|Stupas for Peace
Rinpoche was a great luminary of Tibetan Buddhism in this
century. One of his principle teachers, Dzongsar Khyentse
Chokyi Lodro (1893-1959), prophesied that to encourage and
spread world peace, Khyentse Rinpoche should build a stupa
in each of the eight sacred sites connected with the major
events of Buddha Sakyamuni's life.
A stupa is an architectural rendering of enlightened
mind and symbolizes the different qualities of Buddhahood.
Its shape represents the Buddha crowned and seated in
meditation posture on a lion throne. The Tibetan for stupa
is chorten or container of relics. Every part of a stupa
has specific significance and within it are scriptures
and relics in defined positions, each equally alive with
In many Buddhist traditions, stupas are a place of pilgrimage
and provide support for the practice of prostrations,
offerings and circumambulations. They contain precious
relics and scriptures and, especially when they are properly
placed in important geographical points, have intrinsic
power and invoke peace. A stupa is consecrated, not as
a structure, but as a living enlightened presence, and
therefore brings blessings not only to its location, but
also to the world.
Before his passing in 1991, Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche was
able to only build and consecrate one of the eight, the
Enlightenment Stupa in Bodhgaya, India. Shechen
Rabjam Rinpoche, Khyentse Rinpoche’s grandson
and dharma heir, is fulfilling his vision by building
the remaining seven. He hopes to have the whole project
completed by 2010, the hundredth anniversary of the birth
of Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche. Another larger stupa has recently
been adjacent to Shechen
Monastery in Bodhgaya to commemorate Dilgo Khyentse
Each of the eight stupas has
a unique shape.
Their names and locations are as follows:
| The Lotus Blossom Stupa at
Lumbini, Nepal where the Buddha was born in the year 563.
The Enlightenment Stupa at Bodhgaya,
India where the Buddha, then thirty-five years old, attained
Enlightenment under the Bodhi Tree.
Of Turning The Wheel Of Dharma at Varanasi, India
where the Buddha taught for the first time.
The Stupa Of The Descent From a Heavenly Realm
at Shankasya, India where the Buddha descended from a heavenly
realm where he went to repay his mother’s kindness.
|The Great Miracle Stupa at
Sravasti, India where, at the age of fifty, the Buddha displayed
inconceivable miracles. He also spent thirty summer retreats
The Stupa Of Reuniting The Sangha
at Rajagriha, India where the Buddha reunited the Sangha,
which had been divided by Devadatta.
All-Victorious Stupa at Vaishali, India where the
Buddha proclaimed that he would leave this world to pass into
Nirvana but at the supplication of a lay devotee, he extended
his life for more three months.
Stupa at Kushinagar, India where, at eighty-one,
he passed away.
As a symbol of his wish to fulfill his teacher’s prophecy,
DKR built small replicas of these stupas at Shechen
Tennyi Dargyeling Monastery in Nepal. As he wrote, “Within
the stupa, the blessings of the teacher remain unchanging.
The Buddha said whoever sees a stupa will be liberated by
the sight of it, feels the breeze near it will be liberated
by its touch, and hears the tinkling of the small bells
around it, will be liberated by the sound. Having seen a
stupa, by reflecting on one’s experience of it, one
is liberated by recollection. May these stupas become a
supreme object of offering, liberating whoever sees them,
touches them, hears of them, or remembers them.”
The construction of these stupas is a spiritual task dedicated
to peace in the world. Three of the stupas have already
been built and consecrated. The construction and interior
objects for each stupa are being done carefully and traditionally.
The stupas are made of hand-placed stone blocks with no
concrete used on the outside. Stone carvings will adorn
the bumpa vase in the center. Tulku Rigzin Pema, a specialist
in stupas, and the Shechen monks have prepared the many
spiritual materials that are needed.
Each of the stupas will house: two mandalas engraved on
steel; highly detailed banners, offering bowls, lamps, and
conch shells (all made by the Tsering Art School); eighteen
auspicious vases filled with statues of the relevant deities
along with precious ingredients; 800 ‘tsa tsas,’
(small porcelain images) and ‘zungs’ (millions
of mantras inscribed on rolled paper anointed with saffron
and precious herbs). Each of the stupas will have a ‘sokshing’
(life tree) in the center with gold-lettered mantras from
top to bottom. The stupas will be consecrated once they
The presence of a stupa contributes to the welfare and happiness
of all beings, creates auspicious circumstances and subjugates
negative forces. Making offering to help build one brings
boundless benefit for many lives to come for oneself and
Funds are needed to build the remaining stupas. Patrons
can either donate funds to build a complete stupa, or contribute
to the general building fund.
Please contact us if you
would like to help.