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Eurojade - Le Spécialiste du Jade - The Jade Specialist

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The Jade Buddha for Universal Peace is the largest Buddha carved from gemstone quality jade. It was created for the Great Stupa of Bendigo, Victoria, in Australia, and initiated by The Great Stupa of Universal Compassion Ltd, affiliated with the FMPT (Foundation for the Preservation of Mahayana Tradition).

The Jade Buddha is 2.7 metres high and sits on an alabaster throne of 1.4 metres high. The Jade Buddha itself weighs around 4 tons and has been valued at $5 million. The Buddha has been carved from a rare boulder of translucent jade ("Polar Pride") which has been discovered in Canada in the year 2000. It was consecrated by the Dalai Lama on December 1st, 2009 in Sydney, Australia.

The Buddha for Universal Peace - copyright the Great Stupa of Universal Compassion Ltd

The Buddha inside the Mahabodhi Stupa in Bodh Gaya (India) is the model for the Jade Buddha for Universal Peace. This buddha was chosen because it is universally recognised by all Buddhists. The Mahabodhi Society at Bodh Gaya gave special permission for a detailed photographic study of the statue. These photographs became the reference upon which the sculptors and carvers created the Jade Buddha for Universal Peace.

Lama Zopa Rinpoche named the Buddha the Jade Buddha for Universal Peace in the belief that this buddha will inspire all beings to follow the peaceful path. According to Rinpoche, the Jade Buddha "will illuminate the world and bring inconceivable peace and happiness and help prevent the destruction that is happening in the world, including war". 


Polar Pride jade boulder - copyright Jade West

The Jade Buddha project began in 2003 when Ian Green received a phone call from Cheyenne Sun Hill, a jade jewellery designer in California. Mr Sun Hill was also a Buddhist and since 2000 he had been looking to create a Jade Buddha from Polar Pride. Ian Green went to Canada to see the Polar Pride jade boulder and then spoke to his spiritual master Lama Zopa Rinpoche who divinded that this jade boulder "must be made into a Jade Buddha as a holy object to be offered to the world". The next 5 years were devoted to raising the funds to make a deposit on the "Polar Pride", selecting the best jade master carvers, shipping the boulder to Thailand, preparing a total of 4 prototypes, polishing and carving the Jade Buddha. The Jade Buddha was completed in December 2008. 

Large scale prototypes were produced out of clay and fiberglass by Australian and Thai carvers, and the cut was made by Thai carvers. Classically trained, Australian sculptor Jonathon Partridge worked alongside the Thai sculptors at Jade Thongtavee to create the final prototype for the carving of Jade Buddha.

prototype - copyright The Great Stupa of Universal Compassion Ltd

In January 2009 an extensive ceremony was conducted to bless the completed statue.

 blessing ceremony - The Great Stupa of Universal Compassion Ltd

Once the prototype for the Jade Buddha for Universal Peace was approved, the cutting and carving of the Polar Pride boulder began. Cutting jade is a very slow process as diamond saws grind their way through the boulder. Once the boulder was roughly cut it went through a process of refinement as the Buddah and lotus base gradually took shape.

The carving was overseen by the head carver. Jonathon Partridge also visited Thailand in the final months to personally oversee the exacting detail that was required to perfect the statue. In total it took just over 18 months for Jade Thongtavee** to design, cut and carve the Jade Buddha for Universal Peace.

The face of the Buddha was painted in gold in order to make the features of the face much clearer and more "inspiring". The original statue in Bodh Gaya is painted as it is a tradition in India and Nepal for statues to have their faces painted in non-reflecting gold. It is considered to inauspicious to see your face reflected in the statue of a Buddha. The face was painted by Rajeesh, a renowned Nepali artist.

A scale model of the Buddha was carved and offered as a gift to the Royal Family of Thailand. This Budda has been prepared with great care and precision to recognize the contribution of Thailand in making the Jade Buddha for Universal Peace a reality.

Jade Buddha at scale model for Royal Thai Familya - copyright The Great Stupa of Universal Compassion Ltd

The workers at Jade Thongtavee Co. Ltd were instructed to carefully collect every chip that came from Polar Pride during the carving process. These pieces of jade have been transformed into unique mementos of the Jade Buddha for Universal Peace. The memento items are available for a limited time at each tour venue.

Polar Pride weighed 18 tons, Jade Buddha 4 tons, around 14 tons of jade chipshave been used to make mementos. Numerous buddhas at scale model have been made, all already sold. The funds will help sponsor the Jade Buddha for Universal Peace and the Great Stupa of Universal Compassion which will house the Buddha in Bendigo, Australia.  The Great Stupa will be the largest Stupa in the western world (outside of Asia).

The Jade Buddha for Universal Peace started in Danang, Vietnam, in March 2009. After three months in Vietnam it toured the capital cites of Australia during the second half of 2009. In February 2010 it commenced its tour of the USA and Canada. As of March 2010, it was recorded that 4.5 million people had seen the Jade Buddha. In second half of 2011 the Buddha will travel to Europe before going back to Asia in 2012. It is scheduled to make return visits to the USA, Vietnam and Australia. Eventually the Jade Buddha will go to its home at the Great Stupa of Universal Compassion in Bedengo, Victoria (Autralia). 

Jade Buddha for Universal Peace at Temple Van Ang, Dong Thang, Vietnam - copyright The Great Stupa of Universal Compassion Ltd

2008 Beijing Olympic Games medals - coyright The Great Stupa of Universal Compassion Ltd

 Jade Buddha carving from a prototype - copyright The Great Stupa of Universal Compassion Ltd

 
copyright The Great Stupa of Universal Compassion Ltd & Eurojade for adaptation
 
 
*In late 1990's a remarkable new find of jade was discovered just south of the Yukon border in Canada. It contained stone so green, clear and vibrant that it was unlike any other jade ever found. Inspired by its surroundings it became known as "Polar Jade" but also as "the find of the millennium". Under scientific investigation Polar Jade has been found to be harder than any other variety of nephrite. It shines to a brilliant polish. Polar Jade was chosen by the Chinese authorities for medals at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

**Jade Thongtavee Co. Ltd was founded by Mr. Boonthong Yotharvut who studied jade sculpture techniques in China before setting up his company, which employs now over 30 skilled craftsmen and women. The carving of the Jade Buddha was overseen by the son of the founder and current factory manager, Mr. Vanit Yotharvut.

 

 

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