The Meaning of a Stupa
A stupa symbolizes the wisdom mind of a buddha expressing infinite love and compassion for all beings. It incorporates five basic geometric shapes corresponding to the five elements – earth, water, fire, air, and space – out of which the world and all the atoms within it are composed. The overall shape of a stupa bears a close resemblance to the image of a seated buddha. The levels of a stupa correspond to the various levels of the spiritual path culminating in complete enlightenment. Merely by viewing such a harmoniously balanced symbol we receive subtle benefit, experienced as a feeling of peace, well-being, and wholeness.
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.
As Buddha Shakyamuni said in the Sutra teachings, if you build a temple or stupa that represents the Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha, it will bring tremendous merit. Even when it is gone, the dust of the place will continue to generate merit and benefit to all those connected to the project.
By this merit may all obtain omniscience.
May it defeat the enemy, wrong-doing.
From the stormy waves of birth, old age, sickness, and death,
From the ocean of samsara, may I free all beings.
If you would like to support this glorious, meritorious project in honor of our lineage masters, or a loved one, please contribute below or mail a check payable to “PBC” to Padma Samye Ling monastery, and note in the memo who the donation is being made on behalf of.
Padma Samye Ling
618 Buddha Highway
Sidney Center, NY 13839
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