Those who offer one thousand lights will be reborn when Maitreya Buddha shows the deed of gaining Enlightenment and receive his first Dharma teaching.
Arya Maitreya Sutra
The four most important events of Shakyamuni Buddha's life are honoured every year in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition:
Our next festival will be 15 Days of Miracles – 16 Feb to 2 Mar 2018, the most holy day being the 2nd
The Festival of Lights and Merit (FLAM) is held each time at the Mahabodhi Stupa. FLAM is a spiritual festival that allows people from around the world to sponsor lights, pujas and prayer flags. The names and dedications of all those who sponsor are read aloud each evening during the sponsored festival.
Tens of thousands of electrical light offerings create the illusion of a starry sky surrounding the Stupa itself, a beautiful and inspiring sight. Together with the thousands of electrical lights at Root institute, these lights are offered and dedicated each evening by Root Institute on behalf of sponsors.
Three specific pujas are specially arranged – Tara Puja, Protector Puja and Guru Puja – with monks from the Bodhgaya branch of Namgyal Monastery.
Traditional Tibetan Prayer Flags are blessed, raised beside the Mahabodhi Stupa and dedicated on behalf of sponsors. The blessings of which are spread across the Stupa grounds and inner Bodhgaya city.
All of the offerings will also be dedicated for:
Lama Zopa Rinpoche has advised Root Institute that each single recitation of the actual light offering prayer is equivalent to the number of lights offered. Therefore, on one night during the 15 Days of Miracles, if 100,000 lights are offered by 10 students, according to Rinpoche’s advice, one million lights would be offered on that night alone!
Sponsorship of FLAM also helps the Root Institute family:
Root Institute is a meditation centre with resident nuns and monks and not a guesthouse, so couples, and men and women, must have separate accommodation.
If participating in courses or retreats, friends and family of the same gender will also be asked to stay in separate rooms to help support silence and their focus on the course / retreat.
We ask all our guests and visitors to observe the following rules of discipline in order to maintain an atmosphere conducive to inner reflection and meditation:
Respect all life: do not intentionally kill any living being, even small insects.
Respect others' property: do not steal or take anything not freely given.
Be honest and straightforward: do not lie or intentionally deceive others.
Be celibate: no sexual activity; this also includes no holding hands, hugging, massages and other physical displays of affection.
Be alert and mindful*: avoid intoxicants such as alcohol, drugs and cigarettes; we encourage you to stop smoking while here, but if this is impossible, one can smoke outside the gates.
Be considerate of others' silence: keep silence in the appropriate areas and at all times during residential courses, especially in the Gompa and the dormitories; no singing or playing music and, in general, maintain a quiet demeanour while on the property.
Be considerate of the monks and nuns: dress respectfully; please no shorts above the knee, tank-top shirts or tight and revealing clothing.
Please be aware:
In April 2016 the Bihar state government passed laws totally prohibiting the sale and consumption of alcohol in the state, with very severe penalties, up to capital punishment for those involved in manufacture! Please ensure you do not carry any alcohol with you in Bihar.
Also, please note that those in service or teaching in FPMT centers and projects do not engage in the practice of Shugden.
Our spiritual programme now runs from beginning of September through to end of April.
On the appropriate dates in the Tibetan calendar year-round, however, we observe the standard pujas of the Gelug tradition and these are drop-in sessions which anyone can attend. If you are in Bodhgaya and would like to come along, please feel welcome to join us for:
Unless otherwise indicated, registration is required for all spiritual programme events except drop-in sessions, Festival of Lights & Merit, and Mahabodhi Stupa events.