Forest Sangha Newsletter July 1995

A Temple Arises; Ajahn Amaro
Conducting the Orchestra of Form; George Sharp
Renunciation & Devotion: Stalk & Fragrance; Ajahn Munindo
Growing the Dhamma Tree; Lay Supporter
Supporting the Project; Krishna Padayachi
Sutta Class: Morality, Transformation & Liberation; Ajahn Sucitto
In Memory of Luang Por Jun: Pt. 1; Sister Sanghamitta
The temple: A space for Right Ritual; Ajahn Sucitto

Signs of Change:


Supporting the Project

Krishna Padayachi was one of the chief fundraisers on the day of the Ground Breaking ceremony in May.

For those with a sense of history, making the connection with our predecessors from antiquity is an exhilarating experience. Whether it is Hadrian's Wall, The Great Wall of China, or the Pyramids, the poignant moment that one experiences when considering - "on this very spot a lonely Roman Centurion perhaps stood, as I am standing now," is a moving one; it is a moment to be savoured.
Upabindunipatena udakumbho'pi purati
just as the falling of raindrops, even a water butt is filled.

The unexpected call from Ajahn Attapemo to attend the planning meetings for the ground breaking ceremony filled me with a sense of awe and humility. The feeling was further reinforced on reading Ajahn Viradhammo's introduction where he reflects on the Amaravati exhibition at the British Museum. The temple project we are embarking on now is something familiar to our ancestors in India. Perhaps the early patrons were of the royal blood but I cannot help feeling that all those connected with the project, be they sculptors, builders, painters, metal workers, were all imbued with the same enthusiasm that we experience today. Perhaps there were fund raisers too -
"Where is the money to come from?"
"How to mobilise resources?"
"How to approach the Anathapindikas of the day?"
At the planning meeting, an idea was mooted to 'sell' some of the Temple posters for donations above a certain amount. But instead, a consensus emerged to provide the opportunity for free giving. I am always overwhelmed by the spontaneous generosity and magnanimity of our supporters, whatever the occasion. Our jobs as official recipients was made easier by the full and enthusiastic participation of all the volunteers and 'backroom' men and women who emptied dana boxes, plied volunteers with numerous cups of coffee to ward off the chill and finally to total up the figures for the day.

The Anumodana certificates, as a formal acknowledgement of generosity, personally signed by Luang Por, were a great hit and were issued for varying amounts, the smallest being 50p and the largest UKL400. A notable feature was the number who made anonymous donations.

The sense of achievement at the end of the day was heightened by the reflection on what might have occurred on a similar occasion, 2500 years ago, perhaps when work on Anathapindika's monastery in Jeta's Grove was started. The ball has been set rolling, slowly but surely and I have no doubt the campaign will gather momentum and our ultimate goal reached.

The Sri Lankan High Commisioner breaking the ground at the epicentre of the Temple; marked by a decorative mandala. He is watched by the Royal Thai Ambassador's representative.