Bettye Pruitt writes from the USA about a new memorial to one of the teachers of Triratna’s founder, Sangharakshita.
“In just a few months, a new stupa dedicated to Dhardo Rinpoche will be built outside Aryaloka Buddhist Center in Newmarket, New Hampshire, USA.
This will be the sixth such stupa located in a Triratna Buddhist Center. All of the existing stupas – at Tiratanaloka and Padmaloka in the UK, Guhyaloka in Spain, Vimaladatu in Germany and Sudarshanaloka in New Zealand – contain either ashes or relics of the late Dhardo Rinpoche, and this one will be no exception.
“A stupa is a reminder of the person whose relics are enshrined in it,” said Nagabodhi in a recent Triratna Day talk at Aryaloka. “Dhardo was a teacher and friend of our teacher, Sangharakshita, during his years in Kalimpong. Bhante considered him to be a living Bodhisattva.” In his talk, Nagabodhi shared that Dhardo once said in an interview, “If I were younger I would love to come and join Sangharakshita and work in the West.” It was he who gave Bhante his Bodhisattva vow. If the founding of Triratna is seen as the fulfilment of that vow, our Movement could be said to owe its existence in no small part to Dhardo Rinpoche. In our movement and our stupas, Dhardo has come to the West.
The stupa project originated as the vision of a small group of order members at Aryaloka, who felt a special connection to Dhardo and were inspired to bring his presence closer to home. Since then, a number of auspicious developments have helped to move the project along. Through a series of synchronicities, the current tulku (reincarnation) of Dhardo Rinpoche was able to visit Aryaloka in June 2013 to bless the site for the stupa. Dhardo Tulku Rinpoche has committed to return to dedicate the finished stupa. The stupa kula has also found a Tibetan stonemason, Sonam Lama, trained in stupa building as a novice monk in Ganden Monastery in Tibet and now living in Massachusetts.
More than half the funds for the stupa are in hand, and construction will begin within the next two weeks.”