The First Kadampa Temple
Inspired and designed by Geshe Kelsang and built by Kadampa Buddhists as an offering to future generations, the Temple is an outer reflection of a heartfelt prayer for world peace.
‘We built this Temple not for our own enjoyment but so that in the future people will have a great opportunity to enjoy it – to progress along the spiritual path to enlightenment and accomplish inner peace. Our main aim is to give people in the future a great opportunity to listen to and practice holy Dharma.’ – Geshe Kelsang Gyatso
Based on the mandala palace of Buddha Heruka, the supreme Buddha of compassion, every aspect of the Temple symbolizes the spiritual path to enlightenment.
The four doorways symbolize the four ways to enter the path to liberation, and the eight auspicious symbols show how to progress along that path.
The deer and Dharma Wheel symbolize the final stages of the path to enlightenment. The male deer symbolises the experience of great bliss, the female deer the realization of ultimate truth, and the wheel the union of these two realizations.
Finally, the five-pronged vajra at the very top symbolizes the five omniscient wisdoms of a Buddha.
Just seeing the Temple reminds us that we all have the potential to achieve the highest goals and encourages us to enter into a spiritual path through which we can realize them.
For a detailed explanation of the symbolism of the Temple, see the talk by Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso at the opening of the First Temple.
It is also the venue for the annual International Teacher Training Program attended by Kadampa Teachers from all over the world.