On July 27, 2014, Big Indian welcomed the newly-arrived statue of the Hindu Goddess Mariamma, which was donated to the Bodhivastu Foundation for the land in Big Indian by Sai Maa, a Hindu guru based in Colorado with her own international following. The statue was commissioned by Sri Tiruchi Mahaswamigal (Apaji), a guru very close to Sai Maa, who had a vision of the goddess offering blessings to America. It was carved in India ten years ago. “She’s a goddess to be reckoned with, you could say,” said Lama Rangbar. “All 6,000+ pounds and ten feet of her are astounding.”
Finding A Home: Mariamma Arrives
Amazingly the Mariamma statue is reported to have resided in its substantial shipping case since its completion a decade ago. Upon its quick arrival astride an 80-ft flatbed tractor trailer to Big Indian, Mariamma saw her first light of day. Contingents of the Lama’s group, east coast followers of Sai Maa, and local Rudi practitioners gathered together in amazement, joy, ceremony, and no small amount of relief to welcome, bless, and adorn the statue in a flurry of flowers.
Moving Mariamma To Her Resting Place
After a month of looking for the right person to gently move all 3 tons of the statue from her reclining Buddha pose to an upright posture, Mariamma made her move on August 28 with a small contingent of followers to witness the 4-hour journey. It was a wondrous and mostly sunny day, filled with heartfelt prayers. There was a collective sigh of relief that reverberated through the Catskill Mountains, and surely all the way back to Colorado once she found her resting place.
Building a Pavilion For Mariamma
On Oct. 3-5, 2014, a pavilion was built above the Mariamma statue under the guidance of Lama Rangbar and the foremanship of Michael Northrop from Sai Maa’s community in Albany, NY. Mr. Northrup was assisted by both Matt Gutchell and Larry Powers who brought their professional skills to the project. Many individuals from both the Bodhivastu community and Rudi community contributed time and energy to the project.
Mariamma Consecration Ceremony
In August, 2015, the Bodhivastu Foundation held the extremely rare event of the consecration ceremony of the extraordinary Mariamma statue now residing in Big Indian, NY. Lama Rangbar explains the significance and importance of this event, as led by Acharya Dawa Chhodak Rinpoche.