DEDICATED TO REVIVING THE BUDDHADHARMA IN INDIA
Light of the Buddhadharma International as founded in 2006 by the Venerable Tarthang Rinpoche, Head Lama of Tibetan Nyingma Meditation Center. Its founding purpose is to revitalize the Buddhadharma in India. We accomplish this goal by supporting pilgrimages and religious ceremonies, supporting the preservation and restoration of shrines and cultural artifacts, supporting research into the understanding of texts, practices and symbols of Buddhism, and by promoting mutual respect among all beings through the worldwide cooperation of men and women of good will. LBDFI is a 501(c)3 registered charity in California, and has operating subsidiaries in Thailand and India. LBDFI-India has FCRA clearance to receive foreign donations for work in India.
WORKING IN THE ARYADESH
India is the heartland of the Buddhadharma, the land of the Aryadesh. As recorded in the Vinaya, the Buddha walked and taught in a region approximately 400 miles in size, visiting important centers many times during his long ministry. This gave rise to the tradition of the eight great pilgrimage sites, ancient places which form the focus of the work of LBDFI.
In the Parinirvāna sutra, the Blessed One encouraged his followers to visit four places after his passing, so as to strengthen their faith and practice. These four were Lumbini, his birthplace , Bodhgaya, the place of his enlightenment, Sarnath, the place where he first taught the Dharma, and Kusingar, where he passed away.
In the early period of Buddhist India, these locations were joined by four others to make a set of eight major pilgrimage sites. Sankasya was venerated as the location where the Buddha came to earth following the third rains retreat where he had taught the Abhidamma to his mother in the Tushita heaven; Rajgir was added as the place of the miracle of the Elephant; Vaishali was added as the place of the miracle of the offering of honey, and Sravasti as the place of the miracle of the pairs.
These sites, great centers of Buddhist activity in the early period, were marked by columns and edicts by the great Emperor Asoka when he became ruler of India some 150 years after the passing of the Blessed One.
Spreading out from these centers, Buddhist India became a powerhouse of prosperity and culture. The capital of Buddhist India, Pataliputra, was six times larger than Rome. Critical philosophy was developed in the great Buddhist university of Nalanda, one thousand years before the western tradition.,The remains of Buddhist India are simply staggering. The State of Bihar alone contains over 10,000 recorded Buddhist sites, and major discoveries are still being made all across the subcontinent.
PRAYER GATHERINGS AT EACH SACRED SITE
Over the past ten years, we have been working to develop a historic mission, that of restoring Buddhism in its ancient heartland of India. The initial focus has been to promote the annual International Tipitaka Chanting Ceremony, which now attracts over five thousand monks and nuns from nine countries to recite the Buddha’s teachings every year at the site of his enlightenment. This ceremony has recommenced the great tradition of chanting the Pali Canon in Bodhgaya, a tradition that had lapsed for 700 years. Chanting ceremonies are held in Bodh Gaya, Nagpur, Delhi, Sankasya, and Kusinagar within India, and at the Tooth Relic Temple in Kandy, Sri Lanka, the Borobudur stupa in Indonesia, the Schwedigan pagoda in Myanmar, and in Washington DC and our headquarters in Berkeley California USA. In 2017, we will hold chanting ceremonies in Vaishali and Sravasti, and sponsor the first ever international gathering of Mahayana monks in Rajgir.
BEAUTIFICATION OF HOLY PLACES
The second element of our work has involved us in the beautification of the holy places, the places where the Lord Buddha walked and taught. Over the past ten years, we have installed eight five ton dharma bells in the great sites of Buddhist pilgrimage, re-gilded the spire of the Mahabodhi Mahavihara, constructed eight dedicated butterlamp houses to support the offering of lamps at the Mahabodhi, installed two public toilets in the township of Bodhgaya, initiated a clean up program with daily rubbish collection in Bodhgaya and are finishing a major reconstruction of the South Garden of the Mahabodhi Mahavihara, the UNESCO world heritage site that marks the site of the Buddha’s enlightenment.
LBDFI has also been at the forefront of encouraging pilgrimage walks through the ancient landscape of Buddhism. Appointed as an official consultant to the World Bank, the Foundation has advised on walking pathways in Sarnath, Sravasti and Kusinagar. Furthermore, LBDFI has recently embarked on a major collaboration with the Earth Day Network to create a walking pathway through the pristine Jethian Valley linking Bodhgaya to Rajgir alongside the planting of ten million trees in a world first for environmental and spiritual regeneration.
LBDFI has been granted permission to create a beautiful meditation garden in the South Quadrant of the Mahabodhi Mahavihara, the World Heritage site that marks the place of the Buddha’s enlightenment.
If you are interested in joining a team of landscapers and gardeners and would like to offer your services to helping construct this garden, please do contact us.
FREE DISTRIBUTION OF DHARMA BOOKS
LBDFI has been continuously distributing Dharma texts without charge since its inception in 2006. Since that date, the foundation has given copies of the Pali canon to all attendees of the International Tipitaka chanting ceremony in seven different national fonts. These volumes are printed by its sister organization Dharma Publishing in the USA, and shipped to India every year. In 2015 the Foundation entered a collaboration with the Buddha Education Foundation of Taiwan and received 3000 copies of ‘What the Buddha Taught’ for free distribution. In 2016 this relationship was expanded with the distribution of 4000 copies of the Dhammapada in English and Hindi. Close to 40,000 Buddhist books have been given away for free. All books can be downloaded on our website.
DHARMA TRAINING WHEEL
With the support of Khyentse Foundation, LBDFI is now organizing chanting ceremonies in all of the great sites of pilgrimage and hundreds of Indian monks are participating. In 2016, LBDFI organized prayer ceremonies in Bodhgaya, New Dehli, Sarnath, Sankasya and Kusingar. In 2017 these gatherings will be joined by ceremonies in Sravasti, Vaishali and Rajgir. Each one of these events involves chanting the Buddha’s Word from the Pali Canon, with dharma talks given every evening and a dharma pilgrimage at the end. We just completed a short film of this new initiative. Click here to view it!
The cycle of events held in Northern India creates a Dharma training wheel, in which all participating monks are invited to come to Bodhgaya every December, where the recitation of the Vinaya is held (Pratimoka) in a special ceremony that was inaugurated for the first time in 2016. This is the first time for over 1000 years that Buddhist monks from all over India have gathered to recite their vows in a single gathering. Evening talks are offered on aspects of the Vinaya, and workshops will be added in 2017 to offer further training for members of the India Sangha.
ARYA SANGHA TRAINING PROGRAM
LBDFI recently announced a major initiative to train a new generation of Indian monks so that they can build on the foundations of our work and teach the Dharma to the Indian population at large! LBDFI sponsored the first annual conference on the training of Indian monks in Bodhgaya this year, and linking this to the formation of the Arya Sangha Training program, in which groups of Indian monks will be offered three years training in Sutra in Sri Lanka, followed by training for three years in Thailand on Vinaya (monastic discipline) and finally three years of training in meditation in Myanmar.
DEVELOPING THE JETHIAN PILGRIMAGE
Over the past four years, LBDFI has been developing the Jethian pilgrimage walk, which traces the steps the Blessed One took from Gaya to Rajgir in the months following the enlightenment. Furthermore, LBDFI has recently embarked on a major collaboration with the Earth Day Network to create a walking pathway through the pristine Jethian Valley linking Bodhgaya to Rajgir alongside the planting of ten million trees in a world first for environmental and spiritual regeneration.
WAYS YOU CAN HELP:
FOR EVERY SINGLE DOLLAR, WE WILL MATCH YOUR DONATION
OUR IMPACT AND YOUR MATCHING GRANT
As we move forward in this historical mission, we are calling on like-minded individuals to share it with us. Matching grants are available for all of our projects, and we hope to expand our activities through your support. We firmly believe that by nurturing the roots of the great wisdom culture of the Buddhadharma, its branches, like those of the Bodhi Tree itself, will spread offering refuge and benefit to all sentient beings. We have also worked on the historical UNESCO site of the Mahabodhi Mahavihara and will continue to make effort towards the beautification and clean up of this area. Our strong network and excellent relationships with local government allows us to get projects done.
INTERNATIONAL TIPITAKA CHANTING PROGRAM
Dharma Training Wheel in all Sacred Sites of the Blessed One. To create a community of blessings to continue these prayer gatherings at all sacred Sites of the Buddha. Creating the Virtuous conditions for the Dharma to arise in the Motherland of India
ARYA SANGHA TRAINING PROGRAM
LBDFI has now initiated a nine year training program for Indian monks. Candidate monks will be sponsored to spend three years in training centers in Thailand (Vinaya training), Sri Lanka (Sutta Training) and Myanmar (Abhidamma and Meditation training). Each year five monks will be enrolled into this program, and be sponsored to fly to the respective countries, spending nine months in training and three months returning to India to their home viharas. t is hoped over the course of twenty five years 100 monks can be trained in this fashion.
REVIVING THE SACRED JETHIAN VALLEY
By creating a home for the Arya Sangha Training Program, we will be able to offer a place for meditation and training for our Indian bhikkhus. We have the land, but we are looking for special friends in Dharma to lay the foundation of a future home.
COMPLETING THE TAPOVAN GARDENS AT THE MAHABODHI MAHAVIHARA
LBDFI is working to complete the landscaping of a major portion of the World Heritage Temple grounds, and is working with award winning landscape designers to create a meditation garden that overlooks the main Temple itself. This is an ongoing program for all those who love beauty.
CREATING A DOCUMENTARY FILM, EWAM ME SUTTAM
Funding a film which will document the ancient sites associated with the Blessed One along with the significance of the Mahasangha, with attention to the oral tradition of the Theravada. Production to begin Spring 2017-2018
WE ARE COMPLETELY A VOLUNTEER BASED ORGANIZATION
If you would like to help in any way,
please feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
UPCOMING PROGRAMS IN 2017
4th International Tipitaka Chanting Berkeley, CA, USA (Date TBD)
October 31st -November 1st: Dhammachakka Sutra, Sarnath
November 3rd: Dhammapada and Sattipatana Sutra Recitation, New Delhi
November 4th-5th: Sattipatana Conference at Gautam Buddha International
November 7th-9th: Sankasya Abhidhamma Recitation
November 11th-13th: Sarvasti Recitation
November 15th-17th: Kushnigar Recitation: Mahaparinirvana Sutra
November 18th – 20th: Vaisali Chanting
December 1st: International Dharma Conference (Bodh Gaya)
December 2nd-13th: 13th International Tipitaka Chanting (Bodh Gaya)
December 14th-17th: 1st Mahayana Chanting (Rajgir, Nalanda)
December 19th-22nd: 1st Ratnagiri and Udagiri, Orissa Chanting Program (All Three Yanas)
OUR US TEAM
Wangmo Dixey – Executive Director
Richard Dixey – Associate Director
Nelson Chamma – Associate Director
Jack Petranker – Associate Director
Linda Copenhagen-Financial Controller
OUR REGIONAL TEAM
Dr. Disaphol Chansiri (Thailand)
Mr. Rajiv Sharma (India)
Mrs Raji Ramanan (India)
Mr Ranjan Kumar (India)
2018 Alston Way
Berkeley CA 94704
REGISTERD OFFICE LBDFI INDIA/AUDITORS
1 A Vandhana Building, Tolstoy Marg New Delhi, India
REGISTERED OFFICE LBDFI THAILAND
15/3, 6th Floor, Sukhumvit 16
Klongtoey Bankgok 10110, Thailand