Welcome, members of venerable sanghas, distinguished guests, friends and students.
Thank you all, especially for those who came from far-away, for taking the time to attend this event. Your presence is very appreciated. This is not a grand inauguration. Nevertheless it is a historically significant, and spiritually inevitable event.
UTBF is very pleased and honored to be part of the Lumbini Development Project inside the UN's protected area, thus it is here today to celebrate the Ground Breaking Ceremony for its LUM project - a part of the Mahamudra Hermitage Project International.
We are gathering here, on this very day, the 7th of July, 2006, at the birthplace of the Enlightened One, who provided the gate of wisdom for all to attain the ultimate freedom and happiness.
About the project, there are a few things to note. In terms of representation, this chaitya, unlike many monasteries that represent Buddhist communities from various countries, will represent friends and devotees of Buddhism whose communities or countries are not represented here by any particular monastery.
Architecturally, unlike many other monasteries, this one will be a modern hybrid monastery. It is a chaitya based on the ancient Indian work of Shariputra's stupa found at Nalanda University, and also incorporats Nepalese architecture, which is then beautified by Tibetan artworks.
As for the purpose, this chaitya will not only serve the needs of resident sangha, but also provide an amiable environment to the pilgrim who wants to enhance his spiritual growth in this special place.
Speaking about the significance, as Lumbini is the only Buddha's sacred place where it clearly shows close connection of mother and son, aside from regular prayers and short retreats, the chaitya shall arrange special courses and retreats for women and children, especially those who need special care.
On this occasion I would like to pay tribute to all the concerned authorities for having given the site for the LUM. I thank you, all those who have contributed or are to contribute in any way to this project. I thank you, Karma T. Sherpa, the general secretary of UTBF Nepal, for putting your great effort into this project. I thank you, Jim Eiteljorg for your unwavering commitment to serve this very meaningful, once-in-a-life-time project of Mahamudra Hermitage.
May the project of this chaitya be successfully completed soon and serve its purposes. May it inspire us to attain enlightenment for the benefit of all. May all sentient beings be free from misery and enjoy ultimate happiness.