The “great stupa” in Boudhanath is one of the most important stupas in the world
One of the guide book exlusions that always irked me was the lack of simple information telling me what each part of this great stupa was called. It’s one of the reasons I wrote my own guide to Boudhanath.
It’s a simple question that needs answering.
Everyone know’s “the eyes”. Those colorful eyes are at best – an easy guess. But what do all the other parts mean?
Let’s take a look!
The different parts of Boudhanath stupa
So there are the main parts. But what about the stupa as a whole?
What is a stupa?
A stupa, or Chaitya in Nepal, is said to represent Buddha’s holy mind. Each step thusly showing the way to enlightenment. Throughout history there have been different types of stupa and different ways of constructing them. In this case the Boudhanath stupa has several legends leading to it’s creation.
Legends surrounding Boudhanath Stupa
How are stupas created?
Again each stupa seems to be a little different. Tradition dictates that it starts with a square base called the Lion’s Seat. Each of the four sides refer to the four qualities needed to attain enlightenment: Love, Compassion, Joy and Equanimity.
The main central area is then filled with sacred artifacts and relics. This may also contain a piece from Buddha himself. In Boudhanath’s case this is said to be from his little finger.
Why build a stupa?
There are many reasons people build a stupa. From creating a place people can gather to give respect to Buddha a central area people can practice their faith.
Many others create stupa’s to either be born again at a higher level eg from peasant to royalty. Others still believe it will give them clairvoyance to understanding Buddhism. Perhaps one of the more popular reasons is to remove all signs of negative karma from ones life by building a stupa.
Want to know more?
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