Largest jade Buddha to arrive in Vietnam

The largest and most magnificent Buddha ever carved from jade, ‘The Jade Buddha for Universal Peace,’ will begin its 2009-2010 Pacific rim tour in Vietnam.

The Jade Buddha for Universal Peace (Photo: TN)
The Buddha, including lotus and throne, is nearly 3.5 meters (11.4 feet) tall. The Jade Buddha has been carved from one large boulder, the ‘Polar Pride,’ which was discovered in Canada in 2000.
It was designed by Lamas Zopa Rinpoche, Australian sculptor Jonathon Pattridge and various fine art experts who based it on the model Buddha statue at the Mahabodhi Stupa, Bodh Gaya, north India.
Thai sculptors from the Jade Thongtavee Co. were in charge of cutting, carving and finishing the statue, and had 18 months to complete their task.
The statue had its blessing ceremony in Thailand on January 5 before starting its tour throughout major cities in Asia and Australiasia.
The statue will first visit the Avalokitesvara Temple in the south central coast port city of Da Nang over March 13-15. The city will be celebrating its annual Avalokitesvara festival.
Later, the statue will visit four temples, including Dai Tung Lam Temple in the southeastern coastal province of Ba Ria – Vung Tau (March 21-26), Ho Chi Minh city’s Pho Quang Temple in Tan Binh District (March 29 – April 5) and Hoang Phap Temple in Hoc Mon District (April 9-24), and Van An Temple in Chau Thanh District in the Mekong Delta province of Dong Thap (May 1-10).
In 2010, the Jade Buddha will be on display in the U.S, Indonesia, Myanmar, New Zealand and Taiwan (China) . 
The Great Stupa of Universal Compassion in Bendigo, Australia
The Buddha statue will also visit the Australian cities of Brisbane, Sydney, Adelaide, Perth and Melbourne.
Once the tour has finished the Buddha will move to its final home at the Great Stupa of Universal Compassion in Bendigo, Australia. 
The Great Stupa will be the largest Stupa in the western world. The aim is to be a symbol of peace to inspire the world for millennia to come.

Source: Thanh Nien Newspaper – Translated by Truong Son

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