Honoring the Last Wish of Buddha!
Shrine in the Memory of the Enlightened One!
From the jungles of Java to the snow-covered wastes of Mongolia, from the mountains of Afghanistan
to Japan's pacific coastline, these monuments rose, bearing silent witness to the power of the
Buddha's teaching. Called stupa or quot;pagodaquot; - it was originally a mound erected as a memorial to
Buddha. It is mentioned in the Mahãparinibbãna Sutta, the discourse recording the last days of the
Buddha, that ten stupas were constructed
Lenatthanca sukhatthanca, jhayitunca vipassitum. Viharadanam sanghassa, aggam Buddhena
vannitam. Tasma hi pandito poso, sampassam atthamattano.
Vihare karaye ramme, vasayettha bahussute. -- Culavagga 295
Sheltering and conducive to meditation and insight, a place of meditation is praised by the Buddha as
the greatest gift to the Sangha. Therefore a wise man, considering his own welfare, should build
pleasant dwellings in which those who have heard much about the Dhamma may stay and practice it.
In some lands a mound erected as a memorial to Buddha are called stupas, elsewhere pagodas. In
Sanskrit the term is chaitya (consciousness) and in Pali it is cetiya or thupa.
Emperor Asoka (273-236 B.C.) built stupas in Buddha's honour at many places in India. Stupas at
Sanchi are the most magnificent structures of ancient India. UNESCO has included them as one of
the heritage sites of the world. Stupas are large hemispherical domes, containing a central chamber,
in which the relics of the Buddha were placed. Sanchi stupas trace the development of the Buddhist
architecture and sculpture at the same location beginning from the 3rd century B.C. to the 12th
Gratitude and initiative to help others without expecting anything in return
The Buddha said that two qualities are rare among humans: kataññu`ta, that is, gratitude and
pubbakarita, which is, initiative to help others without expecting anything in return. These two
qualities are the true yardstick of measuring progress on the path of Dhamma of any person
devoted to Dhamma.
Gratitude is more important of the two qualities. Whenever we remember the help given to us
by any saintly person and generate gratitude towards him, we naturally feel inclined to give
selfless service to live up to that ideal. Thus selfless service is strengthened. Gratitude and
selfless service complement and support each other.
Honoring The Buddha:
Honoring the Buddha, following the last instructions of the Enlightened One, and
inspired by Guru ji Shri S. N. Goenka ji (Vipassana meditation), a Global Pagoda is
built near Mumbai in India. The world's largest stone dome an architectural marvel,
having a meditation hall for 8000 - Mumbai, India.
The world's largest stone dome, built without any supporting pillars, using thousands
of self-supporting interlocking suspended stones, gripping and holding each other
(designed by Sthapati Chandubhai Sompura). It has a massive inner dome of 65,000
sq.ft. meditation hall.
Maharishi ji with Shri S N Goenka ji (to Maharishi ji’s right) 1963 Rangoon, Myanmar
Global Pagoda - Mumbai
World's largest stone dome an architectural marvel, having a meditation hall for 8,000
- Mumbai, India. Built without any supporting pillars, using thousands of self-
supporting interlocking suspended stones, gripping and holding each other (designed
by Sthapati Chandubhai Sompura). It has a massive inner dome of 65,000 sq.ft.
meditation hall. It is a replica of Shwedagon pagoda but with a difference of having a
meditation hall inside instead of a solid structure of Shwedagon pagoda.
Meditators seated inside the Global Pagoda Dome
Global Pagoda: Architectural Marvel
Inaugural address by Goenka ji. (8 February 2009)
And it did not cost a lot at all!
Height: 96.12 meters
Inner Diameter: 85.15 meters
Area of Dome: 6,272 Sq. meters
Number of meditators: 8,000
Estimated Cost: Rs. 7 Crore 10 lakh, or US$ 1,400,000.—
(By this hoping to inspire the donors to create Maharishi’s Samadhi Sthal and Towers of Invincibility)