honoring RAMA in Nepal
conducted on October 19, 1999
picture illustrates the type of service which was held. The
Reported Directly From the RamaLila.Net Message Board:
October 19, 1999:
. . . Fortunately someone had the foresight to arrange for tiered layers of bricks to be created under a tin roof overhang...10,800 butterlamps is a most amazing number. They had to start days ahead to set them out and put the wicks in and pour the butter oil into each of them individually. It was a lot of work for them to do and this is in a culture where they do not use wheelbarrows because that would reduce the number of laborers and the need for people to work to eat is very real...so all the bricks and baskets of lamps were hand-carried. I was not used to seeing so much hand labor...they were all very sensitive to it being for a Buddhist project and put a nice energy into it.
It was an interesting structure on the grounds in Nepal where a new monastery will be built (with a retreat house open for both Asian and Westerners)...this is in a valley with 8 sacred mountains and near a cave Padmasambhva used to meditate in. We got to hike one day over to the cave and go into it...his handprint is in the outside wall and the energy inside the cave is quite intense and magical...
So the first day was Earth Blessings, second day VajrakaliaEmpowerment (for clearing out impurities) and this is the region P. was in when he did Vajrakalia, third day was Guru Rinpoche Empowerment with the Memorial for Rama with the 10,800 butterlamps in the evening...so it was placed in a prominent position of honor.
There was a large color framed photo of Rama (a nice one with him in a Western suit and tie) and a kata was placed over that. This was put in the midst of one section of the brick tiers. This photo stayed behind after the butterlamps had burned, so perhaps they will include it somewhere in the new facility...also 2 posters of Rama were hung up, one of him in a Snowboarding pose and one of him in a rock leather outfit.
The Rinpoche who was conducting the various Buddhist ceremonies lit the first few lamps accompanied by his 2 sons who are also very advanced beings...he said some words which were translated about Rama's great kindness to his students...it was very deep the respect he was giving to Rama's enlightenment...for me I felt they were giving him full military honors...It is not that they thought Rama needed butterlamps...the butterlamps were lit for us to say prayers and make offerings with...we prayed for particular friends/family and of course for all sentient beings everywhere.
They allowed all the Rama students and guests to lit 108 butterlamps each. The Samurai CD played in the background (which has Rama's voice talking on it at times) and the rain poured on the tin roof as we lit them. It was really interesting having the fire, water, earth, air elements so at play..
There were open air tents that we sat in on chairs as we watched the others lit their sets of butterlamps. The monks also went up and lit butterlamps. The laborers who had worked on creating the platforms were allowed to lit butterlamps...everyone in the community helped light them, so small children lit them, everyone present lit them...some of the monks did full prostrations in front of Rama's photo. Later on we gave some of Rama's books & music to some of the Europeans who had come, so news of Rama will spread back to Europe via some of them.
We all had katas and knotted them together into one long kata and each said prayers silently while holding their part of the long kata, starting with the Rinpoche and going out through the monks and students and guests and all the way again even down to the laborers, to indicate that we were all connected in the heart of all the enlightened teachers...they did a special chanting for Rama which was very beautiful.
Someone took a video camera and I believe his film will be eventually available for sale through the Ripa Ladrang Foundation, so people will be able to view/hear it that way...I'm told it turned out well.
We were allowed to sit and meditate in the tent as the rain fell and the butterlamps glowed. I felt it was a very special journey into the heart of Rama and just so cool to be allowed to make a display of our feelings for him in a setting where he was accepted by other Buddhists. It was very much a celebration of his enlightenment. I felt very honored to get to witness it.
I'm told people who meditated long distance during this time definitely felt a lot of light come in...and I'm told people meditated in New York, out in the desert, all over...
Thanks to everyone who participated....when I got back home and looked up at the Rama poster in my room, there was definitely good energy coming at me from it!!
I hope this helps share some of it with you...
May Rama's blessings and wishes for all you be accelerated and all obstacles to the spread of his enlightenment removed.