Triratna News

After the funeral

On Sat, 10 November, 2018 - 22:52
Munisha's picture
Munisha

Today Adhisthana welcomed 1,200-1,400 friends from many countries. They arrived throughout the morning by coach, train and car, drank 1,800 paper cups of tea and later disappeared into the darkness - after a few momentous and beautiful hours in which we said goodbye to our teacher, Bhante Sangharakshita.

I’d like to offer two impressions from today and some of Dhammarati’s photographs. (Click to see full-frame.)

The arrangements for a high quality Facebook Live online video transmission from the funeral mysteriously failed at the last minute, which meant transmitting the whole thing from a hand-held iPhone (and Clear Vision did manage to broadcast a lot of the ceremony on YouTube). For Candradasa and me, who had intended to present the event live to camera, the prospect of holding this iPhone up in the air for three or four hours wasn’t attractive.

But then messages and hearts started flowing up the Facebook Live screen from some of the thousands of viewers joining in from all over the world: “Hello from Pune”, “Thank you from Taiwan”, “Joining you from China”, “Dawn is breaking in Seattle. Very magical to be a part of this with you all.” There were greetings from Singapore and Mongolia, and from 100 people watching together from a group of villages in India – just one of many such Indian audiences. I knew my own sangha were watching together in the Stockholm Buddhist Centre too, as in many other Triratna centres around the world.

Realising just how many people were watching in so many countries, it was really no problem to hold up an iPhone for several hours.

The Facebook Live footage does not include the burial itself and the YouTube footage includes the burial but lacks some other parts. Happily Clear Vision filmed everything and will produce a properly edited video programme about the day in due course.

Those gathered here included four people from Bhante’s own family, a few of his non-Buddhist friends and about 15 Buddhists from other traditions. Many of them were deeply affected by taking part and commented on what a wonderful experience it had been, what an extraordinary feat of organisation the event represented, and how marvellously they had been taken care of.

To finish, here is the English translation of the text of the song with which the funeral opened: ‘Sunset’ (Abendrot) one of the ‘Four Last Songs’ composed by Richard Strauss.
 

We have passed through sorrow and joy,
walking hand in hand.
Now we need not seek the way:
we have settled in a peaceful land.

 

The dark comes early to our valley,
and the night mist rises.
Two dreamy larks sally
forth – our souls’ disguises.
We let their soaring flight delight
us, then, overcome by sleep
at close of day, we must alight
before we fly too far, or dive too deep.

 

The great peace here is wide and still
and rich with glowing sunsets:
If this is death, having had our fill
of getting lost, we find beauty – No regrets.

+Follow the dedicated Sangharakshita memorial space on The Buddhist Centre Online.

See more photographs from the day at Adhisthana

Support Clear Vision with a monthly or one-off donation.

Support Dharmachakra’s work on The Buddhist Centre Online and Free Buddhist Audio 
 

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Responses

admoore54's picture

We watched online from a small town in rural Wales. We would like to thank everyone in their work in filming the funeral and attempt to live stream the occasion. It was great to be able to watch the occasion alongside everyone who was there. Thanks to everyone who made it happen,

Alison and Joy

parami's picture

Wow Munisha. Thanks for this. I’m amazed and grateful you found the energy to write this last night after such a full day. Sadhu to you, to thebuddhistcentre.com and clear vision for serving us so well yesterday - and always

Janiniebeanie's picture

Thank you Munisha for sharing that beautiful song with all of us, it touched me deeply ,and for your post about how the service went.  I appreciate your efforts very much. 

Kind wishes

Janine

Prajnagita's picture

To all of the Buddhist Centre Online team and everyone who has been involved in helping get all this out to the whole world, thank you wholeheartedly for all your hard work…! Deep gratitude to be able to check in and read a few posts on the memorial page or listen to a short podcast from this last week or see some images and videos. THANK YOU! Lots of love xxx Prajnagita 

kusaladevi's picture

It’s so moving to read this Munisha. I was there yesterday and it was indeed a wonderful day. I was particularly moved reading this to see you and the teams’ dedication to sharing this event live with the wider Sangha, despite challenges! It has been amazing how much work has been happening to keep us all updated in the last few weeks. Thank you so much x

satyamati's picture
I was so moved, so thankful to be at Bhante’s funeral yesterday. So much gratitude to everyone for their efforts in making this parting so beautiful. Such an outpouring of love, the sangha jewel shone bright. Thank you Bhante for opening the Dharma door for me. May we all continue to serve the Dharma in kindness and in Truth. Satyamati
Shantivajra's picture

Thanks Munisha and thanks to Dhammarati for the photographs. At the Glasgow Buddhist Centre, we celebrated Bhante’s life with meditation, pujas and readings of his poetry. The whole atmosphere was one of overwhelming love and gratitude for our teacher 🙏

Vimalavajri's picture

Thank you Munisha for that moving post and for all the work you put in, your energy and dedication.   So much love and gratitude also to all the very many people who combined to create the conditions for such a fitting tribute and leave-taking, and who looked after all the attendees so well.  May we each serve the Dharma and Bhante’s vision.

Vishangka's picture

I was very moved and grateful for all the work you, Candradasa, and Sanghadhara, Amaradaya and Upekshapriya at Clear Vision, put in to communicating the events of yesterday to the world. Our communications are so important for us as a world wide Buddhist movement, and this was a shining example of that. It was also very moving to re watch aspects of the service this morning. I sobbed at the footage of the burial, the beautiful mantras, poem and ritual. So moving…

I also want to express my deep gratitude to the Adhisthana community, for all they have done over the past week and a half. What a testament to our great teacher. 

With much love

Vishangka x

Joy's picture
Thank you Munisha for this post and especially for the translation of Sunset and the photos. I was there yesterday and was inspired and filled with love and appreciation at the beauty of our goodbyes to our teacher. Massive appreciation too for all the work and dedication of the Adhistana team, the many volunteers, clear vision and Buddhistcentre on line. Sadhu, Sadhu Sadhu. Joy
vajratara's picture

Thank you so much to all who were involved for all your efforts and hard work.  My parents watched the whole thing live with you and were very touched by all that happened.  Making it available to people has had more effect that you will probably ever know!  I look forward to seeing the edited version.

amitayus's picture
Thanking you all for everything you have done for us ,to see the event online we were around more than 150 people including order members,Mitra’s and friends and representative from other social,political groups at Triratna Amravati ,i felt as if niwas there and deeply connected with everybody who was present there and watching worldwide online… Sadhu
Ratnaghosha's picture

I was leading an event in Cambridge to coincide with what was happening in Adhisthana. We played Im Abendrot, chanted the five mantras, did the readings, Metta practice, Sevenfold Puja and then watched the activities around the grave. Thank you to all at Adhisthana, to The Buddhist Centre Online, Clear Vision, the Development Team and everyone else who sprang into action to organise a fitting farewell to Bhante. May he live on in our Sangha and in our individual efforts on the Path. Ratnaghosha

shraddhavani's picture

Yes to all the above responses to your generous post, Munisha, and Dhammarati’s great photos. Thank you! And deep deep thanks to the whole team that made it possible for us to be part of this momentous and beautiful occasion. I watched and participated live with Padmadharini and Elaine Smith at their home in New Jersey and now am back home in New Hampshire and still feeling the positive force of the sense of connection in shared gratitude and love.

jvalamalini's picture

Moved to tears - yet again - by this post and responses. I felt so privilege to be present at this momentous and beautiful event and it’s wonderful to get a sense of how many people round the world were tuning in. Much gratitude to you Munisha for all the many ways you care for our sangha, and to you, Candradasa, Sanghadhara and friends for all your efforts to keep us all connected.

lisa kelly's picture
Sending more gratitude and huge appreciation to everyone who worked so hard to make it possible for those afar to view and feel such a part of the very moving funeral ceremony and gathering at Adhisthana. In Auckland 30 of us gathered after midnight and then sat through the early hours of our Sunday morning, joining with the puja, mantras and chanting. Thankyou for holding the phone Munisha and Candradasa! That was our thread of connection and gave the great perspective of a participant, being in the swim of it all. I loved seeing all the faces, the muddy ground and radiant oaks. And I look forward from catching up on the parts we missed in the coming days. Big thanks at this end to Purna and Zoe for patiently and ably channeling the live steam for us. Sadhu and rainbows to all xxx
khemajoti's picture

Huge thanks to you Munisha, to all the communications team, to the Adhisthana teams and volunteers, to Dhammarati for the beautiful photos.  It was an amazing event, very moving to be there and also to have these lovely records. Thank you all!

manibhadri's picture

Dear Munisha and all the team, A big heartfelt thank you from the French OM and Sangha. We were so grateful at all the energy you put in making the live video transmission possible for people everywhere in the world, we were fully with you all yesterday and rejoicing in your merits in our Chapter tonight! Much metta

Satyalila's picture

Huge thanks and love to you all for making this truly ‘Mahāyāna’ event happen so beautifully and connectedly.  May all blessings be yours 💛💙❤️  And wishing you a good rest now too!

much love,

Satyalila

viryaja's picture

It was truly wonderful to be able to be able to be present at Bhante’s funeral, despite my being half a world away in the middle of the night.  So much gratitude and thanks to you all who worked so hard to make it happen.  Much love Viryaja

Munisha's picture

Thanks, everyone. I just couldn’t help posting that, even at the end of a long and emotional day. The day just seemed to need a response and I wanted to share with others my particular experience.

Someone told me that Bhante’s family were rather surprised to discover just how many lives great uncle Dennis had touched - and one of them asked where he could learn to meditate.

I was just volunteering with the communications team for Saturday. If you’d like to express your appreciation of their work that day, please consider supporting with a monthly or one-off donation the two charities who formed that team, who - year round - provide us with video, audio and pictures (new and archived), our mitra study materials, our key Facebook pages and many Triratna websites: Clear Vision and Dharmachakra.

Their work would be so much easier if they were not always having to wonder how to pay for it. You could encourage your chapters, mitra study groups and Going for Refuge groups - and your sanghas more generally - to do the same.

Support Clear Vision.
Support Dharmachakra.

abhayavaca's picture

Thank you all at Clear Vision and The Buddhist Centre Online for making the ceremony available to all who wanted to tune in around the world. And what a wonderful day it was!  Very moving to have been there with so many friends. I have really appreciated all the posts, podcasts and photos over the past fortnight, which have connected me deeper than ever with Bhante.

Huge gratitude to all at Adhisthana and all the volunteers who contributed to the day running so smoothly and be such a fitting tribute to our beloved teacher. Much love, Abhayavaca

samachitta's picture

Deep gratitude also from us in Sydney, Australia, where around 20 people gathered at midnight to watch the funeral in real time, to participate in the Puja and mantra chanting, and be ‘present’ at the event alongside thousands of others around the globe. We had another follow-up event the next day, attended by around 30 people, finishing with Bhante’s Threefold Puja and scattering of flower petals. Thank you to Munisha, to all at TBCO, Clear Vision, Adhisthana and all who supported this unique event.

File NameSize
Flower petal farewell to Bhante89.69 KB
vivekaratna's picture
Extremely grateful to all of you for showing live telecast. We all at Nagaloka with hundreds of people could see on 15x10 LED screen and offer flowers at the same time when you all were offering petals. We feel, we are also participating as we were also chanting Shakyamuni Mantra in tune with you while doing offering to Bhante’s image. Vivekaratna.