Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Lost Stupa of Albuquerque, Revisited: Updated

In March, we ran an item on the Lost Stupa of Albuquerque. We asked that people cause a stir. We are now asking you to re-read the original post, and consider that above is what the stupa looked like before the U.S. Government got involved, and below is what it looked like the last time anybody cared enough to visit.

This is some very stinky stuff, and we need to do something. Rather than sound off with a 'Sixties-style, ranting call to arms (which I am predisposed to do), let me suggest that there is ample scriptural authority to this effect: the merit involved in restoring or saving an existing stupa is even greater than that involved in constructing one anew.

Herewith, from 'Phag pa 'od zer dri ma med pa rnam par dag pa'i 'od ces bya ba'i gzungs:

"...if any bhiksu, bhiksuni, upasaka, upasika, noble man or noble woman who has a short life, or many illnesses, repairs an old stupa, or even builds a new one, and puts written mantras inside and cleans the mandala and makes offerings [to it] the result will be that even if their life-span is at an end, it will be extended and they will have a long life; even if they are afflicted with illness and suffering, their illness will be overcome and they will be freed from it; they will never go to the lower existences, to become a hell-being, to be reborn as an animal, reborn in the land of Yama; they will not even hear the names of these [existences] let alone be reborn there.”

That seems pretty straightforward to me. If you are afflicted, don't sit around hating my guts... just get up off your well-upholstered posterior and go do something constructive... and here is an easy one.

Read our original post, and take it from there. If we have any readers from New Mexico, please go take pictures of that stupa and send them here (use comments, below, to send me your address: it will not be published). Show the world how the United States Government takes care of Buddhist stupas.

And finally -- today is an astrologically perfect day to make requests to persons in authority, so don't be shy about writing senators, congresspeople, or the ever-lovin' White House.

UPDATED: A dear friend points out that this site is being jointly managed by the National Park Service and the City of Albuquerque, so maybe a good place to start is by lighting up the Mayor of Albuquerque, Martin J. Chavez. Ask him why the City of Albuquerque Open Space Division has allowed a sacred Buddhist stupa to fall into disrepair and neglect. Ask him what he intends to do about it. Send copies of your correspondence with the mayor to the Albuquerque Journal newspaper.

UPDATED (X2): Not long after we posted the above link to the National Park Service page, they blanked it out. Looks like everybody is trying to evade responsibility. How sleazy is that?

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