Wat SobMoe SiWikChaiYo is located at a rural outskirt at the Lampang province. We have started raising funds to build this temple in 2015, until today, the construction is still underway as fund raising has been a challenge, as it is located in a poverty stricken area. The abbot of Wat SobMoe SiWikChaiYo is a down to earth and humble monk. He carries out mundane duties of cleaning the temple, cutting the grass and even carrying the heavy building materials himself for the construction of the temple. As seen, when I took a photo with him, he was actually in the midst of cutting the plants and cleaning the surrounding areas. The temple still lacks about 7,000,000 baht for construction to be completed. The benefits of building a temple or monastery is a great merit that can change one's Karma tremendously. Benefits of Building a Monastery Building a monastery has unbelievable merit. Because it is a holy place with the Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha abiding in it, it is said in the text by the great Indian master Chandragomin: When the temple is built, even the workers who are building the temple and kill worms and insects under their feet while they’re working, have their negative karma purified and are not reborn in the lower realms. Even the smoke coming out of the fire from making food for the workers, who ever it touches, any being, has their negative karma purified and they receive a higher rebirth. That shows how building a monastery or temple is so powerful in benefiting others, purifying karma, and collecting inconceivable merit for sentient beings. It is so powerful in creating merit and purifying defilements that all the wishes of the people who are building the temple are fulfilled. The people who are building the temple/monastery, who offer donations, time, even the workers who are doing the work, receive unbelievable purification and collect inconceivable merits every day, and all their wishes are fulfilled Furthermore, Buddha said in the Mindfulness Sutra: Who has built well the support [statue] and supporting [temple], and arranged a place and needs for the Sangha, that one will always go from virtue to virtue [always progressing, with more and more happiness, and more and more virtue]. Even for thousands of ten million eons, the virtue can never be wasted or lost. It is saying that one who has built the holy body of Buddha: statue, the holy speech of Buddha: scripture, the holy mind of Buddha: stupa, the temple or shelf for Dharma, and establishes a monastery for the Sangha, gains very extensive merit that is never lost and always increases. The merits received from bodhicitta are never lost and increase all the time, while you are walking, working, eating, sleeping, sitting, and doing any activities. They continuously, unceasingly increase. The merits of building a monastery are similar to this. Benefits of Building Monasteries [posted Sept 2009] Rinpoche made the following comments about the virtuous results of building a monastery. Many lineage lamas of the lam-rim built monasteries. I understand that business people who are not Buddhist may not understand the benefits of building monasteries, but if you are saying it has no meaning to build a monastery, then all those lineage lamas, Buddha himself, the Kadampa masters, those who actualized the path, including Lama Tsongkhapa's disciples, who established monasteries, made big mistakes. A monastery means two things: One is having holy objects for people to purify the mind, collect extensive merit, and have realizations of the path to enlightenment. Second is especially for monks and nuns to live there in their vows, in retreat away from the city and the distractions to their vows, so they can live a celibate life. The main focus is that. When you build a temple or monastery, however many atoms it contains, that many times you are reborn as a king with wealth, power, and everything. This way you can benefit others from life to life and bring them to enlightenment. It is important to have a place for monks and nuns to live in the practice, in the vows. Monasteries and nunneries are to help make conditions to protect their life. That's why they are away from cities. The main thing is so they can continue their celibate life. Building a Temple [posted Sept 2009] Rinpoche said the following after making a donation towards building a new temple. In the Sutra on the Foundations of Mindfulness (Do drenpa nyershak), it says that having established the temple and the holy objects inside, as well as the rooms and bedding needed by the Sangha, from life to life your virtues will increase, and for ten billion eons your merit will never be lost. It is said that virtues created with bodhicitta are never lost and increase all the time, so, similarly, the merit from building a temple where the Guru, Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha—the holy objects—abide, will continuously increase from life to life while you are working, eating, sleeping, whatever you are doing. However many atoms the building has, you create that much merit to be born as a wheel-turning king, deva, or human being. For many eons you will enjoy the results of that merit—temporal happiness and, of course, ultimate happiness, enlightenment. The Great Son of the Victorious, Shantideva, said, “The only medicine to heal the suffering of the transmigrator beings, and the originator of all happiness is the teaching of the Buddha. That depends only on the existence of the Sangha, who correctly preserve Dharma.” Therefore, one can see how important and essential is establishing a monastery and its existence. Also, Kedrup Merwai Nyima, Lama Tsongkhapa’s heart disciple, said every single panacea and happiness of all the embodied ones came from the teaching of the Victorious One. The foundation for increasing the ocean of the teaching of Buddha—the Sangha—is the great treasure of the water. The great yogi Kembhala checked with his clairvoyance to see what could benefit the teachings of Buddha. He analyzed and discovered there is no greater merit then establishing a monastery. He intentionally reincarnated as a king and built the temple of Shri Kamalashila. Lama Atisha, following the Arya being Namtrol Day, managed many monasteries in India, then went to Tibet and advised Dromtompa Rinpoche: There is no greater merit then building a monastery for Sangha. Then, Dromtompa built Reting Monastery. Among Atisha’s followers, the Kadampa geshes, Chengawa, and so forth lived externally in the conduct of the hearers and listeners. Inwardly their holy minds were enriched with bodhicitta, the essence of the Mahayana path, and secretly their holy minds were enriched with high tantric realization. They also built many temples and kungarawa for the same purpose: vast merits and incredible benefit for sentient beings and the teachings of Buddha. It is the same with merits performed with bodhicitta: the merits are never lost; they increase all the time, while you are walking, working, eating, sleeping, sitting, doing any activities; the merit continuously, unceasingly increases. The merits of building a monastery are similar. The teaching of the Buddha is the only thing able to heal the entire suffering of sentient beings, because it’s the only thing that can heal the cause of suffering: delusion and karma. Normally, if there is a monastery or group of monks holding the lineage of the pratimoksha vows in a place, then it can be said that the teaching of the Buddha is present in that place. By building a monastery, the Sangha has the opportunity to practice the vinaya and preserve and spread the Dharma. So, it offers an incredible blessing and benefit to the world, the country, and to the area.