What To Know Before Visiting Boudhanath Stupa, Kathmandu
The Boudhanath Stupa, located in Katmandhu towards the northeast has seen the ups and downs of life. It is 9 km away from the capital city of Nepal and 4 km away from Thamel. The Boudhanath Stupa offers a birds-eye view and stirs the mind on its axis where every being smiles. (The Boudhanath Stupa Sacredness Pinnacle)
Stupa Of Enlightenment
People say that one should visit the Boudhanath temple when entering Kathmandu. It was built in the 14th century and protected its pride. It might be from all its four corners during the tragedy of nature’s roar on 25th April 2015. Nepal earthquake gobbled nearly 9000 people and also brought down the Boudhanath Stupa in parts. The Boudhanath Stupa aplomb seeds of hope that everything is possible. The Stupa learned to use the destruction into strived for rebuilding and restoration. The Boudhanath Stupa has a second name ‘Bodhi Stupa’ or the ‘Stupa of enlightenment’. Though there is no prize for guessing that the Boudhanath Stupa is a Buddhist place of worship welcoming every being who has seeds of Buddha-hood. (The Boudhanath Stupa Sacredness Pinnacle)
An Interesting Truth To Know
The understanding of this seed of soaked spiritual zest comes from witnessing the 3D Mandala-shaped Chorten, the Boudhanath Stupa. The stupa has an ‘All-seeing eye’ that views the 360 Degree Mandala. This revered stupa was built with a diameter of 328 feet and it also structured 36 feet above the city and necked walls in close proximity have 147 inches. Certainly, an interesting truth is that the Boudhanath Stupa is the largest stupa in the world and the most visited stupa after the ones situated in Tibet. After that its entire structure has a purpose and is built with consciousness. The monks, worshippers, locals circumambulate the Boudhanath Stupa in a clockwise direction. Every structure of the Boudhanath Stupa is definite, defined, and has significance.
THE PRAYER FLAGS
The prayer flags knotted to the top of the Boudhanath Stupa carry the incense of the power of mantra. These flags flitter and flutter with the wind reiterating the symbolic facts of the five elements of earth, water, wind, air, and fire. This flag comes in a set of five and the Buddhists often call the flags the ‘five pure lights.’
At the very top of the stupa rests a covered shield, a protective umbrella that symbolizes the void beyond space. The umbrella also gives a feel that it’s the direct source of connection with the Supreme Lord at that point in time and space.
THE PYRAMID – HARMIKA
The Stupa bird-eye view at the topmost pinnacle of the Boudhanath Stupa thirteen stepped glided canopy just below the umbrella. This canopy is considered to be the thirteen steps of initiation leading to enlightenment and is also known as HARMIKA. Additionally, the triangular abstract shape atop forms the element of fire while the canopy signifies the air element. Just beneath the pyramid, the dome of the Boudhanath Stupa is sprinkled with saffron water giving out the shape of pinkish-brown petals that look like branches playing merry-go-round.
THE SQUARE TOWER
The square tower is beneath the pyramid bearing that ‘ bird-eye in all the four directions. The symbolic understanding is that the omnipresent Buddha rises at and from all four corners. Below the eyes, there is a ‘question mark’ symbol to depict the nose. People say that the question mark symbol is a Nepali character for ‘’’ Number ONE’
Above the plinth is a hemispherical dome, resembling an upturned pot of rice (Kumbha literally means ‘pot’). The dome symbolizes water and is freshly whitewashed each year and decorated with a pattern of yellow paint to represent lotus petals. The Khumba is as shared above, beneath the Pyramid- Harmika.
THE TERRACE PLINTH
The lowest level of the stupa is a square or terraced plinth, representing the earth. The four sides or four terraces represent the four states of mindfulness and the four immeasurable attributes of love, compassion, joy, and equanimity.
However, the two circular plinths rest at the corners of the terraced plinth. The two circular plinths are supporting the Mandala shaped dome stupa at two ends balance the energies of water elements. Also, the two circular structure of the Boudhanath Stupa supports the structure of stupa through the circular plinth hemispheres. The circular plinths are understood as hemispheres as well.
Further, the base of the Boudhanath Stupa consists of three large platforms that keep decreasing in size by each platform. Similarly, these three platforms symbolize the earth element. While setting their eyes on the mountains the base view is the best of all. One can hear the chants of the devotion of devotees doing their Kora.
The Boudhanath Stupa Associated With Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara
The base of the Boudhanath Stupa, associated with Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara. Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara 108 forms, depicted in the sculptures carved in the base. Additionally, the mantra of ‘Om Mani Padme Hum’, carved on the prayer wheels that are beside the base of the Boudhanath Stupa.
Boudhanath Stupa Is Symbolic In Many Ways
Firstly, there is symbolism in every atom that exists and every religious and spiritual place is symbolic too. Likewise, here, the Boudhanath Stupa is symbolic in many ways. Certainly, the Boudhanath Stupa is a nine-level stupa that represents Mount Meru considered the center of the cosmos. In short, Mount Meru the five-peaked mountain, and this Boudhanath Stupa balances all the five elements pertaining to our existence as well. There are also 13 rings from the base of the Boudhanath Stupa to its pinnacle and also called SPIRE. These 13 rings symbolize the path to enlightenment and hence this name- the Boudhanath Stupa took its birth.
The Bodhi-ness is the pristine Boudhanath. The Boudhanath Stupa is a must stupa to visit. Plan your Nepal trip with us. We are Aradhya Tours.
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