana Foundation’ payable at Mumbai can be sent to the following address: Kamlesh Vikamsey, Khimji Kunverji & Co., Sir P. M.
Road , Fort, Mumbai 400 001. India Tel: 91-22-2266-2550.

2. Donations through Core Banking: Donations to "Global Vipassana Foundation" can now be remitted from anywhere in India through any branch of the Bank of India under core banking system. Global Vipassana Foundation, Bank of India, Stock Exchange Branch, Fort, Mumbai 400023. S.B. A/c No.
008610100011244 MICR No. 400013051. IFSC Code: BKID0000086

3. Donations from outside India through SWIFT transfer
Name of the Bank: Bank of India. S.B. A/c. No.: 008610100011250. Address: Stock Exchange Branch, Jejeebhoy Towers, Dalal Street, Fort, Mumbai -400 023, India

The Bank has instructed the following for remittance: From USA – Union Bank of California International - New York has account code BOFCUS33NYK for transferring the funds to Bank of India to Mumbai (Bombay) Treasury Branch – US # Account No. 912002201121 and further transferring this sum to Bank of India – Stock Exchange Branch. Their Swift Code Number is BKIDINBBABLD. Instruction may be given to transfer this sum to Global Vipassana Foundation S.B. A/c No. 008610100011250.

Please send copy to kamlesh@kkc.in with name and contact details so that the receipt can be sent to you.

http://www.globalpagoda.org/donation

Myanmar Guest House in the Global Pagoda

There is no facility for travellers who come from distant places to visit the Global Vipassana Pagoda to stayovernight. Therefore, the people of Myanmar have decided tobuild a guest house in the Global Vipassana Pagoda.
The Foundation Stone of the guest-house will be laid on 1 November 2009 (Sunday). On this occasion, Principal Vipassana teacher S.N Goenkaji will give a public talk in the presence of distinguished guests from Myanmar. All Vipassana students are cordially invited to attend with their family and friends.

One-day Course with Goenkaji, on October 4, 2009

A one-day Vipassana course with Principal Teacher Sayagyi U S.N. Goenka is being held on 4 October 2009, Sunday, (from 11 am to 4 pm) in the main dome of the Global Vipassana Pagoda, Mumbai, India.

For registration, contact: Mr.Jadhav (between 10 am to 6 pm), Mobile: 98928-55692,98928-55945; Tel: (022) 2845-2104, 2845-1182; Email:global.oneday@gmail.com or globalvipassana@gmail.com;

NB Registration for the above course is compulsory. [ One-day courses are only for students who have already taken a 10-day Vipassana course, as taught by Sayagyi U S.N.Goenka in the tradition of Sayagyi U Ba Khin. New students may kindly contact a convenient Vipassana course centre to register for a residential 10-day Vipassana beginner's course. ]

Note: Students may register or update their mobile phone numbers and Email Ids at the above contact address so that they can be informed of future programmes.