Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Guru Rinpoche and Victory Stupa

Guru Rinpoche Statue close to Victory Stupa at Samye-Ling Tibetan Centre. Increasingly people from all over visit, from the East, West, South and myself from North Fife.

The Victory Stupa

Samye-Ling's Stupa has a unique feature. Its little shrine is dedicated to honouring people who have died and preserving their ashes. When people die, their coffin is placed inside the shrine with their head resting just above the mandala of the five elements. On the ceiling over the coffin is the purification mandala of Dorje Sempa. Monks, nuns and lay practitioners say prayers continuously for three days and nights, invoking the blessing of Chenrezig, the Bodhisattva of Compassion, and entrusting the mind of the deceased person to Amitabha, the Buddha of Boundless Light, praying that their mind takes birth in Dewachen, Amitabha's Pure Land of Great Bliss. After the period of three days is up, the deceased person's body is cremated and their ashes are placed inside the cupboards that surround the shrine. Then once a year there is a special ceremony conducted by a high lama in which the ashes are blessed and prayers are said for all those who have died.

The central statue inside the Stupa is that of Amitabha, the Buddha of Boundless Light. To his right is Chenrezig, the Bodhisattva of Compassion, and to his left is Vajrapani, the Bodhisattva of Great Might. Around Amitabha are different manifestations of the Medicine Buddha. Right at the top, surrounding the ceiling, are a series of small cabinets containing statues of the 35 Buddhas who are connected with purification of the emotional defilements that obscure our enlightened nature. The stained glass windows are imprinted with the Kalachakra mandala, the function of which is to restore balance and harmony.
For more information on Stupas visit: www.stupa.org/stupas.htm

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