Carving the worldâ€™s largest jade Buddha - from a gem quality jade boulder There are several large jade Buddhas at Buddhist pilgrimage places around the world. Famous jade Buddhas exist at the Shwedagon Pagoda in Myanmar, Wat Phra Kaeo Temple of the Emerald Buddha Thailand and at the Jade Buddha temple in Shanghai.
The Jade Buddha for Universal Peace will arguably be the largest and most beautiful Buddha carved from gemstone quality jade. It will be a wonder of the world and will be a pilgrimage and tourism destination in its own right. The Buddha inside the Mahabodhi Stupa in Bodh Gaya, India will be used as the model for our jade Buddha. This Buddha was chosen because it is universally acceptable to all Buddhists.
The world’s biggest and best boulder of jade “The find of the millenium” The jade Buddha has been carved from the largest gem quality jade boulder ever found. Known as “Polar Pride” this boulder weighs 18 tonnes and is approximately 4 metres long and between 1.5 and 2 metres in diameter. This boulder which was discovered in British Columbia, Canada in the year 2000 has been written up in gem books. As one jade expert has said: “Without doubt, this is the largest piece of gem grade jade found in my lifetime and perhaps the millenium. Without going into too much in the geological formation, it is a very, very rare occurrence.”
Carved by a Jade Master The Jade Buddha for Universal Peace has been carved by a master carver at Thailandâ€™s oldest jade carving factory, Jade Thongtavee. The artwork of the statue is of the highest standard. The design has been overseen by Joanthon Partridge, a recognized Buddhist sculptor and authenticated by Lama Zopa Rinpoche.
The Jade Buddha in Asia It is planned that the Jade Buddha for Universal Peace be launched to the world in Bangkok in December 2008. After that we plan to tour the Buddha in Asia as an object of worship for some time. This jade Buddha is of world-wide significance. There will be considerable media coverage of the Buddha and there will also be great interest from Buddhist pilgrims.
The Jade Buddha in Australia After the period of display in Asia the Jade Buddha would be transported to Australia to be sited at the entrance to the Great Stupa of Universal Compassion in Bendigo, Victoria. The Great Stupa will be the largest Stupa outside Asia. The association with the Jade Buddha will provide on-going benefits for Thailand.
The Great Stupa of Universal Compassion The Great Stupa of Universal Compassion is being built near Bendigo, Australia. The Great Stupa will be the same size and design as the Great Stupa of Gyantse in Tibet which is 50 metres (164 feet) square at its base and nearly 50 metres high. This will make it the largest stupa in the Western World (the largest outside of Asia). The Great Stupa will have over 50 shrine rooms on its 7 floors. It has been engineered to last for 1,000 years. The Great Stupa of Universal Compassion will be a place of pilgrimage for Buddhists of all traditions as well as a place of worship for our fast growing Australian Buddhist community. Inside the Great Stupa will be a temple capable of seating 500 people and a library. On each level there will be shrines. And sacred Buddhist relics will be kept on the sixth level (the Harmika). Located next to the Great Stupa are Atisha Centre and Thubten Shedrup Ling Monastery. The architecture, engineering and construction of the Great Stupa is based on the requirement for the Great Stupa to last for 1,000 years. Expected to cost over $15 million the Great Stupa is funded entirely by donation.
Eight Benefits for Thailand with the Jade Buddha for Universal Peace
Working Steps 1 Jade Cutting in roughly form.
Working Steps 2 Jade Roghly carving in Buddha form.
1. A World First: the largest Jade Buddha statue â€“ launched to the world in Thailand The Jade Buddha is an important landmark achievement. A launch in Bangkok will attract considerable attention and we expect it to be a major drawcard for Thailand.
2. Great publicity in Thailand and around the world Once unveiled to the world the statue will attract considerable media attention. After Thailand we intend to tour the statue extensively visiting Singapore, Malaysia, USA and in Australia the statue would tour Brisbane, Sydney, Perth, Adelaide & Canberra before being displayed at the National Gallery of Australia in Melbourne before arriving at its home in Bendigo. Worldwide publicity generated will be extremely beneficial for Thailand.
Working Steps 3 Jade Buddha Details Carving.
Working Steps 4 Jade Buddha fine Details Carving.
3. A demonstration of Thai skilled workmanship The Jade Buddha has been carved in Thailand and is an enduring demonstration to the world of the traditional artistry and skills of Thailand’s master craftsmen.
4. Closer links established between Thailand & Australia The closer links created by the Jade Buddha project will initially be ‘cultural’, however wide-ranging benefits will flow as a result of this important bridge-building project between our two countries. The Jade Buddha will be seen as a symbol of this cultural link. The state of Victoria will be especially happy to be the recipient of this achievement from Thailand.
Working Steps 5 Jade Buddha Carving Final Details.
Working Steps 6 Jade Buddha Carving Final touch.
The fruits of this significant ‘cultural gift’ from Thailand will last for centuries to come. The Great Stupa and the Jade Buddha temple are designed to last over 1,000 years. A video presentation will commemorate the role played by Thailand in this world class statue.
Potential political impact
Australia and Thai leaders and officials would be invited to the official opening of the Jade Buddha when set up in Thailand and when re-located to Australia. Thai officials would be invited to unveil a permanent plaque, alongside Australian official and religious leaders. Official ceremonies could be conducted between Thailand and Australia at the site of the Jade Buddha (e.g. signing of cultural agreement). The Jade Buddha will remain an important symbol of Thailand’s relationship with Australia.
Working Steps 7 Jade Lotus Base Details Carving
Working Steps 8 Carving Step Finished
Tourism between our two countries
Tourists and pilgrims from Thailand, and other countries will visit Great Stupa & Jade Buddha on their tours to Melbourne and regional Victoria. Victorian tourism statistics reveal the largest numbers of tourists are currently from Asia, a figure growing every year. Thailand will be seen as the major sponsor for this world class project by thousands of tourists each year. Thailandâ€™s friendship to Australia will be celebrated through the Jade Buddha, in turn, encouraging interest from Australians to visit Thailand.
Thai Buddhist display
Bendigo is already a major destination for overseas tourists. The Jade Buddha will open up similar significant new possibilities with the possibility of a display on the temples and holy sites of Thailand at the Great Stupa.
Ian Green - Background in Buddhism Ian Green has been a Buddhist for over 35 years. His interest in Buddhism began during a visit to Sarnath, in India in the early 1970’s. After returning to Australia, Ian took dharma teachings from various Buddhist monks. He has been a keen student of Buddhism and a Buddhist practitioner ever since. In 1981, Ian’s father offered an initial 50 acres of bushland just out of Bendigo in Victoria to Lama Yeshe to start a Buddhist Centre. The size of this land has since expanded to 120 acres. During a visit to the site in August 1981, Lama Yeshe laid out a master plan for the Bendigo land. Since that time Atisha Centre, Thubten Shedrup Ling Monastery and The Great Stupa of Universal Compassion have grown to form a major centre of Buddhism in Australia. The Great Stupa of Universal Compassion has become Ian’s life work. This Great Stupa, which is currently under construction, will be the largest stupa outside of Asia.
Positions held by Ian Green • Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Great Stupa of Universal Compassion Ltd. • Chairman of Jade Buddha for Universal Peace. • Chairman of the Dalai Lama in Australia Limited. • Member of Buddhist Council of Victoria. • Member Federation of Australian Buddhist Councils. • Board member of FPMT Inc (Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition).
Jade Buddha carving from the gem quality Nephrite by Thai carvers.