Postcard Sunday: Nepal

Boudhanath, UNESCO World Heritage List #: 121

Boudhanath (also called Boudha, Bouddhanath or Baudhanath or the Khāsa Caitya) is a stupa in Kathmandu, Nepal. Located about 11 km (6.8 mi) from the center and northeastern outskirts of Kathmandu, the stupa’s massive mandala makes it one of the largest spherical stupas in Nepal.

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 refugees from Tibet 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). 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 Boudhanath. The Stupa is said to entomb the remains of Kassapa Buddha.

This Bauddha stupa was built just after the demise of Lord Buddha and is largest single Chhorten in the world. Many Kilograms of gold were used in the decoration of the holy building. The legend of its building begins with one person: an Apsara in a previous life, Jyajima was born into a very ordinary family of the earth after the reduction of her religious merit from the heaven. She had four husbands, and gave birth to four sons from each of her husbands. Tajibu was born of a horse trader, Phagjibu from a pig trader, khyijibu rom dog trader and Jyajibu from poultry business man. They had a most religious attitude, and decided to construct the largest chhorten (stupa). The land necessary for the stupa was made available by Majyajima  and construction was started soon after. The construction materials of soil, bricks and stones were carried on elephants, horses, donkeys etc. Majyajima died four years later, after completion of four stories of the structure, and after three more years of ceaseless efforts, the sons completed The Baudha stupa. It took almost seven years in total to complete the construction of the stupa.

It is believed that thousands of Buddhas and heavenly Deities incarnated as Lamas in the Baudha stupa It is said that because of Rabne, the rays of Bodhisattvas entered in the song from heaven and the holy sound of was heard in the sky. Due to being empowered by the Bodhisattvas this stupa is viewed with a great reverence as are Sangye Tong Duspai Chorten etc.

After the completion of the construction of Boudha stupa, Tajibu prayed very devoutly to become the king of the northern region to disseminate the religion, so he was the Dharma King Trisong Detsen of Tibet in his next life. Phagjibu wished to be a scholar to disseminate the religion, and he became Bodhisattva Śāntarakṣita, an enlightened teacher in Tibet in the next birth. Khyijibu was incarnated as the enlightened Guru Rinpoche Padmasambhava on Ashada Dashain (on the tenth day of lunar calendar of first half of Ashada) in Oddiyana, Oḍḍiyāna, in the southwest area, at Dhanakosha lake. He suppressed the Demons who were barriers to the religion and conserved and protected the religion from the Demonic attacks. Jyajibu prayed to be a minister for the protection of religion in the north and as an answer to his prayer he was born at Tibet and became the minister Bhami Thri Zher.

All of these person prayed for themselves but they did not pray for the animals, who transported bricks, soil, and stone. So these animals became angry and the elephant prayed to be the Demon in the next life to eliminate the religion. So he became the King Langdarma of Tibet in the next life, where Tajibu had disseminated the holiest religion. In the same way, the Donkey prayed to become a minister in the next life to destroy the religion and he too became a minister Dudlon Mazhang Drompakye in Tibet.

A crow listened the prayers of these animals who prayed for the destruction of the holiest religion, and he (the crow) prayed to the Bauddha Stupa to be a minister to protect and preserve the holy religion by killing the demonic king Langdarma  in the next life. He was born as Lha Lung Pal Gyi Dorje in the next life, and assassinated King Lang Darma with a bow and arrow.

The cowherds and shepherds, who prayed for the protection of religion and suppression of demons (who were attempting to eliminate the holy religion), were born as Cholon Gos Padma Gung Tsan in Tibet to conserve the religion. In the same way, Chodpurchan and Sarse, two Brahmins who prayed to the stupa to be born in the holy country and to write the holy literature were reborn in the next life as Kawa Paltsek and Chogro Lhui Gyaltshan; these two translated thousands of holy teachings of Lord Buddha into Bhoti (Tibetan) Language.

In addition to this, two crown princes of Nepal prayed to be helpers in dissesminating the religion, and they became Denma Tsemang and Legzyin Nyima) in their next lives and wrote many holy books. Along with this, the religious king of Tibet, Dechen Devachan asked the greatest teacher Rinpoche: “what could be the factor and cultural background of our previous life that made us deeply devoted in religion and active in disseminating religious matters”? He was answered and was reverently referred by the Guru as ‘Jyarung Khashor.

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