May 28, 2010
The Jade Buddha for Universal Peace is an intrepid traveler. The 10-foot (13-1/2 feet on its alabaster throne) 4-ton statue is now sitting pretty in Worcester, Massachusetts (above), in the parking lot of the Linh Son Temple, formerly a single-family home. When its tour of the North America, Europe and Asia is complete, the statue will make it's home at the Great Stupa of Universal Compassion, in Bendigo, Australia. It's official website reads:
The purpose of exhibiting the Jade Buddha around the world is for everyone, irrespective of their religion, to take a moment to reflect upon peace; peace for the world; peace in their relationships; peace for their families and friends; peace at work; peace in their mind. We hope that such positive inspiration will bring joy and motivation in the lives of those who are able to see the Jade Buddha.
The Great Stupa of Universal Compassion, Ltd., an organization affiliated with the Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition (FPMT), chose to model the Buddha after the statue that sits in the Mahabodhi Temple, in Bodh Gaya, India, the site of the Buddha's enlightenment. The famed statue in Bodh Gaya was chosen for its relevance to all Buddhist traditions; it was carved of "polar jade"—apparently the hardest variety of Nephrite—at an internationally renowned jade factory in Thailand.
The Buddha began its US tour in Miami (second pic); after Worcester, it will travel to Ontario, Canada.
You can check the Buddha's busy itinerary here.