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The Bodhimanda of Buddhas in the Five Directions
Where did the idea of this bodhimanda of the Buddhas in the five directions originate? In 1992, Professor Zhang from Beijing visited CTTB and stayed for some time, several months to one or two years. His expertise was designing Buddhist temples. The Venerable Master invited him to design the Wonderful Enlightenment Sagely Monastery including the Buddha Hall.
First, Professor Zhang asked Venerable Master, “Master, to which Buddha or Bodhisattva should this Buddha Hall be dedicated?” The Venerable Master replied, “The Buddha Hall of the Wonderful Enlightenment Sagely Monastery will be dedicated to the Buddhas of the Five Directions.” This is where the idea originated.
Actually, everyone can support this project of monastery construction. One need not be a donor or volunteer. If we say some good words or praise out of sympathetic joy, that counts too. There is a saying, “If we have a compassionate mouth and a skillful tongue, we can create merit whether or not we have money.”
Another way of supporting the project is to get to know the names of the Five Buddhas and their significance. If we can offer respect to the Five Buddhas, understand their merits and virtues, then follow them in our practice, this can also transform our bad habits. This is to “transform the consciousness into wisdom.” In addition, some refer to the Buddhas in the five directions as the Buddhas of the Five Wisdoms or the Tathagatas of the Five Wisdoms. If one’s consciousness is transformed into wisdom, one “enters” the Buddha’s views and knowledge, and that is the best way to support the monastery.