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Una estupa (literalmente "montón" o "pila") es un relicario, un santuario que contiene los restos de una persona santa o santa y / o artefactos (reliquias) asociados con ellos, que se originaron en la India antes del siglo V a. C. como tumbas de hombres santos y evolucionando posteriormente en lugares sagrados dedicados al Buda (lc 563 - c. 483 a. C.) y, más tarde, budista arhats (santos), bodhisattvas (iluminados), otras figuras santas o deidades locales. Es una estructura hemisférica, con una aguja en la parte superior, a veces situada en una base que varía en forma y tamaño (según el propósito designado de esa estupa en particular) rodeada por una pasarela para visitantes. Algunas estupas, como la Gran Stupa en Sanchi, India, o la Estupa Boudhanath en Katmandú, Nepal, son estructuras grandes y ornamentadas, mientras que otras son más modestas.

La construcción de estupas, a gran escala y asociadas con el budismo, comenzó en toda la India durante el reinado de Ashoka el Grande (268-232 a. C.) del Imperio Maurya (322-185 a. C.) después de su conversión al budismo. Antes del reinado de Ashoka, había ocho estupas (o diez, según algunos estudiosos) dedicadas al Buda (y que contenían sus restos incinerados) en diferentes sitios, que se correlacionaban con eventos importantes de su vida. En un esfuerzo por difundir el budismo y alentar la iluminación de sus súbditos, Ashoka hizo desenterrar los restos y ordenó la construcción de muchos más (84.000, según la leyenda), cada uno recibiendo una determinada asignación de los restos que dotó a la estructura de energía mística. .

Cualquiera que sea la cultura que levante una estupa, su propósito es proporcionar un espacio sagrado para que las personas se centren en pensamientos superiores y se revitalicen espiritualmente.

Las estupas budistas son solo un tipo, ya que también hay estupas hindúes y jainistas, pero las estupas budistas siguen siendo las más populares y su construcción, en todo el mundo, ha sido la más prolífica. Las estupas existen en países de todo el mundo, desde India hasta Sri Lanka, Nepal, China, naciones europeas, Australia, Estados Unidos y más. Cualquiera que sea la cultura que plantee una de estas estructuras, su propósito es siempre el mismo: proporcionar un espacio sagrado para que las personas se centren en pensamientos superiores y se revitalicen espiritualmente.

Se cree que el acto devocional de construir una estupa trae buena suerte, salud, buen karma y le asegura a uno un escape del ciclo de renacimiento y muerte (samsara) que es un objetivo del hinduismo, el budismo y el jainismo o, al menos, un buen renacimiento en otra vida en la tierra en la que se alcanzará este objetivo. La destrucción de una estupa, por el contrario, trae mala suerte, mal karma y condena a uno a ciclos de vida repetidos para expiar el pecado. Las estupas son, por lo tanto, muy apreciadas en todo el mundo y no se escatiman gastos en su mantenimiento. Se consideran sitios sagrados de vital importancia, que marcan un espacio liminal fuera del tiempo o las circunstancias, dondequiera que se construyan, y atraen visitantes, de todas las religiones o de ninguna, a diario.

Estupas tempranas y el Buda

Las primeras estupas eran túmulos erigidos sobre los restos de místicos, ascetas, maestros u otros que habían mostrado una profunda percepción espiritual. Estas primeras estructuras eran montones de tierra y piedra que cubrían los restos incinerados del individuo o su cadáver, que estaba enterrado en una posición sentada y meditativa. El montículo se construyó para cubrir el cuerpo con una base ancha que se estrecha hacia la cabeza. Esta forma se usó incluso en los casos en que la persona había sido incinerada para simbolizar la postura meditativa asumida por los sabios iluminados.

El Buda dejó instrucciones a sus seguidores de que sus restos debían ser honrados de la misma manera, como lo describieron los eruditos Robert E. Buswell, jr. y Donald S. Lopez, jr:

¿Historia de amor?

Regístrese para recibir nuestro boletín semanal gratuito por correo electrónico.

En el [texto conocido como] el Mahaparinibbanasutta, el Buda dice que después de su muerte, sus reliquias deben guardarse en una estupa en una encrucijada, y que la estupa debe ser honrada con guirnaldas, incienso y pasta de sándalo. Debido a una disputa entre sus seguidores laicos después de su muerte, se dijo que sus reliquias se dividieron en diez porciones y se distribuyeron a diez grupos o individuos, cada uno de los cuales construyó una estupa para consagrar su parte de las reliquias en su región de origen. (859)

Estas estupas siguieron la forma anterior, pero fueron más elaboradas y construidas con más cuidado para representar al Buda sentado en la posición de loto. Los sitios de estas estupas fueron elegidos para correlacionarse con los eventos más importantes en la vida del Buda, incluyendo Lumbini (su lugar de nacimiento), Bodh Gaya (donde alcanzó la iluminación), el Parque de los Ciervos en Sarnath (donde predicó su primer sermón), Kushingara. (donde murió). Los adherentes budistas harían peregrinaciones a los sitios individuales o, dependiendo de su habilidad o nivel de devoción, a todos ellos a lo largo de una ruta sagrada mediante la cual revivirían simbólicamente la existencia terrenal del Buda.

Budismo y Ashoka el Grande

El budismo no era una religión importante en la India ni siquiera cien años después de su muerte. Era una escuela filosófica menor que se había desarrollado, junto con otras, a partir de la tradición religiosa del hinduismo. El hinduismo es conocido por los adherentes como Sanatan Dharma ("Orden Eterno" o "Camino Eterno") y el "orden" al que se alude (conocido como rita) era divino, habiendo sido establecido por el Señor supremo del Universo (que también era el Universo mismo), Brahman. El orden era comprensible a través de los textos conocidos como los Vedas ("Conocimiento") que se consideraban emanaciones sagradas del universo que habían sido "escuchados" por los antiguos sabios y escritos por escrito. Los sacerdotes hindúes de la época de Buda (siglo V a. C.) entendieron estos textos y los interpretaron para la gente, pero la gente misma no tuvo acceso a ellos. Varios sabios de la época respondieron desafiando la visión ortodoxa y la práctica de la religión que mantenía todo el poder espiritual y el control en manos del clero.

El budismo siguió siendo una escuela filosófica menor hasta el reinado de Ashoka el Grande.

Esta situación dio lugar a varias escuelas de pensamiento diferentes que apoyaron el entendimiento hindú ortodoxo, lo modificaron o lo rechazaron. Las escuelas que apoyaron la visión hindú fueron conocidas como astika (“Existe”) porque aceptaron la existencia del orden eterno según lo establecido en los Vedas y su interpretación por parte de los sacerdotes. Las escuelas que rechazaban la ortodoxia hindú se conocían como nastika (“No existe”) e incluía el budismo, el charvaka y el jainismo. El budismo ganó más terreno antes que el jainismo, y ambos más que Charvaka, pero siguió siendo una escuela filosófica menor hasta el reinado de Ashoka el Grande.

Ashoka fue el tercer rey del Imperio Maurya que fue descrito por historiadores posteriores como completamente despiadado y sin piedad. Alrededor del 260 a. C., Ashoka decidió invadir el reino más pequeño de Kalinga, que estaba rodeado por el Imperio Maurya y había sido un socio comercial de larga data. No se conoce el motivo de la invasión, ya que parece que ambas partes se estaban beneficiando por igual de su relación. Sin embargo, por alguna razón, Ashoka lanzó una campaña masiva, que destruyó Kalinga y resultó en la masacre de 100,000 habitantes, la deportación de 150,000 más y la muerte de miles de personas por heridas, enfermedades y hambruna.

Sin embargo, Ashoka no se deleitó con esta victoria, y en realidad se sorprendió por la carnicería y la destrucción sin sentido. Renunció a la violencia después de la campaña de Kalinga y, con el tiempo, se dedicó al camino de la paz a través del budismo. Decretó edictos a lo largo de su imperio transmitiendo su concepto de responsabilidad personal y preceptos budistas y luego hizo que las reliquias de Buda fueran removidas de las estupas originales y consagradas en miles de otras erigidas en todo el imperio mientras, al mismo tiempo, enviaba misioneros budistas a otras naciones como China, Grecia, Sri Lanka y Tailandia. Estos misioneros llevaron el concepto de estupa a las diversas regiones en las que ministraron y, una vez que el budismo encontró un lugar en muchas de estas culturas, se levantaron estupas en Sri Lanka (conocido como dagobas) y China (conocida como pagodas) y eventualmente se extendió desde estas regiones a otros lugares.

Significado y función

La base fundamental del budismo es que la vida es sufrimiento: uno sufre por falta de lo que no tiene pero, una vez que lo tiene, sufre por miedo a perderlo y, una vez que se ha ido, sufre la pérdida. Mientras uno viva, sufrirá de esta manera, pero el Buda se dio cuenta de que había una manera de detener el sufrimiento, y esto era cambiar la forma en que uno interpretaba el mundo y uno mismo. A través de la comprensión de las Cuatro Nobles Verdades y la práctica de los preceptos del Sendero Óctuple, uno podría elevar su comprensión de la existencia, controlar sus pensamientos y acciones y vivir en paz consigo mismo y con los demás. Todo lo que uno desea, los temores de perder y por lo que lamentamos son efímeros —no fueron hechos para durar— y, por lo tanto, carecen de significado final; uno debe, por lo tanto, apreciar estos aspectos de la vida por lo que son, pero no aferrarse a ellos, ya que su naturaleza es aparecer por poco tiempo y luego desaparecer. La estupa budista es una manifestación física de este entendimiento que invita a los adherentes a centrarse y elevarse a través de varios rituales o simplemente reuniendo y enfocando sus energías en el sitio.

La apariencia física de la estupa está destinada a elevar la mente. La aguja superioryasti) simboliza el eje mundi (eje del mundo), la línea que pasa por el centro de la tierra alrededor de la cual gira el universo. También se cree que representa el Árbol del Mundo, cuyas raíces están profundamente dentro de la tierra y ramas en el cielo, un símbolo común en muchas culturas alrededor del mundo. los yasti está rodeado por una puerta cuadrada conocida como el Dañika, y sobre el yasti y Dañika son parasoles que simbolizan la protección, la majestad y el propio Buda. El gran hemisferio desciende del yasti a una plataforma o base, a veces cuadrada, que a menudo está rodeada por un muro con cuatro puertas (toranas) correspondiente a los cuatro puntos cardinales. Estas direcciones, a su vez, se relacionan con cuatro eventos en la vida de Buda:

  • Oriente - Nacimiento de Buda
  • Sur - Iluminación de Buda
  • Oeste - Primer sermón de Buda
  • Norte - Nirvana / Liberación del Samsara de Buda

Todo el efecto es crear la impresión del Monte Meru, el centro espiritual del universo en la cosmología budista, hindú y jainista. La estupa, entonces, es un espacio sagrado, sin importar dónde esté ubicada o qué estructuras la rodean, donde uno puede comunicarse con las energías brillantes y tranquilas que infunden la estructura. Los académicos Buswell y López comentan:

Cada uno de estos elementos arquitectónicos evolucionaría en forma y eventualmente se imbuiría de un rico significado simbólico a medida que la estupa evolucionara en la India y en toda Asia. Los budistas consideran que las reliquias consagradas en la estupa son restos vivos del Buda (o del santo relevante) y la peregrinación y la adoración de las estupas ha sido durante mucho tiempo un tipo importante de práctica budista. Para todas las escuelas budistas, la estupa se convirtió en un punto de referencia que denota la presencia de Buda en el paisaje. Aunque los primeros textos y registros arqueológicos vinculan la adoración de las estupas con la vida de Buda, y especialmente los sitios clave en su carrera, las estupas también se encuentran en lugares que eran sagrados por otras razones, a menudo a través de una asociación con una deidad local. (860)

Los visitantes del sitio se postrarán ante la estupa varias veces, darán vueltas en el sentido de las agujas del reloj en un sendero para caminar, harán ambas cosas o no harán nada en absoluto. La circunvalación es el ritual más estrechamente asociado con las imágenes de estupas en la actualidad. Uno ingresa al sitio a través de una de las cuatro puertas y luego avanza alrededor de la estupa, en el sentido de las agujas del reloj, recitando mantras, oraciones y cánticos, tocando con frecuencia la pared de la estructura o colocando oraciones escritas en las ranuras. A veces hay observancias rituales de esta circunvalación un cierto número de veces en un período de 24 horas en las estupas. Uno debe proceder en el sentido de las agujas del reloj (a la derecha alrededor de la estupa) para seguir el curso natural del sol y su energía que produce luz, vida y fomenta el crecimiento y la transformación; proceder en sentido contrario a las agujas del reloj es dirigir la propia energía contra el flujo natural de la vida y, en esencia, intentar "desenrollar" el orden natural y el estado equilibrado de existencia. Por lo tanto, está prohibido avanzar en sentido contrario a las agujas del reloj en una estupa.

Estupas famosas y su propósito

El complejo de estupas más famoso de la India (y el que se representa con mayor frecuencia al definir una estupa) se encuentra en Sanchi en el estado de Madhya Pradesh. El complejo cuenta con la Gran Estupa (Mahastupa) encargado por Ashoka el Grande, templos, pilares, relieves y otras estupas. Se dice que el trabajo en la Gran Estupa fue supervisado por el mismo Ashoka, quien erigió uno de sus pilares, inscrito con sus edictos, en el sitio. El pilar de Ashoka en Sanchi todavía se puede ver en el complejo. los toranas de la Gran Estupa están intrincadamente tallados y ornamentados, pero el Buda mismo, en forma física, no está representado; su presencia está sugerida por relieves que muestran sus huellas, sus ojos, la sombrilla que simboliza su protección, o por animales asociados a su vida y ministerio. Los espíritus y las deidades de la fertilidad anteriores también se representan en el toranas, haciendo hincapié en la naturaleza acogedora y todo incluido del sitio.

En Sri Lanka, la primera región en abrazar el budismo a gran escala fuera de la India, hay una serie de estupas impresionantes. La más conocida es probablemente Ruwanwelisaya, que atrae a seguidores budistas de todo el mundo porque contiene la mayor cantidad de reliquias de Buda de cualquier estupa en cualquier otro lugar y, por lo tanto, se cree que ofrece la mayor cantidad de energía y poder espiritual.

Nepal es el hogar de otras dos estupas famosas, la estupa Boudhanath y la estupa Swayambhunath, ambas en Katmandú. La estupa Boudhanath es una de las más grandes de Nepal y del mundo. Fue construido directamente en una ruta comercial desde el Tíbet a través de la región y se ha convertido en un centro religioso para los refugiados tibetanos que huyen de la persecución china. Se dice que contiene las reliquias de un Buda posterior y se cuida continuamente. La estructura fue dañada por un terremoto en 2015 EC y restaurada a un costo de más de 2,000,000 de dólares estadounidenses. La estupa de Swayambhunath es, según la tradición, de creación propia (emergiendo de la tierra de forma natural) y es el hogar de poderosas energías espirituales que mantienen la tierra en equilibrio. Esta estupa también fue dañada en el terremoto de 2015 CE y restaurada. Un modelo en miniatura se encuentra entre las exhibiciones del Museo de Arte Asiático de San Francisco, EE. UU., Con todas las características de la estupa reproducidas a la perfección, incluidos los cuatro Budas alrededor de la parte superior y los Ojos del Buda encima de ellos en los cuatro lados: un centro característica de muchas estupas.

El complejo de estupas más grande del mundo es Borobudur en Java, Indonesia, terminado en el siglo IX d.C. Borobudur es un importante lugar de peregrinaje budista donde los visitantes pueden circunvalar nueve niveles de la inmensa estructura, contemplando innumerables estatuas y relieves relacionados con la vida y la visión del Buda, de modo que puedan elevarse física y psicológicamente por encima de la mundo de la vida cotidiana.

Las estupas anteriores datan de los primeros siglos de la era común, pero muchas otras se han construido en todo el mundo en los últimos 100 años o incluso más recientemente. La estupa más alta de Europa es la estupa de Benalmádena en Andalucía, España, terminada en 2003 EC, y se eleva a una altura de 108 pies (33 metros). En los Estados Unidos, la estupa más grande es la Gran Estupa de Dharmakaya que se libera al ver en Red Feather Lakes, Colorado, terminada en 2001 EC. Su nombre sugiere una función principal de la estupa, sin importar dónde se levante, de elevar y liberar el alma de la ignorancia, el egoísmo, la oscuridad espiritual y el ciclo de renacimiento y muerte.

Una estupa más modesta pero no menos impresionante se levantó en Amitabha Stupa y Peace Park en Sedona, Arizona en 2004 CE, que atrae a muchos visitantes a diario. Los invitados ofrecen sacrificios por la paz mundial y la comprensión, así como peticiones por problemas personales y oraciones de gratitud. La gran visión de la Gran Estupa de la Compasión Universal en Victoria (Bendigo), Australia (consagrada a principios de 2020 EC) sigue este mismo paradigma de levantar una estupa y el complejo circundante para fomentar la bondad, la comprensión y la empatía entre las personas de todo el mundo.

Conclusión

Todas las estupas, en todas partes, sin importar su edad o entorno, fomentan este mismo concepto de liberación espiritual, compasión por los demás y respeto amoroso por todos los seres vivos. Esta visión está personificada por el Proyecto de Estupa de Hielo de Ladakh, India, iniciado por el ingeniero Sonam Wangchuk (n. 1966 CE) que crea estupas de hielo para irrigar la tierra de forma natural. Las estructuras se hacen congelando agua en un marco en forma de estupa en invierno en lo alto de la ladera de la montaña y, cuando la estupa de hielo se derrite en primavera, el agua fluye hacia los campos de abajo.

El proyecto se inició en 2013 CE y continúa hasta el presente en un esfuerzo por equilibrar los efectos del calentamiento global en la región. Las estupas de hielo tienen el mismo propósito que sus contrapartes de piedra antiguas: elevar las vidas de quienes las construyen y se benefician de ellas, así como nutrir el medio ambiente natural y fomentar un mayor cuidado de la tierra.


Stupa - Historia


copyright & quotkaua & quot MHS 2005

En agosto de 1976 se eligió el lugar, se niveló y se izaron banderas de oración. Rinpoche ayudó a recolectar rocas oceánicas para la base de la estupa. Se construyó una estructura de listones y yeso con yeso aplicado sobre un marco de madera. Los estudiantes trabajaron incansablemente durante los siguientes tres meses para terminarlo. Se completó en noviembre de 1976 justo a tiempo para su dedicación.

La estupa Maui Huelo está situada en una hermosa loma que mira directamente al este con el océano en el lado norte y el cráter Haleakala en el sur. Está dedicado a Guru Rinpoche, Padmasambhava.

El 15 de noviembre de 1976, Su Santidad el 16º Karmapa visitó Maui y mientras estuvo aquí realizó ritos y una ceremonia para dedicar la estupa anteriormente. Llegó al sitio desde una colina sobre la estupa caminando por un camino largo con 4 monjes a cada lado de él tocando cuernos konling. Un gran paraguas de seda lo cubría, llevado por otro monje, mientras se dirigía a la estupa.

Desde 1976 hasta el presente, la estupa ha estado abierta a los visitantes y muchos lamas y estudiantes de dharma han visitado la estupa. Khenpo Tsultrim Gyaltso Rinpoche bailó alrededor de la estupa cantando canciones de dharma. Lama Tenzin dio varias enseñanzas y se invitó a los estudiantes. Tulku Thupten Rinpoche enterró 4 jarrones del tesoro y Lama Gyaltsen ha dado pujas de fuego. Muchos lamas han dado sus bendiciones. También ha habido bodas, funerales y pequeñas reuniones. Todos los que conocen la estupa sienten que es una gran bendición para la comunidad y se sienten inspirados por su presencia en su espléndido entorno.

En 1999 quedó claro que la estupa se estaba deteriorando. Un día, el escalón sobre el trono se dobló y se derrumbó. Este fue un evento muy grave. Era evidente que si la estupa sobrevivía necesitaría una reparación importante. La construcción original fue de listones y yeso. Con el tiempo, este tipo de construcción no se sostuvo. El clima tropical de viento, lluvia, sol y aire marino pasó factura. Se determinó que sería necesario reconstruirlo parcialmente con cemento.

La comunidad de Dharma aquí en Maui se unió recaudando fondos y con un pequeño equipo y un trabajo muy duro reconstruyó la estupa durante los siguientes dos años. El marco de la puerta de metal y el bhumi se ordenaron al Tíbet y luego estas piezas se entregaron en mano a Maui. La presentación final de todas las partes de la estupa estuvo presidida por Lama Rinchen. Reunió y trajo todos los ingredientes rituales como tsa tsas, libros de Dharma, estatuas y ofrendas que van adentro y que son esenciales para empoderar la estupa. Lama Tarchin Rinpoche contribuyó con un nuevo Guru Rinpoche para residir permanentemente en la caja de gau. Esta restauración se completó en agosto de 2001.

Nos sentimos complacidos y honrados de que Gyaltrul Rinpoche volviera a visitar Maui y la estupa en la primavera de 2003 y le diera a la comunidad de dharma de Maui y la estupa Huelo de Maui sus bendiciones.

Hay un grupo central de estudiantes de dharma que han sido los principales participantes y contribuyentes en la construcción, restauración y administración de la Estupa Huelo de Maui. Sus historias se agregarán al sitio en una especie de presentación de mosaico por fecha histórica. También se incluirán imágenes.

También hay muchos otros estudiantes de dharma y amigos de la estupa que han contribuido mucho en tiempo y fondos a este espléndido sitio.

La siguiente es una lista de los lamas que han visitado Maui Huelo Stupa:

Su Santidad el XVI Gyalwa Karmapa
3er Jamgon Kongtrul Rinpoche
Khabje Dorje Chang Kalu Rinpoche
Yangsi Kalu Rinpoche
Gyaltrul Rinpoche
Nechung Rinpoche
Yangsi Nechung Rinpoche
Thupten Kalsang Rahob Rinpoche
Lama Tharchin Rinpoche
Tulku Thupten Rinpoche
Khenpo Tsultrim Gyatso Rinpoche
Khenpo Orgyen Thinley Rinpoche
Khentrul Lodro Thaye Rinpoche
Tulku Zangpo Rinpoche
Yantang Tulku Rinpoche
Tulku Lama Lawa
Geshe Jamstel
Lama Chonam
Lama Dhondrup
Lama Gyaltsen
Lama Kunga
Lama Rinchen
Lama Tempa
El todo bueno Lama Tenzin
Lama Yeshe Wangmo

Los siguientes fueron los principales participantes en la creación de la estupa, pero ya no viven.

Su Santidad el Gyalwa Karmapa Philip Gronquist
Khabje Dorje Chang Kalu Rinpoche John Harvey
Jamgon Kongtrul Rinpoche Carmen Westcott
El todo bueno Lama Tenzin

& quot; Construí una estatua de Shakyamuni en Massachusetts del tamaño de un ser humano y también una estupa de madera con la ayuda de algunos amigos del Dharma. Entonces Ann (DeWeese) y Phil Gronquist me invitaron a Hawaii y después de quedarme allí en su hermoso lugar cerca del océano en un acantilado, decidí que era un lugar perfecto para construir una estupa. Al principio esperaba que la estupa fuera muy grande, pero lo comprobaron y nos dijeron que tenía que ser de un tamaño mucho más pequeño, así que decidimos seguir adelante con la estupa. Mi primo, Thubten Kalsang (Rahob Rinpoche) estaba en Hawai en ese momento y, por eso, juntos realizamos la ceremonia de inauguración.


Gyatrul Rinpoche y Tubten Kalsang Rinpoche

Cuando estábamos listos para construir, algunos estudiantes se presentaron para ayudar, especialmente un chico llamado Yasha (James Marshall). Thubten Kalsang Rinpoche ayudó con todo, incluida la consagración interior de la estupa. Como saben, una estupa debe estar llena de muchas sustancias sagradas y, según la tradición, pudimos colocar muchas sustancias muy sagradas en su interior. Aquí hay una lista de lo que sé con certeza que entró en esta estupa:

  1. Desde el lugar donde el Señor Buda pasó al paranirvana, Kushanagara, hay una tsa tsa hecha de algunas de las reliquias óseas del Señor Buda. Yo estaba de visita allí en un momento en que el gobierno indio estaba excavando y desenterraron algunas de estas preciosas estupas tsa tsa y me dieron una para que la guardara. Pongo esto dentro de la estupa.
  2. Una porción del árbol de la vida de la estupa Bouddhanath en Nepal que me dio Trichang Rinpoche.
  3. Del lugar del nacimiento de Buda, Lumbini, algunas semillas del árbol bodhi donde nació Buda.
  4. Del lugar sagrado de la iluminación de Buda, Bodhgaya, algunas semillas del árbol bodhi real que obtuve del gran maestro Kunnu Rinpoche.
  5. Además, hay muestras de suelo y agua de todos los lugares sagrados de peregrinaje y terrenos sagrados donde los grandes mahasiddhas lograron la realización en la antigua India, Nepal, Bután y el Tíbet.
  6. Dongkar Tulku Rinpoche me dio un pequeño trozo de una de sus tormas que incluía varios mechones del cabello de Guru Rinpoche que puse dentro de esta estupa.
  7. Hay algunas reliquias óseas que surgieron del cráneo de la madre de Garab Dorje y algunas reliquias óseas de un Bodhisattva que toma siete encarnaciones sucesivas que me fueron entregadas por Kyabje Dudjom Rinpoche.
  8. Su Santidad el 16º Karmapa me dio una de sus píldoras especiales de su propio gau (amuleto que se usa alrededor del cuello) y la coloqué dentro de la estupa.

Pudimos completar la estupa justo antes de que Su Santidad el Karmapa llegara a Hawai, pero de repente me enfermé en Honolulu y tuve que someterme a una cirugía de emergencia. Su Santidad estuvo allí y en realidad fue tan amable de venir al hospital y bendecirme antes de que fuera a la cirugía. Más tarde volvió cuando me estaba recuperando y prometió realizar la consagración cuando fuera a Maui. No pude ir y unirme debido a que me estaba recuperando de la cirugía.


Estupa de Maui Huelo completada 1976

Mientras estaban en Maui, Su Santidad Karmapa y Jamgon Kongtrul Rinpoche realizaron la consagración de la estupa y vinieron muchos niños para que pudieran recibir sus bendiciones al mismo tiempo.

Había sido mi más profundo deseo que Su Santidad consagrara la estupa. Cuando vi a Su Santidad más tarde en San Francisco, me dijo: "¡No te preocupes Gyatrul! Nadie ha construido una estupa en esta vasta y abierta tierra donde no hay dharma hasta ahora, pero lo lograste. Es hermoso y lo bendije junto con todos sus niños pequeños, tal como usted me pidió que lo hiciera. ¡Muy bien! No hay necesidad de preocuparse. & Quot


Consagración de la Stupa, 15 de noviembre de 1976. Su Santidad el 16º Gyalwa Karmapa, sentado. Junto a él a su derecha, el 3º Jamgon Kongtrul Rinpoche. Phil Gronquist de pie a la izquierda.

Más tarde, cuando Kalu Rinpoche llegó a Maui, también bendijo y consagró la estupa y comentó que las proporciones eran muy precisas.

Desde entonces no vivo en Hawái y Phil (Gronquist) falleció. Ann (DeWeese) continúa cuidando la estupa y sabrá de todos los otros lamas que han venido a lo largo de los años para bendecir la estupa. Cuando regresé allí para una breve visita hace varios años, me alegré de ver a Ann nuevamente. Me complació ver el trabajo maravilloso que ella ha hecho todos estos años para mantener la tierra alimentada con amor y proteger la pequeña estupa para que pueda continuar trayendo bendiciones a los seres sintientes y al planeta durante incontables generaciones ''.

Gyatrul Rinpoche
Tashi Choling, primavera de 2008


Sentados en primera fila: Gyatrul Rinpoche y Lama Jigme. De pie en la última fila: Sangye Khandro, Lama Chornam, Ann DeWeese, Lama Rinchen y Jeff Munoz. Primavera 2003

“En 1976, un querido amigo, John Harvey, me ofreció un lugar en su nueva tierra de Huelo. Después de mirar a lo largo y ancho de sus doce acres, encontré un ciruelo de Java ubicado favorablemente en una pendiente justo encima de un pequeño estanque del arroyo Honokala que fluía a través de la tierra hasta el océano. Me acerqué a mi vecino más cercano, Gyatrul Rinpoche, quien felizmente vino y bendijo el árbol. Habiendo construido rápidamente una plataforma simple que bajó de la pendiente hacia las ramas extendidas del árbol con un techo de ala de mariposa de phylon verde ligeramente suspendido arriba. Rinpoche regresó para bendecir mi nuevo hogar. Lo que más le impresionó fue la puerta que se abría a la plataforma sin paredes, sin ventanas, sin mosquiteros, solo con el arroyo balbuceante y el dulce estanque de abajo. Tomamos el té, una siesta de veinte minutos, luego Rinpoche se sentó, dijo: "¿Muy bien?" Y corrió a casa.

Unas semanas más tarde, mientras caminaba hacia mi árbol, vi a Rinpoche con su anfitrión, Phil Gronquist, jugando con algunas cañas de bambú cerca. Me desvié para preguntar: `` ¿Qué están haciendo? ''. Con la sonrisa inimitable de Rinpoche, parpadeó: `` ¡Vamos a construir una estupa aquí! ''. Seguí con un `` ¿Puedo ayudar? ''. El resto es historia y subieron las banderas de oración. Tuve el apoyo entusiasta de mi arrendador, John, y pronto bajé el timón de su rotor hasta el lugar, rompí el suelo y lo nivelé. Durante los días siguientes, llevé a Rinpoche en la vieja camioneta jeep de John a la bahía de Honomanu, donde cargamos con pesadas rocas de la playa, rodadas suavemente por las olas del océano, para formar los cimientos de la estupa.

Entonces Yasha (James Marshall) apareció en la isla para ayudar a Rinpoche, ya que era el proclamado experto constructor de estupas. Había ayudado a Dodrupchen Rinpoche a construir una pequeña estupa en Nuevo México. Yasha era una bujía de un irlandés que se había aficionado a la danza rusa, de ahí el nombre. Solo Rinpoche lo llamó Yaksha o carne de yak (sha = carne) o Hamburger para abreviar. Entonces, con muchas bromas y risas, la Estupa Huelo tomó forma durante los siguientes meses.


Gyaltrul Rinpoche y Yasha construyen la estupa

Como yo era un devoto del camino hindú en ese momento y llevaba el nombre de Krishna Ram, al completar la estupa básica (de la cual, por supuesto, muchas personas habían ayudado), Rinpoche, con una gran sonrisa, se señaló a sí mismo. , luego Yasha y hacia mí y dijo: "¡Esta es una estupa budista, cristiana e hindú!"

Jeff Munoz, mayo de 2008

“La primera vez que visité la Estupa Huelo en Maui, Hawái fue en diciembre de 1981 cuando traduje al difunto Venerable Lama Tenzin sobre el significado de las estupas.


Lama Tenzin (vista frontal y posterior) enseñando en la Stupa con Georgiana Cook y niños del vecindario, 1981

Me sorprendió particularmente la ubicación de la estupa, ya que estaba tan hermosa y remotamente escondida en el bosque tropical de Huelo. Así que esta fue la génesis, el centro del mandala a partir del cual se desarrollaría el dharma en Maui.

Ese día fue un reflejo de cómo la historia del dharma ya estaba destinada a llegar aquí, en este lugar lejano, en una pequeña isla, entre una cadena de islas que se sabe que son una de las masas de tierra más aisladas del mundo, similar a el antiguo Tíbet.

Ese día, la Estupa Huelo tuvo la distinción única de ser la primera estupa construida en los Estados Unidos. ¡El budismo tibetano había llegado a América! Para aquellos de nosotros que todavía estamos, la Estupa Huelo es un símbolo extraordinario de las frágiles raíces del dharma que se apoderan de una nueva tierra y cuanto más tiempo permanece la Estupa Huelo, más profundas deben crecer esas raíces.

Debido a la Estupa Huelo, siempre habrá inspiración renovada y responsabilidad por el cuidado y bienestar del Dharma. Siempre estaremos agradecidos por siempre con aquellos cuya idea fue construir la Estupa Huelo, los benefactores de la tierra, los partidarios y cuidadores de la Estupa y, sobre todo, las bendiciones de nuestros lamas raíz y linaje ''.

Georgiana Cook, mayo de 2008

“A principios de 1978, me mudé a una cordillera remota en la costa norte de Maui. En ese momento no había señales de tráfico ni casas visibles en la zona. Lo único que pudimos ver, aparte de los árboles, fue una pequeña estructura blanca en la cima de una cresta al oeste de nosotros. Siendo curioso, salí a caminar un día para encontrarlo. Había varios senderos pequeños fuera del camino de tierra principal con algunas cabañas sencillas escondidas entre los árboles. Elegí un camino que finalmente me llevó al punto con la estupa. Me asombró su simetría blanca, anillos de oro y azulejos hechos a mano alrededor de la base. El Buda sentado en el estante más grande parecía una serenidad inmanente. The view of the ocean and mountain vistas was expansive. I remember sitting on a bench for a couple of hours, filled with a sense of gratitude, and I wondered what it was and who put it there. This was the first of many dharma experiences and connection to the Huelo Stupa I've had.

The next year I moved to a screened one-room cabin on Honokala Stream, just above the stupa. My gardens and out-house were across the river with a small V-shaped view of the ocean and on the left ridge was the Stupa. I lived here for seven years and spent many moonlit hours sitting on the ridge with the Buddha.

About 13 years later Ann DeWeese called me and asked if I could repair the sun and the moon on top of the stupa. A couple of days later while climbing on the stupa to access the problem, the widest shelf on the right side of the Stupa fell into itself about 2 inches. Carefully climbing down, I went to inform Ann that the situation was much bigger than the problem with the sun and moon. This was the beginning of the rebuilding of the Stupa.

Further examination revealed that the original structure was wood with about an inch of cement over it and rusting metal edges. The wood was beginning to rot. Knowing that there were treasures and rellics in the Stupa I was hesitant to proceed without some sort of permission. Originally being a Nyingma stupa, I called Lama Tharchin Rinpoche. He remembered Chogdud Rinpoche transferring energy into a mirror to repair a stutue and agreed we should do something. I then asked our resident Lama Tenzin who came out and performed a ceremony clearing the way to work on the repairs.


The Stupa being prepared for repair

The first step was to save the bhumpa (bell) by cutting holes, inserting beams under it, and jacking it back up to its original position. With the beams secured, I was able to take the center selves apart. We retrieved several jars of treasures and in case we missed anything, we put all of the removed pieces of wood and cement back inside the bottom of the stupa and built a solid rebar reinforced cement box around it as a new foundation for the upper shelves.


Jeff and Rick working on the Stupa

At this point Jeff Munoz starting coming down from Kanaio to help. Jeff worked on the original stupa and had built the Kanaio stupa and temple so he had much more knowledge about the protocol and inner parts of the upper stupa, the center cedar post, the placement of the mandala, the gau, etc.

(Left: Lama Rinchen, Rick Bickford and Jeff Munoz putting the ornaments on the Stupa)

We sent a pattern of the window frame, and the Stupa measurements with Terris and Leslie Temple to Tibet, and they were able to get the craftsmen from Tserpu (His Holiness Karmapa's monestery) to make new copper bhumis and an amazing hand-stamped window frame. They hand carried the pieces back to Maui. We were missing the bottom shelf for the window fram and Ann was able to have one made in Nepal by Sakya craftsmen. Through the Maui Dharma Center we raised enough money to have the copper pieces gold-plated in California.

Po Estes came up and helped with the plaster, painting and finishing touches. After we secured the bhumis and we were ready to close up the front, Lama Rinchen came to help with the ceremony of placing all the statues, relics, prayers, umbrellas, dharma texts, and tsa tsas in the inner chamber. A group of us said prayers and sealed the top with Jeff's hand-made gold leaf gau and then the Guru Riinpoche statue, the glass and the new gold frame.

Since we all had full lives this process took a couple years and a few more after that to make a cement curbed mandala around the stupa filled with crushed coral and the solid pedestals for the snow lions. Terris Temple hand painted the snow lions in traditional colors. With the help of Anam Rinpoche. we buried treasure vases from Lama Tharchin in the four corners.

Throughout the whole rebuilding and enhancement of the Stupa, Ann DeWeese, in her graceful way, worked many hours, days, years at holding the vision, encouraging the process and making sure everyone had the materials they needed. This included incredible lunches, cold drinks, cloth napkins, china, and silverware in the shade of the Huelo jungle trees.

There were many other helping hands along the way and the timing was amazing and joyful. I feel grateful to have been a part of the process and pray that it continues to manifest love and understanding for the now and in future generations."

Om Ah Hung Vajra Guru Pema Siddhi Hung

Blessings to all,
Rick Bickford, May 2008

After the stupa was reconstructed, the grounds around it were in need of serious repair. When Lama Tharchin Rinpoche visited Maui in 2002 I asked him how he thought the grounds should be finished. He made a very simple sketch of a mandala pattern. I had that pattern put down in wood knowing it wouldn't last. It did, however, establish a finished look that everyone liked.


Rick Bickford, Lama Tharchin Rinpoche, and Ann DeWeese

When Rick suggested the cement curbing we knew that was the right direction to go. It was another major effort but when it was completed, we knew we had accomplished our finished goal. The lawn took time to establish, of course, but the entire new look is very pleasing.

Ann DeWeese, July 2011

The builders of the Huelo Stupa in 1976 were:

Gyatrul Rinpoche, designed and supervised
James Marshall (Yasha), construction engineer
Jeff Munoz, prepared and leveled the site, collected foundation stones, made tiles for the grounds around the Stupa
Po Estes, plastered and painted the Stupa
Jamie Woodburn, constructed the bhumi (gold stepped tiered spire)
Suzanne Wolfe, constructed the nyida (the sun and moon ornament on top of the bhumi

The reconstruction team in 1999 was:

Rick Bickford and Jeff Munoz, construction engineers
Po Estes, surface finishing and painting
Terris and Leslie Temple, brought copper ornaments (the bhumi, nyida and window frame) from Tibet
Terris Temple supervised painting the snow lions in traditional colors and provided consultation on various aspects of the finishing work

The Maui Dharma Center, Georgiana Cook and Rinchen Hand, raised the funds.

Many more people have contributed time and/or money to the stupa. All contributions have been greatly appreciated.

Philip Gronquist (1976 to 1997)
Ann DeWeese (1976 to 2011)
Cameron and Megan Livingston (2011 to present)


Double rainbow over the Maui Huelo Stupa. Photographer: Jeff Munoz


1. Great Stupa, Sanchi, Madhya Pradesh

The Great Sanchi Stupa is one of the best preserved ancient stupas in central India also one of the oldest stone structures in India and an important Buddhist monument. The construction work of this massive structure was commissioned by the emperor Ashoka the Great in the 3rd century BC and was supervised by Ashoka’s wife.

The Sanchi Stupa was built as a simple hemispherical stone structure with a ‘chatra’ signifying to honor and shelter the relics of Buddha. Later, four ornamented gateways were added surrounding the stupa. The complex holds the famous sandstone pillar having Ashokan inscription and an inscription in the ornamental Sankha Lipi from the Gupta period.


Great Stupa Symbolism

The Great Stupa of Dharmakaya was built in honor of the great meditation master, author and artist, Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche shortly after his death. The finest and most enduring materials have been used throughout the structure, which was constructed using concrete that was formulated to last 1,000 years.

The shape of the Stupa represents the Buddha, crowned and seated in the meditation posture on a throne. His crown is the top spire his head is the square at the spire’s base his body is the vase shape his legs are the four steps of the lower terrace and the base is his throne.

The Stupa stands 108 feet tall and contains three levels.

A 48-foot square base with gates, stairways and openings on all four sides form the lower level. Inside is an assembly hall 33 feet square and 24 feet high. In its center is a large, golden statue of the Buddha sculpted in the Gandharan style.

Most stupas are sealed monuments. A most unusual aspect of The Great Stupa of Dharmakaya is that the hall on the first level is open to the public.

The second level, reached by interior stairs, contains a small chamber, 32 feet square and 14 feet high.

The third vase-shaped level of the Stupa houses a round chamber 19 feet in diameter and 16 feet high containing a statue of Vajrasattva. This chamber contains a three-dimensional Chakrasamvara mandala, as well as statues, paintings and frescoes throughout.

On top of this level is the spire, which consists of 13 disks representing stages of enlightenment that narrow at the top, crowned by a golden moon, sun and jewel.

A terraced park, nearly 200 feet in diameter and adorned by green lawns, trees, gardens and walkways, surrounds the Stupa.

The Stupa of Dharmakaya is called a Lha Bab choten it specifically commemorates the Buddha’s descent from Tushita heaven where he taught his mother. The steep stairway just below the big portal opening (gau) high up in the round vase chamber (bumpa) symbolizes this descent.

At the top of the stairway in the portal is a large sculpture of a standing Buddha. This is a unique feature of the Great Stupa not found elsewhere. It symbolizes Trungpa Rinpoche’s distinct ambulatory style of teaching in the West.

“The Great Stupa of Dharmakaya Which Liberates Upon Seeing” is the name given to the stupa by H.H. Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche. The stupa interior features extensive artwork, design and statuary styled to reflect Trungpa Rinpoche’s lineage, as well as his interest in Japanese aesthetics and his teachings on the ancient Shambhala kingdom.

The Great Stupa holds the entire skull relic of Trungpa Rinpoche. It is placed in the heart center of the 20-foot-high golden Buddha seated on the ground floor. In this manner, the Great Stupa retains its earliest symbolic function: a chamber or motherly womb that can transform the seeds of the past into the life forms of the future.


Boudhanath Stupa : History & Myth About Boudhanath Stupa

Boudhanath Stupa is one of the major attractions for local and foreign visitors. Boudhanath is a famous Buddhist stupa and pilgrimage site located in the eastern part of Kathmandu city. This stupa is the largest circular stupa in Nepal. Since 1979, Budhanath has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Along with Swayambhunath, Bouddhanath is also one of the most visited places in Kathmandu.

Especially since the history of this chaitya is related to the ancient Tibetan Buddhist sect or Ningma sect, it can be explained in the religious history and writings of Ningma sect.

The Boudhanath Stupa is about two kilometers east of Pashupatinath Temple. The stupa is built on a huge circular belt with three tiers. The womb of the stupa is below this circular belt. Prayer circles are placed around the lower belt.

Around the womb of the stupa, there are one hundred and eight stars, Lokeshwar, etc., small statues of Tantric Buddhist deities. Thirteenth Bhuvan is placed on the womb of Boudhanath and an umbrella and gajur are placed above it. There are also eyes and symbols like Swayambhu. The thirteenth Bhuvan of Bouddhanath is made in the form of a quadrangle using clay.

The myth of Buddhanath

Boudhanath Stupa

Pranidhan of two small tears by Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara .The construction of this stupa was started by Dejhog in Jyaji (chicken herdsman), the story of which is as follows according to the scripture called Shrutimukti. Avalokiteshvara, a Bodhisattva in front of Tathagata Amitabh before innumerable innumerable epochs, went to the top of Mount Potal to liberate all beings from worldly misery by liberating them from worldly misery.

Now, shedding tears from the worldly oceans that it is impossible to liberate the creature, he took a few of those tears with his finger and promised that even these two little tears would benefit and liberate the creature.

The pre-born nymph Jajima was born into a simple family after completing her religion. Her 4 husbands gave birth to 1-1 sons each. Tajeb from the horse trader, Fajebu from the pig trader, Khijebu from the dog trader, and Jajebu from the chicken trader, etc. These four sons, being very religious, decided to build a huge stupa for which the necessary land was provided by Majyamija.

Then she started building the stupa by carrying clay, stones and bricks from elephants, horses and donkeys.Majyamija passed away after 4 years of construction up to 4 floors. After continuous efforts for another 3 years, the four sons completed the construction of the Buddhist stupa after 7 years.

In this Buddhist stupa, along with the rings of Sakya Buddha in Huisu and many jinlabs in Sung, it is believed that a thousand Buddhas and the gods of heaven came as llamas. It is said that a ray of Bodhisattva from heaven fell on Sung and a musical instrument was played in the sky.

After the construction of the Buddhist stupa, Tajebu prayed to be the king of the north to preach in the next life, so he later became the king of Tibet, Thichen Debjan. Khenpo was later born in Tibet as a Bodhisattva, as Fejebu prayed for him to become a learned lama for preaching next June.

Boudhanath Stupa

As Khizebu prayed for the birth of a flower bud next June to protect the oppressive religion of the demons destroying religion, he incarnated as Guru Rinpoche on a lotus flower in the Kukhya Dudhkund on the southwest corner of Urgen Hule (Kashmir). In the north, Vyacheslav was born in Tibet as a minister because he prayed to be born as a minister for the defense of religion.

But not everyone prayed for themselves but for the beasts carrying bricks, clay, and stones. In the same way, the donkey prayed to be born as a minister to destroy religion, so in the next birth, Dhuilon Masyat Thomwe was born as a minister in Tibet.The crow suddenly heard the prayers of the animals, killed the king who was destroying the sacred religion, and prayed in a Buddhist stupa to be born as a minister to save the religion.

He was born in Tibet as the minister’s brother Lalang Paldor. Also in Tibet, Cholen crocodile Pemachen was born as animal shepherds prayed for the protection of the religion by suppressing the demons that destroyed the religion.Similarly, Chhongpur Chan and Sarme, two Brahmins, prayed at the stupa to write a religious book in a country where there was a religion. He also wrote a number of books on the birth of Chemang and Logic Nima in Tibet, as two Nepali princesses prayed for help in preaching.

Mani Kambu Choi mentions that the then Dharmaraja of Tibet, Dechen Devchan, when he asked Guru Rinpoche about his pre-birth and what rites he was allowed to preach, was interpreted and answered.Built a few years after the Buddha was built under Lord Shakyamuni, this Buddhist stupa is the largest in the world.

Here every 12 years the Chhorten monastery is filled with water. Thousands of tons of gold have been poured there. At the end of the 18th century, the Chinese government appointed a special lama to oversee, worship, and protect Buddhist monks. The descendants of the same lama are still called Chinese lamas. Chhorten’s Guthi and Chhorten have been operating under the same Lama.

It is said that a ray of Bodhisattva entered the tunnel from heaven and played an instrument in the sky. That is why this stupa is also called Sange Thamje Duive Chyorten. The four Yonjans, Ghising, Val and Lopchan Thar Tamangs (ancestors) of the Tamang genealogy Therefore, the main religious Timal Jatra (patriarchal worship) of the Tamangs and the major pilgrimages are Namo Buddha, Buddhism, Nagarjuna and Swayambhu.

Naming of Jarung Khashor

The Buddha Nath Stupa is mentioned in Tibetan history as Jyrung Khashor (བྱ་ རུང་ ཁ་ ཤོར). In the Tibetan language, jyङrung means “word” and “khashor” means “lost word.” According to Buddhist mythology, the stupa was named “jyurung khashor” because the builder of the stupa asked the king for permission to build the chaitya.

History of Boudhanath

Boudhanath Stupa

Bouddhanath was built around the 14th century after the Mughal invasion from the south. However, there are many interesting stories about its construction. After the Chinese invasion of Tibet in 1959 brought thousands of Tibetan refugees to Nepal, the Buddha Nath Stupa became an important center of Tibetan Buddhism.

The old name of the Buddhist is Jharung Khasyor

Boudhanath Stupa

The Buddha Nath Stupa, which is on the World Heritage List, is believed to have been built in the 5th century. Buddhanath is found in the history of Licchavi king Shivadev. History has it that the Buddhist stupa was destroyed and later rebuilt by the Mughal Empire in the 14th century.


Greco-Buddhist Art

The art styles of Gandhāra and Mathura are noted for their distinctive style of Buddhist art influenced by Greek culture.

Objetivos de aprendizaje

Give examples of the Greek influence on the Buddhist Gadhara style of art

Conclusiones clave

Puntos clave

  • Gandhāra is the name of an ancient kingdom located in parts of modern-day northern Pakistan and eastern Afghanistan that lasted from the early first millennium BCE to the 11th century CE.
  • The Gandhāran art style flourished and achieved its peak during the Kushan period, from the 1st to the 5th century. It declined and suffered destruction after the invasion of the White Huns in the 5th century.
  • Gandhāra is noted for its distinctive style of Buddhist art, which developed out of a merger of Greek, Syrian, Persian, and Indian artistic influences. Gandhāran Buddhist sculpture displays a Greek artistic influence that contributes to depictions of wavy hair, drapery covering both shoulders, shoes, and sandals.
  • Stucco was widely used by sculptors in Gandhāra for the decoration of monastic and cult buildings it provided the artist with a medium of great plasticity and enabled a high degree of expressiveness to be given to the sculpture.
  • Although based on a strong Indian tradition, the art of Mathura also incorporated elements of the Hellenistic tradition, such as a general idealistic realism , and key design elements, such as curly hair and folded garments.
  • The Mathura and Gandhāra art styles strongly influenced each other, and it is still a matter of debate whether the anthropomorphic representations of Buddha were essentially a result of a local evolution of Buddhist art at Mathura or a consequence of Greek cultural influence in Gandhāra.

Términos clave

  • stucco: A plaster that is used to coat interior or exterior walls or used for moldings.

Overview: Gandhāra and Mathura

In ancient art, anthropomorphic representations of the Buddha started to emerge from the 1st century CE in Northern India. The two main centers of creation have been identified as Gandhāra in today’s North West Frontier Province in Pakistan, and the region of Mathura in central northern India.

Gandhāran Art

Introducción

Gandhāra is the name of an ancient kingdom located in parts of modern-day northern Pakistan and eastern Afghanistan, mainly in the Peshawar Valley, the Pothohar Plateau, and the Kabul River Valley. The Kingdom of Gandhāra lasted from the early first millennium BCE to the 11th century CE.

The art style of the Kingdom flourished and achieved its peak during the Kushan period, from the 1st to the 5th centuries it then declined and suffered destruction after the invasion of the White Huns in the 5th century.

Estilo

Gandhāra is noted for its distinctive style of Buddhist art, which developed out of a merger of Greek, Syrian, Persian, and Indian artistic influences. This development began during the Parthian Period (50 BCE–CE 75).

The art of Gandhāra benefited from centuries of interaction with Greek culture after the conquests of Alexander the Great in 332 BCE and the subsequent establishment of the Greco-Bactrian and Indo-Greek Kingdoms, which led to the development of Greco-Buddhist art.

In Gandhāran art, the Buddha is often shown under the protection of the Greek god Herakles, standing with his club (and later a diamond rod) resting over his arm. This unusual representation of Herakles is the same as the one seen only on the back of of Demetrius’s coins, and it is exclusively associated to him (and his son Euthydemus II).

Gandhāran Buddhist sculpture displays Greek artistic influence, and it has been suggested that the concept of the man-god was essentially inspired by Greek mythological culture. Artistically, the Gandhāran School of sculpture is said to have contributed wavy hair, drapery covering both shoulders, shoes, sandals, and acanthus leaf decorations.

Buddha Herakles: The Buddha and Vajrapani under the guise of Herakles.

Stone was widely used by sculptors in Gandhāra for the decoration of monastic and cult buildings, and stucco provided the artist with a medium of great plasticity, enabling a high degree of expressiveness to be given to the sculpture. Sculpting in stucco was popular wherever Buddhism spread from Gandhāra: India, Afghanistan, Central Asia, and China.

Mathura Style

Introducción

Mathura is a city in the North Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. The art of Mathura tends to be based on a strong Indian tradition, exemplified by the anthropomorphic representation of divinities such as the Yaksas, although in a style rather archaic compared to the later representations of the Buddha.

The Mathuran school contributed to many new styles in art such as clothes of thin muslin that only cover the left shoulder, the wheel on the palm, and the lotus seat.

Art of Mathura

The representations of the Buddha in Mathura are generally dated slightly later than those of Gandhāra (although not without debate) and are also much less numerous. Mathura sculptures incorporate many Hellenistic elements, such as a general idealistic realism, and key design elements, such as curly hair and folded garments.

Specific Mathuran adaptations tend to reflect warmer climatic conditions, as they consist in a higher fluidity of the clothing, which progressively tends to cover only one shoulder instead of both. The art of Mathura also features frequent sexual imagery: female images with bare breasts or nude below the waist, displaying labia and female genitalia, are common, making these images more sexually explicit than those of earlier or later periods.

Mathura Buddha: The representations of the Buddha in Mathura are generally dated slightly later than those of Gandhāra (although not without debate) and are also much less numerous.

Relationship to Gandhāra Style

The Mathura and Gandhāra styles strongly influenced each other. During their artistic florescence, the two regions were united politically under the Kushans, both being capitals of the empire. It is still a matter of debate whether the anthropomorphic representations of Buddha were essentially a result of a local evolution of Buddhist art at Mathura, or a consequence of Greek cultural influence in Gandhāra through the Greco-Buddhist syncretism .

This iconic art was characterized from the start by a realistic idealism that combined realistic human features, proportions, attitudes, and attributes, together with a sense of perfection and serenity reaching to the divine. This expression of the Buddha as both man and God became the iconographic canon for subsequent Buddhist art.

Influences and Legacy

Hindu art began to develop from the 1st to the 2nd century CE and found its first inspiration in the Buddhist art of Mathura. It progressively incorporated a profusion of original Hindu stylistic and symbolic elements, in contrast with the general balance and simplicity of Buddhist art.

The art of Mathura acquired progressively more Indian elements and reached a very high sophistication during the Gupta Empire between the 4th and the 6th century CE. The art of the Gupta Period is considered the pinnacle of Indian Buddhist art.

Gupta Buddha: A statue of Buddha from the Gupta Period, Musée Guimet, Paris.


8. The Swayambhunath Stupa Of Kathmandu Valley -

The Buddhist stupa in Kathmandu valley is an ancient religious site founded around the 5th century CE. The stupa has a dome above which is a cubical structure with Buddha’s all-seeing eyes facing all directions. The stupa is home to a large number of artifacts. At the base of the stupa are several Buddha statues and five Buddha carvings at each of the four corners. Most Buddhists and Hindu pilgrims revere the stupa and have to make circumambulations every morning in a clockwise direction. Around the stupa are some shrines and temples some of which are centuries old. The stupa has undergone some renovations with the latest being in 2015 after the Nepal earthquake.


Stupa - History

Sanchi Stupa--A World Heritage Site

Sanchi's Great Stupa is one of India's oldest surviving Buddhist monuments. It sits on a hilltop 30 miles northeast of Bhopal in Madhya Pradesh, and 6 miles south of Vidisha, a small town that was an important urban center at the turn of the common era.

This shot shows the western gateway, and was taken on 12 November 2005.

Historia : The original stupa was built by the Mauryan emperor Ashoka (reigned 269-32 BCE), but enlarged to its present form in the 1st century CE. los stupa later fell into ruins and disappeared, and when it was first discovered it was severely damaged by treasure-hunters (who dug into the main vault, looking for buried treasure). In the 1880s the Archeological Survey of India began to restore it, with the major restoration between 1912 and 1919 under the leadership of Sir John Marshall. The ASI still does the upkeep on the monument, and was doing some repairs when I visited in November 2005. The ASI is also in the process of restoring Marshall house (at the base of the hill), in which Sir John lived during the restoration.

Religious Significance: A stupa is a dome-shaped mound that mimics the funerary mounds used to mark the graves of great kings. The first Buddhist stupas enshrined the Buddha's physical relics (bones and teeth), and thus gave him royal status. Another sign of this claim is the three-layer stone umbrella visible at the top of the stupa, since the umbrella was also a royal symbol (unfortunately, these umbrellas often inadvertently also served as very effective lightning rods). The Sanchi stupa has a walkway built halfway up the mound the faithful would use this to circle the stupa to pay homage to the Buddha. Motion was always clockwise, since this kept one's right side (considered better) toward the relics at the center. The perimeter wall has a gateway at each cardinal direction, and the carvings on these illustrate events from the Buddha's life and past lives. As with the medieval European cathedrals, these were used to impart the faith to a largely illiterate audience, and also through the stories to emphasize cultivating virtues and avoiding faults.

  • Lotus or Elephant (Birth): The lotus is a pervasive Indian symbol of spiritual growth, since the lotus seed germinates in the muck at the bottom of a pond, then the stem grows as long as is necessary (2 feet, 4 feet, 10 feet) so that the flower can blossom above the surface of the water (symbolizing transcendence of earthly circumstances). The elephant is connected with the story of the Buddha's conception, in which his mother became pregnant when a white elephant appeared in a dream and tapped her on the abdomen with the lotus it was holding in its trunk. The traditional account of his birth highlights the miraculous elements: the Future Buddha emerged from his mother's side, rather than a normal delivery upon hitting the ground he took seven steps toward the east and announced that he would be enlightened in that lifetime, and there were various celestial signs--rain and flowers falling from a clear sky, a cool breeze, melodious sounds, disabled people regaining their faculties, and many, many others. This is traditionally believed to have occurred in Lumbini in southeastern Nepal.
  • Tree (Enlightenment): This is the most important of the four events, since this is what hecha him the Buddha ("Enlightened One"). According to tradition, the Buddha renounced his home after seeing the Four Signs: an old man, a sick man, a corpse, and a wandering monk. Old age, illness, and death are inevitable parts of life--and for the Buddha seemed to have been a shorthand for all of life's unsatisfactory elements--whereas the fourth was a hint that these could be transcended. According to tradition, the Buddha left his home at the age of 29, and spent the next six years studying with various teachers and trying various techniques (most notably strict fasting) to find the solution to old age, illness, and death, but was unsuccessful. He then sat down underneath a ficus tree in Bodh Gaya (modern Bihar), and began to meditate on the question of birth-and-death with a focused mind. His analysis eventually revealed the causal chain that leads to rebirth, known as pratityasamutpada(& quotInterdependent Origination"), in which each element provides the cause for the one that follows ( for a Tibetan view of this causal chain, click on the link above ).
  • Wheel (Preaching the First Sermon): The wheel symbolizes the third great event in the historical Buddha's life, in which he "turned the wheel of dharma" by preaching his first sermon (The Four Noble Truths) at Sarnath, near modern Benares. If the tree stands for the enlightened being, the wheel represents his career as a teacher. In order to find suitable hearers for his message, the Buddha walked 130 miles to Sarnath from Bodh Gaya (where he was enlightened). According to tradition he was enlightened on the full moon in Vaisakh (April-May) this is the hottest part of the year, with temperatures hitting over 110 degrees every day. Tradition relates that the Buddha was initially reluctant to teach others, since he reportedly doubted whether others would be able to understand what he was trying to convey, but traveling such a long distance in such blistering heat testifies to the strength of his resolve.
  • Stupa (Parinirvana): Even though after he became enlightened the Buddha passed beyond being subject to birth and death (or rather ensured that he would not be reborn after his present life), his body was like any other human body. At the age of 80--a very long life for that time--he ate a bad meal (either pork or mushrooms, the text is ambiguous and can be read either way), got dysentery, and died of dehydration (the story is so inglorious it is more likely to be true). Tradition reports that he maintained his composure to the end, even blessing the man who had fed him that meal, and also directed his followers to burn his body and then place the remains in a stupa. His rationale was that this was the burial mode for kings, and so here he was claiming at least equal status with these rulers.

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Last modified 27 December 2005


most of which were built by Ashok Maurya2. He is reported to have built about 84,000 stupas using the earthen bounds and other materials. However, some of these stupas were damaged later on during the break of Maurya Empire. The best-known stupas are those built at Sanchi, Gaya, Amaravati, and Barhut. However, stupas constructed at Sanchi by Ashoka (273-236 B.C.) are arguably the most striking and remaining stupas of the three3. Situated at the top of the hill, these magnificent stupas have been preserved to show the various stages that the Buddhist architecture and art have developed since the first stupa was constructed in the third century B.C. Report indicates that some of the stupas built by Ashoka at Sanchi were damaged during Maury Empire’s break-up4.

However, the damaged stupas were later put up in the second century during the reign of Sungas. Unlike before where stupas were only preserved for important activities, stupas of the second century underwent improvements and enlargements, in which a stone railing was constructed around it5. In addition, the newly constructed stupas were embellished with several curved gateways. Le reveals that the Great Stupa is fitted with a large hemispherical flat-topped dome6. At the dome’s basement is a circular terrace, which is meant for circumambulation and an encompassing balustrade.

The ground level, on the other hand, has a stone-paved procession gateway, as well as a stone balustrade and steps leading to the circular terrace. The stupa measures approximately 36.60 meters wide and about 16.46 meters tall7. Walls of this stupa are made of mud mortar and burnt ricks. However, it is thought that the elaborate curved Torana were constructed with either metal or ivory in the first century B.C. during king Satakarni’s reign8. This structure later went through different stages of improvements particularly in the fourth century A.D. during the reign of Gupta in which four additional Buddhas calmly sited in the dhyana were installed at the four entrances.

Another big stupa was constructed at Barhut in the 2nd century B.C. during the reign of Sunga. This stupa, like other stupas of this period, had a hemispherical dome made of bricks9. In addition, this stupa was surmounted by a shaft, which arguably signified the spiritual sovereignty of Buddhism. It is also evident that the railing surrounding the stupas is made of red sandstone.10 Moreover, scenes representing the life of Buddha and the Jataka Tales are curved on the entrance, uprights, crossbars, and pillars of the railings.

Report also indicates that several other stupas were constructed during this period. In fact, one of the most striking features from the stupa found in Nagajunakonda and Amaravati show that stupas of the northern region were quite different in structure from those of the south11. In this regard, it is evident that there was a shift from the famous Buddhist style, which was purely based on the two dominant Buddhism- Mahayana and Hinayana. Le notes that different styles and trends were used here which gave rise to new forms of architecture such as a square and rectangular image shrine, quadrangular monastery a small stupa on a square platform and pillared hall12. Le notes


Stupa - History

This article was published in issue # 27 | Spring-Summer 2011

“Stupas are monuments that contribute to the preservation of peace in the world. They are architectural structures that express in a perfect form the pure nature of mind: enlightenment. They were built thousands of years ago in Asia and have a positive influence on the power field of the whole universe.”—Manfred Seegers

Since ancient times, people have marked burial places and visited them as a sign of respect for their ancestors. In many world cultures, after the death of a famous person, burial mounts were built above the place of their burial so that future gen-erations could come to pay homage to the achievements of the person buried there.
The first stupas appeared in India during pre-Buddhist times and originally were monuments on tombs of rulers and other wealthy and famous inhabitants of ancient India. Often, such burial mounts were created around trees. The Sanskrit word stupa means “hair knot,” “the crown of the head,” or “a pile of stones and earth.” The tradition at the time was to cremate bodies after death, which meant there were no burials in the way we understand them. To memorialize someone, it was only necessary to preserve their ashes and unburned remains. These remains were placed into stupas. Over time, the tradition gradually transformed into utilizing stupas as reliquaries to contain the remains of spiritually accomplished individuals.
From there, stupas acquired a broader meaning. Today it is impossible to strictly categorize stupas into types: they may serve as a reliquary, a memorial, or an offering or object of veneration, and at the same time as a symbol of Buddhism. Today, stupas house only a few pieces of sacred remains they may contain the clothes of an enlightened teacher and other sacred objects or texts. Sometimes stupas are built as road signs to protect travelers, and in Tibet and Bhutan they are often seen built on high mountain passes. On the highest level, a stupa symbolizes the Buddha’s mind, and by making offerings to the stupa one accumulates many positive impressions, which allows people to gradually discover their own buddha nature and come closer to the ultimate happiness, enlightenment.
As Buddhism spread, primarily through the trade routes of the Silk Road, stupas began to be erected outside of India. Magnificent stupas of different shapes were built in Sri Lanka, Nepal, Burma, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Indonesia and Thailand. Stupas have also reached as far as China, Korea, Japan, Tibet, Mongolia, Buryatia, Tuva and Kalmykia. Often, the shapes of the stupas were changed as they acquired architectural elements specific to particular regions, or according to the form of Buddhism practiced in the region.
The Kalachakra style of stupa occupies a special place among other stupa designs, as it is dedicated not to a sutra, but to a tantra. A Kalachakra stupa was first built by King Ashoka in Amarvati. Vajrayana sources say that Buddha gave teachings and initiations into the Kalachakra at that place. Because the Kalachakra Tantra became very popular in Tibet, several Kalachakra stupas were built there, with their shape and proportions strictly following the text. Today, there exist about ten such stupas in the world, the most recent addition being in the Corinthian highlands of Peloponnesus, Greece, at the retreat center Berchen Ling.
In Nepal the ancient Swayambhu Stupa is situated on a hilltop in the Kathmandu valley. Legends say that a crystal stupa spontaneously arose after Buddha Manjushri cut through the rocks that held the water in a lake covering the Kathmandu valley. Later, the large stupa that stands there today was built on top of the original self-arisen crystal one. Other sources claim that King Ashoka visited this place in the third century C.E. and built a temple, while the existing stupa was built at the beginning of the fifth century C.E. Since then, it has been one of the most revered sites for both Buddhists and Hindus.
Traditionally, Buddha’s eyes are drawn on the square part of the Nepalese stupas, right under the thirteen rings. The symbolism of the stupa is often likened to Buddha’s body in meditation posture: the base represents his crossed legs, the hemispherical part his trunk, the reliquary his head. The spike on the top points to the ushnisha, or the protrusion at the top of his head, while the moon, sun and droplet are the triad decorating Buddha’s hair. The all-seeing eyes are exactly under the spike with the rings. They look in the four directions and symbolize omnipotence, a characteristic of an enlightened being.
When Buddhism spread beyond Asia, western Buddhists started building stupas in their countries as a means of accumulating merit. Since Tibetan Buddhism is the most widespread form of Buddhism in the West, the majority of western stupas are built in the traditional Tibetan style, but often using modern technologies. When we look at such stupas from the ground up, symbolically we see the entire way to enlightenment, and each level signifies an important step on the way. Buddha, dharma, sangha, enlightened attitude and joy are the basis of the first architectural level. Then one accumulates positive impressions, like a vase, becoming a proper vessel with sufficient abilities of concentration and meditation. The thirteen rings on the spire symbolize the final way to enlightenment, by way of ten aspects of Buddha’s wisdom and the knowledge of the three times.
The variety of stupas, their shapes, and purposes should not confuse us. The essence of all the stupas remains the same: to symbolically show practitioners the path to liberation and enlightenment, to give them an opportunity to make offerings and to help them purify negative impressions and increase positive ones, thus accumulating merit and wisdom. All this creates the conditions for reaching the state of a buddha.

Tolek Sokolov was born in Petersburg, Russia, and met Diamond Way Buddhism in 1989. For fourteen years he organized Lama Ole Nydahl’s tours though Russia. He helped organize the Russian Buddhist magazine and was actively involved in building the stupa in Elista in 1998-99. He has travelled as a Buddhist teacher throughout Russia, the Ukraine, Scandinavia, Baltic countries and Poland. His professional life is dedicated to the practice of Feng Shui.


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