Buddhism is a way of finding peace within oneself. It is a religion that helps us to find the happiness and contentment we seek. Buddhists develop inner peace, kindness and wisdom through their daily practice; and then share their experience with others bringing real benefit to this world. They try not to harm others and to live peacefully and gently, working towards the ultimate goal of pure and lasting happiness for all living beings.
The founder of Buddhism in this world was Buddha Shakyamuni who lived and taught in India some two and a half thousand years ago. Since then, millions of people around the world have followed the pure spiritual path he revealed.
A Buddha is a person who is completely free from all faults and mental obstructions and has attained the state of Enlightenment. Every living being has the potential within themselves to become a Buddha which they can do by engaging in spiritual practise to purify negativities and bring all their good qualities to fruition.
“Every living being has the potential to become a Buddha, someone who has completely purified his or her mind of all faults and limitations and has brought all good qualities to perfection.”Ven. Geshe Kelsang Gyatso
Someone who has attained Enlightenment is a Buddha. Buddhas have attained Enlightenment for the sole purpose of liberating living beings from suffering and leading them to ultimate happiness. By opening our heart and developing faith in enlightened beings we can receive their blessings and this will enable us to transform our mind and fulfil our potential. This is one of the reasons why we have a shrine with statues and images of Buddhas.
"When we see a Buddha statue, for example, instead of thinking of it as an object made of metal or stone, or focusing on its artistic faults or merits, we should feel that we are in the presence of a real living Buddha and develop deep faith. By viewing images of Buddhas in this way, it is as if we are opening a window in our mind through which the blessings of the holy beings can enter."Ven. Geshe Kelsang Gyatso
The following is a brief introduction to some of the Buddhas that can be found on our shrine and below is some further explanation from our resident teacher, Gen Kelsang Varahi.
The founder of Buddhism was Buddha Shakyamuni who lived and taught in India some two and a half thousand years ago. Since then millions of people around the world have followed the pure spiritual path he revealed. Buddha explained that all our problems and suffering arise from confused and negative states of mind, and that all our happiness and good fortune arise from peaceful and positive states of mind. He taught methods for gradually overcoming our negative minds such as anger, jealousy and ignorance, and developing our positive minds such as love, compassion and wisdom. Through this we will come to experience lasting peace and happiness.
Je Tsongkhapa, whose ordained name was Losang Dragpa, was a great 14th century Tibetan Buddhist Master who promoted and developed the Kadampa Buddhism that Atisha had introduced three centuries earlier.
His followers became known as the ‘New Kadampas’, and to this day Kadampa Buddhists worldwide study his teachings and strive to emulate his pure example.
Dorje Shugden, a Dharma Protector is a Buddha appearing in a protecting aspect, whose main functions are to avert inner and outer obstacles that prevent practitioners from gaining spiritual realizations, and to arrange all the necessary conditions for their spiritual development. The Dharma Protector Dorje Shugden is an emanation of the Wisdom Buddha Manjushri, who always helps, guides, and protects sincere practitioners by granting blessings, increasing their wisdom, and fulfilling their virtuous wishes.
Green Tara, the female Buddha of active compassion who, as the manifestation of the ultimate wisdom of all the Buddhas, is known as the ‘Mother of the Conquerors’. She is also known as the ‘Great Liberator’ who pacifies all sickness, poverty, misfortune, fighting and quarrelling, and causes the Dharma and all good fortune to flourish.
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New Kadampa Tradition
A member of the New Kadampa Tradition – International Kadampa Buddhist Union founded by Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso Rinpoche. Registered Charity Number: 1038999.