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Boudhanath

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File:Bodnath Sky.jpg
IMG 0361 Kathmandu Bodnath

Boudhanath stupa with light offerings

0403 Prayers Colors Kathmandu Bodnath 2006 Luca Galuzzi

The colorful roof of Bodnath Temple

File:Bodnath Prayer Wheels.jpg
Tibetan monks Boudhanath 1973

Tibetan monks Boudhanath, 1973

Boudhanath (Devnagari: बौद्धनाथ) (also called Bouddhanath, Bodhnath or Baudhanath or the Khāsa Caitya) is one of the holiest Buddhist sites in Kathmandu, Nepal. It is known as Khāsti by Newars as Bauddha or Bodh-nāth by modern speakers of Nepali.[1] Located about 11 km (7 miles) from the center and northeastern outskirts of Kathmandu, the stupa's massive mandala makes it one of the largest spherical stupas in Nepal.[2]

The Buddhist stupa of Boudhanath dominates the skyline. The ancient Stupa is one of the largest in the world. The influx of large populations of Tibetan refugees from China has seen the construction of over 50 Tibetan Gompas (Monasteries) around Boudhanath. As of 1979, Boudhanath is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Along with Swayambhunath, it is one of the most popular tourist sites in the Kathmandu area.

The Stupa is on the ancient trade route from Tibet which enters the Kathmandu Valley by the village of Sankhu in the northeast corner, passes by Boudnath Stupa to the ancient and smaller stupa of Cā-bahī (often called 'Little Boudnath'). It then turns directly south, heading over the Bagmati river to Patan - thus bypassing the main city of Kathmandu (which was a later foundation).[1] Tibetan merchants have rested and offered prayers here for many centuries. When refugees entered Nepal from Tibet in the 1950s, many decided to live around Bouddhanath. The Stupa is said to entomb the remains of a Kasyapa sage venerable both to Buddhists and Hindus.

Legend of the Construction of the Stupa according to Tibetan Buddhist Mythology

"The village that surrounds the great Kāṣyapa tower is generally known by the name of Boḍḍha. ...which in Tibetan is called Yambu Chorten Chenpo. Yambu is the general name by which Kāthmāndu is known in Tibet; and Chorten Chenpo means great tower. The real name of the tower in full is, however, Ja Rung Kashol Chorten Chenpo, which may be translated into: "Have finished giving the order to proceed with." The tower has an interesting history of its own which explains this strange name. It is said in this history that Kāṣyapa was a Buḍḍha that lived a long time before Shākyamuni Buḍḍha. after Kāṣyapa Buḍḍha's demise, a certain old woman, with her four sons, interred this great sage's remains at the spot over which the great mound now stands, the latter having been built by the woman herself. Before starting on the work of construction, she petitioned the King of the time, and obtained permission to "proceed with" building a tower. By the time that, as a result of great sacrifices on the part of the woman and her four sons, the groundwork of the structure had been finished, those who saw it were astonished at the greatness of the scale on which it was undertaken. Especially was this the case with the high officials of the country, who all said that if such a poor old dame were allowed to complete building such a stupendous tower, they themselves would have to dedicated a temple as great as a mountain, and so they decided to ask the King to disallow the further progress of the work. When the King was approached on the matter his Majesty replied: "I have finished giving the order to the woman to proceed with the work. Kings must not eat their words, and I cannot undo my orders now." So the tower was allowed to be finished, and hence its unique name, "Ja Rung Kashol Chorten Chenpo." I rather think, however, that the tower must have been built after the days of Shākyamuni Buḍḍha, for the above description from Tibetan books is different from the records in Samskṛṭ, which are more reliable than the Tibetan." the biggest stupa in Nepal[3]

History

The Gopālarājavaṃśāvalī says Bouhhanath was founded by the Nepalese Licchavi king Śivadeva (c. 590-604 CE); though other Nepalese chronicles date it to the reign of King Mānadeva (464-505 CE).[4][5] Tibetan sources claim a mound on the site was excavated in the late 15th or early 16th century and the bones of king Aṃshuvarmā 605-621 were discovered there.[6]

However, the Tibetan emperor, Trisong Detsän (r. 755 to 797) is also traditionally associated with the construction of the Boudhanath Stupa.Yolmo Ngagchang Sakya Zangpo from Helambu resurrected Boudhanath.[7]

Gallery

See also

Footnotes

  1. 1.0 1.1 Snellgrove, David. Indo-Tibetan Buddhism: Indian Buddhists and Their Tibetan Successors, 2 vols., p. 365. (1987) Shambhala Publications, Boston. ISBN 0-87773-311-2 (v. 1); ISBN 0-87773-379-1 (v. 2).
  2. "Fables of Boudhanath and Changunarayan". nepalnews.com. http://www.nepalnews.com.np/contents/englishweekly/independent/11-09/tourism.htm. Retrieved 2007-07-30. 
  3. Ekai Kawaguchi. Three Years in Tibet, (1909), pp. 35-36. Reprint: Book Faith India, Delhi (1995). ISBN 81-7303-036-7.
  4. Shaha, Rishikesh. Ancient and Medieval Nepal. (1992), p. 123. Manohar Publications, New Delhi. ISBN 81-85425-69-8.
  5. Ehrhard, Franz-Karl (1990). "The Stupa of Bodhnath: A Preliminary Analysis of the Written Sources." Ancient Nepal - Journal of the Department of Archaeology, Number 120, October-November 1990, pp. 1-6.
  6. Ehrhard, Franz-Karl (1990). "The Stupa of Bodhnath: A Preliminary Analysis of the Written Sources." Ancient Nepal - Journal of the Department of Archaeology, Number 120, October-November 1990, pp. 7-9.
  7. The Legend of the Great Stupa and The Life Story of the Lotus Born Guru, pp. 21-29. Keith Dowman (1973). Tibetan Nyingma Meditation Center. Dharma Books. Berkeley, California.

References

  • The Legend of the Great Stupa and The Life Story of the Lotus Born Guru. Keith Dowman. (1973). Tibetan Nyingma Meditation Center. Dharma Books. Berkeley, California.
  • Psycho-cosmic Symbolism of the Buddhist Stūpa. Lama Anagarika Govinda. (1976) Dharma Books. Berkeley, California. ISBN 0-913546-35-6; ISBN 0-913546-36-4 (pbk).

External links

Coordinates: 27°43′17″N 85°21′43″E / 27.72139°N 85.36194°E / 27.72139; 85.36194

eo:Bodnathne:बौद्धनाथ ja:ボダナートru:Боднатх

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