SYMBOLIC MEANING OF STUPAS, Shirlee Hall

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Dearest souls,

stupaI had a very lengthy and inspiring vision about 6 weeks ago. An actual conversation took place with an unseen intelligence.

The Voice gave a name to what I was seeing, ‘STUPA‘.

I didn’t have a clue as to what it meant but knew somehow it was connected to India.

It turns out Buddha’s ashes were divided into 8 containers and each container had one of these structures, stupas, over the container.

It is a sacred structure representing the chakra system and much, much more.

There is a Lion Throne inside the main one representing spiritual authority and a lovely vase called the Vase of Virtues, etc.

Women of our World, I hope You are open to learning and universal like me and thought this would be of interest to you.

The photo I found (above) looks just like the Stupa that ‘visited’ me.

Much love,

Shirlee
 

A stupa (from Sanskrit: m., स्तूप, stūpa, Sinhalese: ස්ථූපය, Pāli: थुप “thūpa”, literally meaning “heap”) is a mound-like structure containing Buddhist relics, typically the ashes of deceased, used by Buddhists as a place of meditation. The term “reliquary” is sometimes used, after a Christian functional equivalent. Stupas are an ancient form of mandala. * Eight Great Stupas

Stupa is a Sanskrit word that means “to heap” or “to pile up” and refers to the mound-like shape of the earliest stupas.

sanskritThe Mahaparinirvana Sutra tells us that it was the Buddha himself who outlined the basic design of the stupa. The story begins at Buddha’s deathbed. When he realized that death was imminent, Buddha gave instructions about the disposition of his body. He said that his body should be cremated and the relics divided up and enclosed in four different monuments. These monuments were to be erected at the following places, marking important milestones in the Buddha’s spiritual journey: at Lumbini, where he was born; at Bodhgaya where he attained Enlightenment; at Sarnath, where he gave his first teaching; and at Kushinagar, where he died, entering parinirvana, or ultimate liberation.

Giving a practical demonstration, he folded his outer yellow robe over and over until it became a rough cube. Then he put his begging bowl over it. These two elements, the square and the dome, are present in every stupa (India), dagoba (Sri Lanka), chorten (Tibet), chedi or pagoda (Burma), t’ap (Korea), ta (China), tarp (Vietnam), thaat (Laos), sotoba (Japan), or chandi (Java).

The stupa, universal throughout Asia, evolved into more than a reliquary monument.

It has become an expression of the Ideal of Enlightenment.
 

Five purified elements

Although not described in any Tibetan text on stupa symbolism, the stupa may represent the five purified elements:

  • The square base represents earth
  • The hemispherical dome/vase represents water
  • The conical spire represents fire
  • The upper lotus parasol and the crescent moon represents air
  • The sun and the dissolving point represents the element of space

Tree of Life
A very important element in every Stupa is the Tree of Life. It is a wooden pole covered with gems and thousands of mantras, and placed in the central channel of the stupa. It is placed here during a ceremony or initiation, where the participants hold colorful ribbons connected to the Tree of Life. Together the participants make their most positive and powerful wishes, which are stored in the Tree of Life. In this way the stupa is charged up, and will start to function.

Benefits

Building a stupa is considered extremely beneficial, leaving very positive karmic imprints in the mind. Future benefits from this action will result in fortunate rebirths. Fortunate worldly benefits will be the result, such as being born into a rich family, having a beautiful body, a nice voice, and being attractive and bringing joy to others and having a long and happy life, in which one’s wishes are fulfilled quickly. On the absolute level, one will also be able to reach enlightenment, the goal of Buddhism, quickly.

Destroying a stupa on the other hand, is considered an extremely negative deed, similar to killing. Such an action is explained to create massive negative karmic imprints, leading to massive future problems. It is said this action will leave the mind in a state of paranoia after death has occurred, leading to totally unfortunate rebirths.

According to Brahmi, kharoshti, Pali and Sanskrit edicts Ashoka the great founded 84,000 stupas all over the south Asia.
 

SYMBOLIC MEANING OF STUPAS

1. The basic platform that “Holds the Earth” symbolizes the ten virtues 

Body :

  • to protect life
  • to practise generosity
  • keep pure morality

Speech :

  • to tell the truth
  • to reconcile
  • to speak In a quiet and gentle way
  • to have a sensible speech

Mind :

  • to be content
  • to be altruistic
  • to have faith in the right views (which are the correct foundation for liberation)

2. The three steps above symbolize the three refuges one to hold

  • Buddha
  • the reaching of Buddha (Dharma)
  • the Assembly of those who practise these teachings (Sangha)

3. The Lion-throne symbolizes the superiority over the whole universe

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Stupas … demonstrate the triumph of enlightenment’s wisdom over suffering’s ignorance. They are memorials… to the possibility of freedom from suffering for all beings. They signal the triumphal reality of a nature that enables beings to evolve to experience the ultimate fulfilment of perfect bliss, beyond death and unsatisfying life. Stupas stand as eloquent testimony to the higher purpose of life, beyond competing or struggling, getting or spending. Consciously or subliminally, they help turn people’s minds away from their frustrating obsessions and towards their own higher potential”

(Professor Robert Thurman, from the Foreword to Buddhist Stupas in Asia: the Shape of Perfection).

“Ten Traditional Purposes of Stupas”, extracted from A Stupa for Geshe Lama Konchog by Tenzin Zopa.

  1. To remind one of a teacher
  2. To act as a reliquary, which contains the relics of a teacher and embodies the enlightened mind, and to serve as the focal point for the continuation of the buddha-activity of a teacher
  3. To magnetize enlightened energy
  4. To speed a teacher’s rebirth
  5. To promote longevity
  6. To create peace and harmony in society
  7. To magnetize wealth
  8. To turn back invading armies
  9. To pacify physical and mental illness, pestilence, and disease
  10. To actualize enlightenment

SHIRLEE HALLThanks to Shirlee Hall for this vision, a true reminder to our world that there is work to be done and priorities to set in order.

How do you see your journey of enlightenment unfolding?

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