StupaFrom Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia This article needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (December 2007)The Great Stupa at Sanchi, India, established byAshoka the great (4th–1st century BCE). Part of a series on Buddhism History[show] Dharma or concepts[show] Practices[show] Nirvāṇ a[show] Traditions · Canons[show] Outline Buddhism portal V
T EA stupa (from Sanskrit: m., , stūpa, Sinhalese: , Pāli: "thūpa", literally meaning "heap")is a mound-like structure containing Buddhistrelics, typically the ashes of deceased, used by Buddhists as aplace of meditation. The term "reliquary" is sometimes used, after a Christianfunctional equivalent. Stupas are an ancient form of mandala. Contents [hide]1 Description and history o 1.1 Types of stupas o 1.2 Features of a stupa2 Symbolism o 2.1 Five purified elements3 Construction o 3.1 Treasury o 3.2 Tree of Life o 3.3 Benefits4 Eight great stupas o 4.1 Lotus Blossom Stupa o 4.2 Enlightenment Stupa o 4.3 Stupa of Many Doors o 4.4 Stupa of Descent from the God Realm o 4.5 Stupa of Great Miracles o 4.6 Stupa of Reconciliation o 4.7 Stupa of Complete Victory o 4.8 Stupa of Nirvana5 Kalachakra stupa6 Regional names7 Gallery8 See also9 References o 9.1 Footnotes o 9.2 Notations
10 External linksDescription and historyDhamek Stupa in Sarnath, northeastern India is the oldest Stupa in existence.Stupa surrounded by four lion-crowned pillars. Gandhara, 2nd century CE.The stupa is the oldest Buddhist religious monument and was originally only a simple mound of mud or clay tocover relics of the Buddha (cetiya). After the parinirvana of the Buddha, his remains were cremated and theashes divided and buried under eight stupas with two further stupas encasing the urn and the embers. Little isknown about these early stupas, particularly since it has not been possible to identify the original ten monuments.However, some later stupas, such as at Sarnath and Sanchi, seem to be embellishments of earlier mounds.In the third century BC, after his conversion to Buddhism, the emperor Asoka had the original stupas opened andthe remains distributed among the several thousand stupas he had built. Nevertheless, the stupas at the eightplaces associated with the life of the Buddha continued to be of particular importance. Accordingly, theimportance of a stupa changed from being a funerary monument to being an object of veneration. As aconsequence their appearance changed also. Stupas were built in Sri Lanka soon after KingDevanampiyatissa converted to Buddhism, the first stupa to be built was theThuparamaya. Later on Sri Lankawent on to build many stupas over the years, some like the Jetavanarama in Anuradhapura being one of the tallest ancient structures in the world. Sri Lanka also boasts construction of stupas, which have used mostadvanced engineering techniques and knowledge, for example the use of lightning conductors and special
shelters (vatadage), which is the reason they have been standing undamaged for thousands of years. Ghalegay hosts one of the biggest stupas at Mohallah Singardar in district Swat, Pakistan.They evolved into large hemispherical mounds with features such as the torana (gateway), the vedica (fence-likeenclosure evolved from the vedicvillages), the harmika (a square platform with railings on top of thestupa), chattrayashti (the parasol or canopy) and a circumambulatory around the stupa. From the third centuryBCE onwards, stupas were incorporated into the hall of the chaitya-griha.One such stupa was discovered at Sopara, an ancient port near Mumbai, and is believed to be one of the mostancient stupas in the world. The oldest known stupa is the Dhamek Stupa at Sarnath, India, while the tallest isthe Phra Pathom Chedi in Nakhon Pathom, Thailand, at a height of 127 metres. The most elaborate stupa is the8th century Borobudur monument in Java, Indonesia. The upper rounded terrace with rows of bell shaped stupascontained buddha images symbolizing Arupadhatu, the sphere of formlessness. The main stupa itself is empty,symbolizing complete perfection of enlightenment. The main stupa is only the crown part of the monument, whilethe base is pyramidal structure elaborate with galleries adorned with bas relief of scenes derived from Buddhisttext depicted the life of Siddharta Gautama. Borobudur unique and significant architecture has been acknowledgeby UNESCO as the largest buddhist monument in the world. Accordingto Brahmi, kharoshti, Pali and Sanskrit edicts Ashoka the great founded 84,000 stupas all over the south Asia.The stupa evolved into the pagoda as Buddhism spread to other Asian countries. The pagoda has varied formsthat also include bellshaped and pyramidal ones. Today, in the Western context, there is no clear distinctionbetween the stupa and the pagoda. But in general stupa is used for a Buddhist structure of India or south-eastAsia, while pagoda refers to a building in east Asia which can be entered and which may be secular in purpose.Types of stupas Built for a variety of reasons, Buddhist stupas are classified based on form and function into five types: Relic stupa - in which the relics or remains of the Buddha, his disciples and lay saints are interred. Object stupa - in which the items interred are objects belonged to the Buddha or his disciples such as a begging bowl or robe, or important Buddhist scriptures. Commemorative stupas - built to commemorate events in the lives of Buddha or his disciples. Symbolic stupa- to symbolise aspects of Buddhist theology, for example, Borobuddur is considered to be the symbol of "the Three Worlds (dhatu)  and the spiritual stages (bhumi) in a Mahayana bodhisattvas character." Votive stupas - constructed to commemorate visits or to gain spiritual benefits, usually at the site of prominent stupas which are regularly visited.Features of a stupa
Harmika-It is built on the top of the oval shaped stupa. Medhi-It is an elevated circular path around the stupa used for Pradhikshina Toran-It is the Gateway to the stupa. Vedica-It is a railing meant for the protection of the holy place.SymbolismThe sharing of the relics of the Buddha, Zenyōmitsu-Temple Museum, TokyoBuddha relics from Kanishkas stupa in Peshawar, Pakistan. These surviving relics are now housed inMandalay, Burma."The shape of the stupa represents the Buddha, crowned and sitting in meditation posture on a lion throne. Hiscrown is the top of the spire; his head is the square at the spires base; his body is the vase shape; his legs are the four steps of the lower terrace; and the base is his throne."Five purified elementsAlthough not described in any Tibetan text on stupa symbolism, the stupa may represent the five purified elements: The square base represents earth The hemispherical dome/vase represents water The conical spire represents fire The upper lotus parasol and the crescent moon represents air The sun and the dissolving point represents the element of spaceConstruction
To build a stupa, transmissions and ceremonies from a Buddhist teacher is necessary. Which kind of Stupa tobe constructed in a certain area is decided together with the teacher assisting in the construction. Sometimes the type of stupa chosen is directly connected with events that have taken place in the area.TreasuryAll stupas contain a treasury filled with various objects. Small offerings called Tsa-Tsas fill a major part of thetreasury. Creation of various types of Tsa-Tsas is a ceremony itself. Mantras written on paper are rolled into thin rolls, and put into these small clay stupas. Filling the treasury, one layer of Tsa-Tsas are placed, and the emptyspace between is filled with dry sand. On the new surface appearing, another layer is made, until the entire space of a treasury is full.The number of Tsa-Tsas are dependent on the size of both the treasury and Tsa-Tsa, since it should becompletely filled. For example, the Kalachakra stupa in southern Spain has approximately 14 000 Tsa-Tsas within.Jewellery and other "precious" objects are also placed in the treasury. It is not necessary that the jewellery be expensive, since it is the symbolic value that is important, not the market price. It is believed that the more objects placed into the stupa, the stronger the energy of the Stupa will be.Tree of LifeA very important element in every Stupa is the Tree of Life. It is a wooden pole covered with gems and thousands of mantras, and placed in the central channel of the stupa. It is placed here during a ceremony or initiation,where the participants hold colorful ribbons connected to the Tree of Life. Together the participants make theirmost positive and powerful wishes, which are stored in the Tree of Life. In this way the stupa is charged up, and will start to function.BenefitsBuilding a stupa is considered extremely beneficial, leaving very positive karmic imprints in the mind. Futurebenefits from this action will result in fortunate rebirths. Fortunate worldly benefits will be the result, such as beingborn into a rich family, having a beautiful body, a nice voice, and being attractive and bringing joy to others and having a long and happy life, in which ones wishes are fulfilled quickly. On the absolute level, one will also be able to reach enlightenment, the goal of Buddhism, quickly. Destroying a stupa on the other hand, is considered an extremely negative deed, similar to killing. Such anaction is explained to create massive negative karmic imprints, leading to massive future problems. It is said this action will leave the mind in a state of paranoia after death has occurred, leading to totally unfortunate rebirths.Eight great stupas
The Eight Great StupasThere are eight different kinds of stupas in Tibetan Buddhism, each referring to major events in the Buddhas life.Lotus Blossom StupaAlso known as Stupa of Heaped Lotuses or Birth of the Sugata Stupa, this stupa refers to the birth of the Buddha. "At birth Buddha took seven steps in each of the four directions" (East, South, West and North). In eachdirection lotuses sprang, symbolizing the Four Immeasurables: love, compassion, joy and equanimity. The foursteps of the basis of this stupa is circular, and it is decorated with lotus-petal designs. Occasionally, seven heaped lotus steps are constructed. These refer to the seven first steps of the Buddha.Enlightenment StupaAlso known as the Stupa of the Conquest of Mara. This stupa symbolizes the 35-year-old Buddhas attainment ofenlightenment under the bodhi tree in Bodh Gaya, where he conquered worldly temptations and attacks manifesting in the form of Mara.Stupa of Many DoorsAlso known as the Stupa of Many Gates. After reaching enlightenment, the Buddha taught his first students in adeer-park nearSarnath. The series of doors on each side of the steps represent the first teachings: the FourNoble Truths, the Six Perfections, the Noble Eightfold Path and the Twelve Links in the Chain of Dependent Origination.Stupa of Descent from the God Realm
At 42 years of age, Buddha spent a summer retreat in Tushita Heaven, where his mother had taken rebirth. Inorder to repay her kindness he taught the dharma to her reincarnation. Local inhabitants built a stupa like thisin Sankasya in order to commemorate this event. This stupa is characterized by having a central projection at each side containing a triple ladder or steps.Stupa of Great MiraclesAlso known as Stupa of Conquest of the Tirthikas. This stupa refers to various miracles performed by the Buddhawhen he was 50 years old. Legend claims that he overpowered maras and heretics by engaging them inintellectual arguments and also by performing miracles. This stupa was raised by the Lichavi kingdom to commemorate the event.Stupa of ReconciliationThis stupa commemorates the Buddhas resolution of a dispute among the sangha. A stupa in this design was built in the kingdom of Magadha, where the reconciliation occurred. It has four octagonal steps with equal sides.Stupa of Complete VictoryThis stupa commemorates Buddhas successful prolonging of his life by three months. It has only three steps, which are circular and unadorned.Stupa of NirvanaThis stupa refers to the death of the Buddha, when he was 80 years old. It symbolizes the Buddhas complete absorption into the highest state of mind. It is bell-shaped and usually not ornamented.Kalachakra stupaMain article: Kalachakra stupaA 9th kind of stupa exists; the Kalachakra stupa. Its symbolism is not connected to events in the Buddhas life, but instead to the symbolism of the Kalachakra Tantra, created to protect against negative energies.Regional namesRegional names for stupa include: Chaitya (Nepal)  Dāgaba (usually spelled "Dagoba") (Sinhalese: , from  Sanskrit dhātu-garbha. ( - ) "relic-chamber" ) Chedi (Thai: , from the Pāli cetiya ( )  Candi (Indonesia and Malaysia, pronounced chandi).  Chorten [Tibet, Ladakh (India) and Bhutan]  (Wylie: mchod rten), "basis of offering") Chedey (Cambodia)  Phrathāt (Lanna)
Havitta (Dhivehi: ) or ustubu (Maldives) Suburgan/Suvarga (Mongolia) Субурган (Russia) Tap (Korea [塔/탑], from Chinese) Tháp (Vietnam [塔, from Chinese]) Thart (Laos) Ta (Chinese: 塔; Mandarin Pinyin: tă; Jyutping: taap ), 3 ancient transliteration of Sanskrit stupa. Sotoba (Japan [卒塔婆/そとば], Tō (Japan [塔/とう], from Chinese) Zedi (Myanmar [Zedi ) /Pahto ( ]) Setaow ( , /cetɔ e/) Tseti ( ) or Puhto ( ) Chedi/Thoopam (Tamil Pagoda South East Asia  Tope (Hindi: , from the Sanskrit) Garbha (Sanskrit: , meaning a storehouse or repository)Gallery The Great Stupa at Sanchi,India,established byAshoka the great (4th–1st century BCE). Dhamek Stupa in Sarnath, northeastern India is thought to be the oldest Stupa in existence.
Swayambhunath, also known as Monkey Temple, is an ancient religious complex atop ahill in theKathmandu Valley, Nepal. Boudhanath is one of the holiest Buddhist sites inKathmandu Valley, Nepal. Ruwanwelisaya Chedi in the sacred city ofAnuradhapura, Sri Lanka. Jetavanaramaya stupa inAnuradhapura, Sri Lankais the largest brick structure in the world The main Stupa crowningBorobudur, the largest Buddhist structure in theworld, Java, Indonesia.
A rock cut and semi brick construction ruins of Maha Chaitya(stupa)atBojjannakonda, Andhra Pradesh, India The Great Stupa atShambhala Mountain Center, Colorado, USA Khmer style stupa within the Royal Palace inPhnom Penh, Cambodia. Different architectural features that compriseShwedagon Pagoda and similar Mon-stylestupas, in Yangon, Myanmar.
Phra Sri Ratana Chedi within Wat Phra Kaeo, inBangkok, Thailand. White Dagoba Temple (Baita Si), also calledMiaoying Si, in Beijing,China. Stupa in Gotemba,Shizuoka City, Japan. Stupa at near Potala Palace, Lhasa, Tibet. Stupa in Quaid-i-Azam University Campus inIslamabad, Pakistan.
Evolution of the Butkara stupa in Pakistan, through the Mauryan, Indo-Greek,Indo- Scythian and Kushanperiods. A pagoda at Dambullagolden temple, Sri LankaSee also Ancient stupas of Sri Lanka Cetiya Chaitya Gorintō Great Stupa of Universal Compassion Hōkyōintō Mankiala Stupa Pagoda Peace PagodaReferencesFootnotes 1. ^ Prebish & Keown, Introducing Buddhism, page 89 2. ^ a b "ANCIENT STUPAS IN SRI LANKA – LARGEST BRICK STRUCTURES IN THE WORLD". stupa.org. Retrieved 2011-07-29. 3. ^ a b c d e f g h i Le Huu Phuoc (March 2010). Buddhist Architecture. Grafikol. p. 140. ISBN 978-0-9844043-0-8. Retrieved 8 December 2011. 4. ^ "Introduction to stupas". stupa.org. Retrieved 2009-04-18. 5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Beer, Robert: The Encyclopedia of Tibetan Symbols and Motifs (2004) Serindia Publications Inc. ISBN 1-932476-10-5 6. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Miracle Stupa - Stupa". stupa.pl. Retrieved 2009-04-18.
7. ^ a b "Benefits Resulting from the Building of Stupas". stupa.org. Retrieved 2009-04-18. 8. ^ a b Article: Lopon Tsechu Rinpoche: The Four Thoughts which Turn the Mind from Samsara. BUDDHISM TODAY, Vol.5, 1998. Available online 9. ^ "Kalachakra Stupa". karmaguen.org. Retrieved 2009-04-18.[dead link] Notations Mitra, D. (1971). Buddhist Monuments. Sahitya Samsad: Calcutta. ISBN 0- 89684-490-0. Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Stupas External links The Stupa Information Page Boudhanath Stupa at Kathmandu Nepal The Great Stupa of Universal Compassion, under construction in Bendigo, Victoria, Australia ‹ The template below (Buddhism-Horizontal) is being considered for deletion. See templates for discussion to help reach a consensus.› [show] V T E Buddhism [show] V T E Buddhism topics Categories: Stupas Buddhist buildings Monument types Buddhist architecture Sanskrit words and phrases Indian inventions
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