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Buddhadharma : Summer 2012
82 BUDDHADHARMA: THE PRACTITIONER’S QUARTERLY SUMMER 2 0 1 2 communities. It was European gentle- men explorers, largely, who rediscov- ered the significance of the site, with the help of the writings of a Chinese mendi- cant monk and other early accounts of travels in India. Even today, there are relatively few Indian Buddhists in India. It struck me that without people to practice the teachings, a place like Bodhgaya becomes empty of meaning. It’s a bit like asking whether a tree that falls in the forest makes a sound if there’s no one there to hear it. How can the power of the place be felt without a sangha to feel it? More significantly, the Buddhist teachings themselves would be lost without people practicing and study- ing them. The great practice traditions were kept alive and deepened in South- east Asia, China, Japan, and Tibet. It’s really only in the last hundred years that the teachings have begun to come home to India, being disseminated again to an Indian Buddhist community. In contemplating this, I turned to a sutra that Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche introduced as a chant in connection with monastic eating, or oryoki. The Sutra of the Recollection of the Noble Three Jewels offers this description of the sangha: As for the sangha of the great yana, they enter completely. They enter insightfully. They enter straightfor- wardly. They enter harmoniously. They are worthy of veneration with joined palms. They are worthy of receiving prostration. They are a field of glorious merit. They are completely capable of receiving all gifts. They are an object of generos- ity. They are always a great object of generosity.1 This view may seem contrary to how we often experience sanghahood ➤ continued from page 57 1 From The Sutra of the Recollection of the Noble Three Jewels, translated by the Nalanda Translation Committee under the direction of Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche. © 2010 Nalanda Translation Committee. Love by Chögyam Trungpa © Diana J. Mukpo, used with permission by Chögyam Trungpa © Diana J. Mukpo, SHAMBHALA SUN FOUNDATION An independent, nonprofit corporation. Publishers of the Shambhala Sun and Buddhadharma: The Practitioner ’s Quarterly. Own a Beautiful Archival Quality Print Choose from among our collection of dharma art. These prints are taken from the pages of the magazines and include works by well-known teachers, artists, and contributors, such as Thich Nhat Hanh, Chögyam Trungpa, and Kaz Tanahashi. Go to the Shambhala Sun Online Store at www.shambhalasun.com