STUPA OF ENLIGHTENMENT – GOLD (Tib: Jangchub Choeten)
This gold plated Stupa of Enlightenment (Tib: Jangchub Choeten), cast in pewter comes in an attractive travelling box.
It can be filled with relics or other prescious substances and then sealed with the provided base plate. A explanatory leaftlet about the symbolism and deeper significiance of the stupa is included. Ideal gift for the altar or the travelling practitioner.
A stupa is a symbol of the enlightened mind, each aspect of its design symbolizing a facet of the enlightened mind or of the path leading to its development.
After his death at the age of eighty, Buddha’s remains were to be enshrined in a reliquary monument to act as an inspiration to those on the path to full spiritual awakening. When his body had been cremated, however, a dispute arose as to whom the remains belonged to and who, therefore should have the honour of erecting the monument. One of the Buddha’s disciples suggested that the remains be divided between the eight interested parties and as a result, eight monuments were built in different kingdoms of India to house the relics.
The eight-fold division is echoed in the eight types of design adopted by the Kadam tradition of Tibetan Buddhism and which is still used by existing traditions of Tibetan Buddhism in the construction of stupas to enshrine the remains of their great teachers. These designs commemorate eight major events in the life of Shakyamuni Buddha
And the stupa here is known as the Stupa of Enlightenment, which celebrates Buddha’s defeat over the forces of ignorance and delusion.
As an abstract image of the state of enlightenment attainable by all beings, the symbolism of a stupa operates on several different levels simultaneously. The balance, harmony and organic unity evident in a stupa’s design reflect qualities vital to spiritual awakening and, because of the beneficial influence of visual imagery has upon us, it also subtly helps us to awaken theses qualities within us. In addition to their symbolic qualities, stupas serve as focal points of veneration and for the widely followed practice of circumambulation. Small model-size stupas are placed on Buddhist shrines along with a statue of the Buddha and a Buddhist text, as representations of the Buddha’s mind, body and speech respectively.
© Andy Weber