|Three Tibetan Monks work on mandala in Jersey City, NJ City Hall [photo: Reena Rose Sibayan/The Jersey Journal]|
Three Tibetan Buddhist monks from South India worked on a sand mandala for several days at the Jersey City, NJ City Hall. These mandalas use millions of grains of sand in various colors arranged in an intricate Medicine Buddhist pattern.
|Centerpiece of Tibetan Buddhist Medicine Mandala at Jersey City, NJ City Hall [photo: Reena Rose Sibayan/The Jersey Journal]|
Traditionally, after the work is created, it is then destroyed in a ceremony to symbolize the fleeting nature of life.
Well, this mandala went down differently. When there was only an hours work left on the mandala, a toddler, whose mother was participating in a US naturalization ceremony with dozens of other new citizens, mistook the mandala as a play area. The boy jumped onto the mandala and significantly smudged the center portion of the center portion of the sand sculpture, thereby destroying days of painstaking work.
When the monks arrived to finish their work, the mortified mayor's aide greeted them with an ashen faced demeanor and revealed the damage.
|Tibetan Monk prepares to repair smudged mandala at Jersey City, NJ City Hall [photo: Reena Rose Sibayan/The Jersey Journal]|
The monks worked on repairing what they could so as not to disappoint the sides of the mandala which only had small portions disrupted. Unfortunately, the middle section with an array of eight Buddhas was an unsalvageable swirl of colored sand. It took about two hours to make the mandala presentable.
|Smudged mandala at Jersey City, NJ City Hall [photo: Reena Rose Sibayan/The Jersey Journal]|
Geshe Wangdu, the Buddhist monk who arranged for the three Tibitan artists to come from Sera Mey Kongpo Khangtsen for the display, brushed off the trouble. In fact, Wangdu suggested that the child taught everyone the lesson which the mandala is support to impart. As Wangdu put it: "It's so beautiful, and then it's gone." As former New Jersey Governor Jim McGreevey (D-NJ), who arranged for the peace tour to stop in Jersey City, later exuded: “This is so fitting that the hand of a child once again reminds us of life’s fleeting nature and of the need to do good while we’re present.
The official ritual mandala destruction ceremony was scheduled for later that day. The mandala was dissolved in a private ceremony. Afterwards, the monks and a crowd of spectators marched down to the Hudson River to throw the sand in the water.
h/t: Jersey City Journal