Jade Buddha set to inspire

THE world’s biggest jade Buddha will come home to Bendigo after a global tour that starts in Vietnam on Monday.The Great Stupa of Universal Compassion purchased the world’s biggest boulder of gem-quality jade ever found after it was discovered in Canada in 2000.The boulder weighed 18 tonnes and The Great Stupa of Universal Compassion chief executive officer Ian Green said it cost about $1.5 million to buy.The stupa had the jade shipped to northern Thailand to be carved into what is now the world’s largest jade Buddha.Mr Green heads to Vietnam this weekend, ready for the statue’s arrival in Da Nang on Monday. It will be on display in the city’s largest temple for three days, and is expected to be viewed by about 150,000 people during that time.“It will be in Vietnam for about two months, and between half a million and one million people will view it,” Mr Green said.“The purpose of my trip is to travel with the jade Buddha and attend official ceremonies.”The statue, named the Jade Buddha of Universal Peace, will tour five temples in Vietnam before being shipped to Brisbane.It will tour Sydney, Adelaide and Perth, and it is hoped His Holiness the Dalai Lama will consecrate it in Melbourne in December.Mr Green said it will then travel to the United States, Canada, New Zealand, Taiwan and Singapore before coming home to Bendigo.“It’s a wonder of the world, really,” Mr Green said.“When they discovered the boulder they called it the find of the millennium.”Mr Green said it was hoped the Buddha would be an inspiration to people.“We want it to inspire people, Buddhist or not.“It’s just to really inspire people about a peaceful path.” The Buddha is about 2.5m tall, and when atop its throne it is 4m high.“I’m incredibly excited to see it on Monday,” Mr Green said.“We’ve been looking forward to this for five years.”

Tablet - Narrow
Tablet - Wide