Bhumisparsha: Touching the Earth, an ongoing global initiative to accumulate recitations of the Mantra of Shakyamuni Buddha conceived by the revered Bhutanese lama, teacher, filmmaker, and author Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche, continues to exceed the organizers’ expectations, with the project on the cusp of recording a cumulative total of 500 million global mantra recitations.
The worldwide Buddhist cyber-gathering, coordinated by Siddhartha’s Intent India for the benefit of “the Earth, for humanity, for animals, and for all sentient beings,” was launched on 24 July with the objective of reaching at least 100 million global recitations of the Shakyamuni Mantra by 1 January 2021.*
“As of 26 November, we have recorded 470,995,470 recitations of the Shakyamuni Mantra from supporters around the world, with people sending in their own renditions of the mantra from as far afield as Bhutan, Brazil, Colombia, Hawaii, and the Netherlands,” Prashant V., projects director for Siddhartha’s Intent India, told Buddhistdoor Global.
Siddhartha’s Intent, which was formed in Australia in 1986, is an international collective of Buddhist groups supporting Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche’s Buddhadharma activities by organizing teachings and retreats, distributing and archiving recorded teachings, transcribing, editing, and translating manuscripts and practice texts, with a global community committed to continual study and practice.
“Bhumisparsha has also been creating content that allows our audience to further reflect on the meaning of Bhumisparsha and Shakyamuni,” said Prashant. “This content includes retelling the Jataka tales through illustrations and a series of contemporary artworks that offer different approaches to the teaching of Touching the Earth. Soon we will have an illustrated retelling of the life of the Buddha, which we hope all our supporters will enjoy.”
As an integral aspect of the mantra accumulation, Bhumisparsha: Touching the Earth also encourages people of all ages from anywhere in the world to share their own mantra performances or expressions as offerings for the project, as well as their stories of how they first heard the Buddha’s name and their connection with the Buddhadharma: through words, art, music, or any other medium of expression.
“As a project, Bhumisparsha sets out to celebrate and remember Shakyamuni Buddha, the one who embodies compassion, love, and wisdom,” Prashant explained. “This is being done by accumulating recitations of the Shakyamuni Mantra from participants around the world and by encouraging participants to create and submit their own recordings of the mantra, as well as art and stories celebrating the life and teachings of the Buddha. Since the launch of the project, we have received hundreds of creative submissions—the most recent include animations from Nepal, music from France, paintings from China, and many more photos, videos, stories, and other expressions of appreciation from all over the world.”
Born in Bhutan in 1961, and now based in Himachal Pradesh, India, Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche is the son of Thinley Norbu Rinpoche and was a close student of the Nyingma master Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche (1910–91). He is recognized as the third incarnation of Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo, founder of the Khyentse lineage, and the immediate incarnation of Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö (1893–1959). In addition to Siddhartha’s Intent, his projects include Khyentse Foundation, established in 2001 to promote the Buddha’s teaching and support all traditions of Buddhist study and practice; 84000, a non-profit global initiative to translate the words of the Buddha and make them available to all; Lotus Outreach, which directs a wide range of projects to help refugees; and more recently The Lhomon Society, which promotes sustainable development in Bhutan through education.
Rinpoche is the author of several books, including: What Makes You Not a Buddhist (2006), Not For Happiness (2012), and The Guru Drinks Bourbon? (2016), and has garnered renown within and outside of the global Buddhist community for the feature-length films he has written and directed: The Cup (1999), Travellers and Magicians (2004), Vara: A Blessing (2012), and Hema Hema: Sing Me a Song While I wait (2016).
* Bhumisparsha: Global Shakyamuni Mantra Accumulation Surges Past 100 Million Recitations (Buddhistdoor Global)
The Filmmaker and the Musician: Dzongsar Khyenste Rinpoche Collaborates with Kanho Yakushiji for Global Mantra Accumulation (Buddhistdoor Global)
Bhumisparsha: Global Shakyamuni Mantra Accumulation Reaches 4.7 Million Recitations (Buddhistdoor Global)
Bhumisparsha: Touching the Earth (Siddhartha’s Intent India)
The Shakyamuni Mantra (Siddhartha’s Intent India)
DJKR Bhumisparsha (YouTube)
Siddhartha’s Intent India