What is a stupa?

The Stupas are spiritual monuments that reflect the harmony and perfection of universal principles; they are the compassionate and wise mind of the teachers who invite the human mind to awaken to its full potential. Its transforming force promotes a message of inner peace, tranquility and the development of a good heart, indispensable qualities to generate universal peace.
The stupas are spiritual monuments that generate peace and tranquility. The set of elements of the stupa such as: its orientation, its sacred geometry, its contents of high symbolic value and the energy charged by the powerful ceremonies of the lamas, create an incredible potential that sows the seed of enlightenment for those who look at it , they circumambulate it or are simply touched by the shadow that it projects. They are three-dimensional models of enlightenment, purely symbolic structures that represent Buddha's enlightened mind, the nature of a fully awakened mind and the necessary path to reach this spiritual state.

Although the origin of the stupas is unknown, it is said that they were hills or piles of stones such as reliquaries or tombs of heroes and it is believed that their purpose was similar to that of the Egyptian pyramids. At the time of Prince Siddhartha Gautama (6th-5th century BC), the historical Buddha, his symbolic aspects developed in such a way that the meaning of the stupas was profoundly modified. From the 2nd century AD C. With Mahayana Buddhism the stupa begins its expansion, although maintaining its main elements and become symbols with many purposes, treasures of knowledge about the phenomena, the universe, the nature of the mind and the path that leads to the state of full development or lighting.

In Tibet, the stupa evolved and became the "chorten" formed by a dome resting on a base of five steps. At the top of the spiral is a sun supported by a crescent moon symbolizing a pure mind: wisdom and an open heart: compassion. The structure symbolizes the five elements of the world; and each of the eight types of different Tibetan stupas commemorates an event in the life of Buddha Sakyamuni.

The structure is a representation of all stages, including the deepest, of the path to enlightenment and also represents the result. In general, they are contained in three main themes:

  • La The base (1) and the throne (2) that represent ethics, the foundation. It contains prayer wheels with the OM MANI PADME HUM mantra (*) on its walls so they can be rolled while the Stupa is bypassed.
  • Las The stairs (3), the vase or boom (4) in Tibetan and the harmika (5), which represent the practices
  • The pineapple (6) that represents the result of those practices, the enlightened mind

Su arquitectura es única, y se edifican de acuerdo con las enseñanzas y tradiciones budistas;  con diseños, proporciones exactas e instrucciones precisas. El conjunto de elementos de la estupa como son: su orientación, su geometría sagrada, sus contenidos de alto valor simbólico y  la energía cargada por las ceremonias poderosas de los lamas,  crean una potencial increíble que siembra la semilla de la iluminación para aquellos que la miran, la circunvalan o son simplemente tocados por la sombra que proyecta.

(*) El significado del mantra según su S.S. XIV Dalai Lama: Es muy bueno recitar el mantra OM MANI PADME HUM, pero mientras lo haces, debes pensar en su significado, porque el significado de sus seis sílabas es grande y extenso… La primera, OM […] simboliza el cuerpo, habla y mente impura del practicante; también simbolizan el cuerpo, habla y mente pura y exaltada de un Buda (…) El camino lo indican las próximas cuatro sílabas: MANI, que significa “joya”, simboliza los factores del método, la intención altruista de lograr la claridad de mente, compasión y amor (…) Las dos sílabas, PADME, que significan “loto”, simbolizan la sabiduría (…) La pureza debe ser lograda por la unidad indivisible del método y la sabiduría, simbolizada por la sílaba final HUM, la cual indica la indivisibilidad (…) De esa manera las seis sílabas, om mani padme hum, significan que en la dependencia de la práctica de un camino que es la unión indivisible del método y la sabiduría, tú puedes transformar tu cuerpo, habla y mente impura al cuerpo, habla y mente pura y exaltada de un Buda