Sangharakshita’s Facebook page has been busy today with well-wishers from around the Triratna world - Sangharakshita himself is at home in Birmingham, having attended the recent Order Weekend at Wymondham College in Norfolk UK.
Meanwhile, tonight at the London Buddhist Centre - and at many other Triratna Centres around the world - they’ll be celebrating the eighth in a series of 108 annual pujas to mark Sangharakshita's life and work. This annual event was launched at the 2003 Order Convention, where participating Centres took possession of special boxes each containing fine cloths, 108 sticks of incense, candles which will burn for 108 hours, a signed photograph of Bhante and a log book with 108 pages to record those present each year. The items in the boxes were blessed by Bhante, who also signed a photograph for each. Each Centre has a precious supply of incense and other ritual items that have a direct spiritual and physical connection with Bhante himself.
Mokshapriya, who launched the event in 2003, comments - “This particular living thread may well be increasingly treasured by each Centre's sangha through the years. We should not underestimate how important it is to find links between the future members of the sangha and Bhante. It has been our great fortune to live in his time and have had some direct connection with him but perhaps we have a responsibility to think of those to come who won't have any such direct connection and imagine how we might enrich their spiritual lives through our forethought and the establishment of such a special festival as this one. It will also provide a thread of continuity in each Centre's sangha whilst the log book will bear witness to impermanence and change.”
We’re also produced new video of members of the Triratna Buddhist Order chanting the White Tara mantra for Sangharakshita’s long life, recorded during the 2009 Order convention. You’ll find it in the embedded player below or on-line at www.youtube.com/watch?v=M82Wv10l7UU