KUALA LUMPUR – The world’s largest jade Buddha statue made its debut on Malaysian shores Friday, attracting a crowd of over 300 VIPs and members of the public.
The event, held at Wisma Hrih Lotus at Jalan Pahang, Kuala Lumpur, was graced by Malacca governor Tun Mohamad Khalil Yaakob, who said the statue serves to promote a message of peace among all who behold it.
“It is a reminder that Malaysia should be a place where peace and harmony exists,” he said in his speech.
“Besides, all famous works of art and relics, wherever they are from and whatever they represent, should be appreciated by all people,” he added.
The “Jade Buddha for Universal Peace” was commissioned in 2003 when its founder Ian Green saw an 18-tonne boulder of jade, nicknamed the “Polar Pride”, which was discovered in British Columbia Canada in 2000.
“My master Venerable Lama Thubten Zopa Rinpoche had a vision the same night that the jade boulder would become a Buddha that will illuminate the world,” Green said.
Carvers from Chiang Rai were chosen to carve the jade boulder using diamond saws and tools.
“It took five years to complete the statue, which weighs four tonnes and is 2.7m tall,” Green said.
Green, an Australian convert to Buddhism, also founded the Great Stupa of Universal Compassion in Bendingo, Australia, which will become the final resting place of the jade Buddha once its tour ends.
“The statue started its tour in March 2009 and has since visited 65 cities across 15 countries with more than seven million visitors,” Green said.
The Jade Buddha for Universal Peace will remain at Wisma Hrih Lotus from March 15 to 24 for the public to view from 10am to 10pm.
Blessings, dharma teachings, a painting exhibition by 8th Venerable Dru-gu Choegyal Rinpoche, and other activities will also be held there during this period.