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Building Stupas

The Importance of Stupas

from the Padmasambhava website:stupas representation

The benefits of building stupas were spoken of by the buddha in the Noble Amazing Sutra:

Ananda! Any devoted noble sons and daughters who fill this entire three-thousand-fold universe with the seven precious metals and make offerings to all the stream-enterers, once-returners, non-returners, and arhats—as well as all the sangha members in the four directions—do not accumulate as much merit as someone who makes a stupa to the Tathagata—the Subduer, the Perfectly Enlightened One, the One Who Entered Mahaparinirvana— that is even the size of a churura seed, with a central column the size of a needle, an umbrella the size of a juniper leaf, and filled with grain-sized statues and mustard seed-sized relics.

Moreover, in the Analyzing Activity Sutra, the Buddha said to the brahmin son Netso:

Whoever builds the Stupa of the Tathagata will gain the eighteen benefits. These are: (1) to be born in a royal family, (2) with perfect features (3) and a beautiful body; (4) who everybody loves to see (5) and looks to as a leader; (6) with fame expanding in the ten directions, (7) beautiful cheering sounds, (8) and praised with beautiful verses; (9) very detached from the world (10) and honored by gods (11) and humans; (12) very wealthy, (13) with a long life (14) and as healthy and strong as a vajra; (15) possessing the major marks (16) and minor marks; (17) born in the upper realms; (18) and soon to enter the supreme enlightened state.

Boudhanath Stupa Stunning Buddhist stupa of Tibetan in Nepal-3

In the Noble Lotus Sutra, the Buddha said:

Whoever makes a stupa out of stones, agarwood, or sandalwood; or whoever makes a stupa with joy out of medicinal wood or even out of plain wood, earth, brick, and so on; or whoever makes a stupa by just using heaps of earth in some remote area while thinking of the Buddha; or even children who make a stupa while playing games with sand while thinking of the Victorious One; or whoever draws forms (of the Buddha)—they will all reach enlightenment.

The Manjushrimitra Root Tantra states:

(Those who want) to purify their negativities should make a stupa with their own hands—it will cleanse even the worst five obscurations. If they make 100,000 stupas, they will become a universal monarch among all the vidyadharas. Whoever contacts such a stupa will develop great wisdom and long life, and even if they die, they will be reborn in the higher realms in a royal clan, and they will never go to the lower realms. When born, their intelligence will be like a blazing sun, their intellect will become stable, and they will remember past lives. Thus it is said.

Moreover, the Noble Stainless Beams of Light Sutra states:

Noble sons and daughters! Whoever circumambulates or make offerings to a stupa will be blessed by Tathagatas, move to the supreme enlightened state through a non-returning path, and purify all of their karmic obscurations. Even if the shadow of a stupa touches birds, animals, deer, or whomever, they will not be reborn in the lower realms.

Thus, in the sutras and tantras the Buddha taught extensively about the benefits of building stupas, as well as the benefits to those who support and make contact with stupas.

A big Tibetan Buddhist chorten found just south of Ganze, Tibet (China).

Creating Virtue:

You can begin by clicking here to donate to the 100,000 Stupas Around the World project by Lama Zopa Rinpoche

Building stupas helps develop so much peace and happiness for numberless sentient beings.  As a result, wars, disease, and desire will all be pacified.  Instead of feeling hopeless, people will gain courage. — Lama Zopa Rinpoche




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Virtual Stupa Walk

The summer of 2015, in upstate New York, the Migyur Dorje Stupa was finally completed at our retreat center.

I uploaded a new video to YouTube and now you can listen and meditate while visualizing yourself doing Korwa (circumambulations) around the stupa to generate a limitless supply of merit.


Guru Rinpoche states:

If there is a man who offered melody music to the great stupa, shall be able to propagate the sound of dharma throughout the ten directions.  If there is a man who offered drum and melody sounds, shall obtain vast wisdom and prosperity.  If there is a man who offer the sound of bell, shall obtain a soft and harmonious voice, which is the voice of brahma.” — The Legend of Maha Buddha Stupa

From the book “Crystal Mirror 12” by author Elizabeth Cook states:

  1. Whoever offers prayers finds immediate fulfillment of his wishes for both himself and others.
  2. Whoever offers flowers to the Great Stupa obtains ease and contentment, prosperity and health.
  3. Whoever offers incense achieves pure action.
  4. Whoever offers lamps has the darkness of unknowing illuminated.
  5. Whoever offers perfume is freed from anxiety and suffering.

His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama states:

“It has long been the tradition that wherever the teachings of the Buddhas have been revered and practiced, communities of followers have built reliquary monuments known in Sanskrit as stupas and as chörtens in Tibetan.

And wherever they have been built, they have been regarded as sacred, for like religious images and scriptures, they represent aspects of enlightenment.”

The Sutra On The Merit of Bathing The Buddha states:

At that time, the World Honored One uttered these verses:

After my death
You will be able to honor my relics
Some will build stupas
Or images of the Tathágata.
At the place of the image or stupa,
One who anoints that spot of ground
With various incenses and flowers Scattering them over its surface
Uses pure, beautifully scented water
To pour onto the body of this image,
Offers it various flavorful drinks and foods,
Fully maintaining it with oblations,
Eulogizes the virtue of the Tathágata,
Which is endlessly difficult to conceive;
Through the wisdom of skillful means and the supernatural power of the Buddha
Such a one will quickly reach the other shore of Nirvana.
He will obtain the diamond body
Complete with the thirty-two marks of a great person
And the eighty minor signs of excellence.


Artist: Caitlin – Laxmi’s Dream
Song: Om Mani Padme Hum (track 5)

Video Produced with CyberLink PowerDirector 13:

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Benefits of stupas

From the Legend of Maha Buddha stupa:

“When Mahakashyapa Buddha was preaching, the Benefactress Jadzima, who begat four sons, built the Jarungkhasor Stupa [below] in the district of Maguta, in the Kingdom of Nepal.  Great Guru!  If you could speak to us of the fruit of the aspiration generated by the constructors of that first Great Stupa, then we, having built this Great Monastery of Samye, knowing how to pray, may become full of confidence and faith in the future.  So that we may be devoted, we entreat you to describe in detail the result of building that first Great Stupa of Jarungkhasor.”

The Great Guru replied, “Listen and give me your full attention O Great King! After the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas of the past, present and future were absorbed in their reality into the receptacle of Pure Mind forever, this Great Stupa could grant any supplication and fulfill every aspiration immediately and effortlessly for it became as the Wish Fulfilling Gem, the Yeshey Norbu.

The benefits and favours received by any living creature who with a pure heart prostrates himself before the Great Stupa, circumambulates it and adores it are inconceivable and incalculable beyond the expression of the Buddhas of the past, present and future, for these stones were laid in order to bring inconceivable joy to humanity.

As this Great Stupa is the receptacle of the Mind of the Buddhas of the past, present and future, so it is the plane of adoration of both mundane and supramundane beings; to both men and gods, whatever supplication is made and whatever prayer is offered, all wishes will be granted and even supreme realization and spiritual power may be obtained.”

Stupa: these are the merits gained by walking around the stupa


“When you circumambulate a stupa you will be honored by gods, nagas, yaksas, gandharvas, and asuras, by garudas, kinnaras, and mahoragas.

“Circumambulating a stupa will have this result:  mindfulness and clear perception; a radiant appearance and intelligence; and you will be honored everywhere.

“Circumambulating a stupa will have this result:  a very long life – a lifetime more like that of a god – in which you will obtain great renown.

“Circumambulating a stupa will have this result:  Flesh-eaters and other demonic beings will not harm you, and you will live a life of flawless enjoyment.

“Circumambulating a stupa will have this result:  You will gain the power of Brahma himself in the world of Brahma, and you will be worshiped by many tens of millions of gods.

“Circumambulating a stupa will have this result:  For one thousand times ten million kalpas – and one hundred times one hundred billion more – you will be endowed with wisdom and always honored.

DEFINITION:  Circumambulate – to walk or go about or around, especially ceremoniously.

The Resultant Fruit: of circulating around the stupa

Master Padmasambhava said to king Trisong Deutsen:

“There is no difference between the merit of those who make offerings while I am here and those who make offerings after my nirvana, if their virtuous intentions are the same.

If there is a man who made a wish to the great stupa, no matter if it is to request for oneself or to request for other – all can be instantly fulfilled.  If there is a man who made offering to the abbot of the great stupa, in the future rebirth shall have no hunger, no thirst, no diseases and no illnesses.  If there is a man who made offering to the great stupa with fragrance flowers, he will have auspiciousness and peace, and shall become wealthy, successful, with good health and longevity.

If there is a man who made offering of incense to the great stupa, he shall receive immaculate activities (business and career).  If there is a man who offer lamps, it shall shine brightly all darkness of ignorance.  If there is a man who offered libation, shall be separated from affliction and painful suffering.  If there is a man who offered food, shall accomplished samadhi and be separated from hunger.

“If there is a man who offered melody music to the great stupa, shall be able to propagate the sound of dharma throughout the ten directions.  If there is a man who offered drum and melody sounds, shall obtain vast wisdom and prosperity.  If there is a man who offer the sound of bell, shall obtain a soft and harmonious voice, which is the voice of brahma.”

Click here for the full (five chapters) of The Legend of Maha Buddha Stupa

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