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Know The History Of Boudhanath Stupa

Blog Know History of Boudhanath Stupa

The great Majestic Boudha Stupa stands approximately 6-7km North East from the center of the Kathmandu Valley. The splendid dome of Boudha Stupa is approximately 120 ft in diameter, 1 hector in width and 43.25m in height. The area of the Stupa is approximately 6,756 square meters. It is believed that this great Stupa was built during the Kashyapa Buddha’s end period and the beginning period of Shakayamuni Buddha. Buddhist people believe that the relics of Kashyap Buddha, the third Buddha of Bhadrakalpa was enshrined in the dome of this Stupa. This great Stupa is known as the mind nature of Buddhas of three time-past, present and the future. This Great Stupa is also called the Stupa of enlightenment or Bodhi Stupa. It is also known as Jhyarung Khhhashyor. This Stupa is also one of the largest and most significant Buddhist monument in the world. This Stupa is religious, cultural and archaeologically very important. This great Stupa was enlisted on world heritage site by UNESCO in 1979 and has become the common monument of the people all over the world. Today it is a major destination for pilgrims from the Himalayas, Tibet and South-East and Eastern Asia. It has become the center of a thriving town of monasteries, craftsmanship, and business. It is the principal center of Himalayan Buddhist worship and studies in the Kathmandu Valley. This heritage site has an exceptional universal value which deserves protection and conservation for the benefit of all human beings around the globe. It is believed that those who resides around this great Stupa will never have to suffer from the hunger, famine and unfavorable conditions.

There are many stories and legends concerning the origin and history of great Stupa. According to “Hidden Treasure of the Guru Padmasambvava” a widow’s name Ma Jhyazima aspired to make a great offering of Boudha, using her hard earned savings as a poultry keeper, she approached the local king for permission and it was granted on condition that she used and area of the land measuring the size of a single ox skin. However, Jhyazima cut the skin into thin strips and claimed the land enclosed from the strips which laid end to end. This woman’s mere ambition to build such a magnificent monument offering to the Boudha caused much jealousy between the rich and powerful at the time. The jealous lord petitioned the king to stop the construction, but the king who had allowed it to happen, replied- “Since permission to build has been given, it shall not be rescinded.” Thus, the Stupa was named Jhyarung Khashyor. The remaining work of the constructions of Boudha Stupa was completed by the four sons of Jhyazima. They were Trisong Deuchen, Shanta Rakshita, Guru Padmasambhava and Bami Thiser. This legend is very popular in the Himalayan Buddhist society.

The earliest historical references of Boudha Stupa are found in the Chronicles of the Newar Society. Firstly, Boudha is mentioned as one of the four Stupas found by the Licchavi King Vrisadeva (ca. AD400) or Vikramjit. Secondly, in Newars legend, the Stupa’s origin is attributed to King Dharmadeva’s son, Manadeva. Manadeva was the great Licchavi King, military conqueror and the patron of the arts who reigned ca.AD 464-505. Manadeva is also linked with the Swayambhun Chaitya of Gum Bahal. Thirdly, another great Licchavi King, Shivadeva (Ad 590-604) is associated with Boudha by an inscription; he may have restored the Stupa. Finally, in the archeological report of the 16th century Tibetan restorer, Sakya Zangpo, there is an assertion that he discovered the Lichhavi King Amsuvarma’s relics in the Stupa. There is no Licchavi stone remaining in the vicinity of Boudha. Although the eastern enclave of the Stupa there are several updatable but undoubted ancient stones inscribed with the mantra, and in the south there are small Chaityas in the Lichhavi style, which could perhaps be dated as early as the 13th century. In conclusion, although there is no epigraphical archeological or literary evidence of the Stupa’s Lichhavi origins, its early history is entirely based upon legend.

Clues to the Stupa’s origin and history can be derived from the etymology of the Newari name of the Stupas Khas or Khasti Chaitya, ” The Dewdrop Stupa”. Some believe the named is derived from Kasyapa, the Manusi Buddha of the Dwapara-yuga, whose relics are said to be enshrined within it. According to Newari etymology it is derived from the Newari word for “dew”, by the chronicles that mentioned when the Stupa was in the process of construction a drought struck and the workmen were forced to lay out a white cotton cloth to collect the morning dew, which was then wrung out to facilitate the day’s construction. Some say Khasa was the name of a Tibetan Lama whose relics were enshrined here. The Stupa’s origin was associated with the town Khaasa on the present border of Nepal and China.

According to Gopal Raj Chronicles, during the reign of the Licchavi King Dharmadeva (ca.AD 4th century), it is said that the king installed “Narayanhiti stone spouts” but the water did not come. So, the king consulted his astrologers and was told to sacrifice the most virtuous man in the kingdom for water. After disappointing results, the King decided that it was only himself and his son who qualified as victims. The old king decided it was himself who had to die. So, he instructed his son to decapitate a shrouded from with one stroke he would find lying near the palace that night. The prince Manadeva obeyed his father’s command and was horrified to see the head of his father fly from the corpse. It landed in the temple of Vajra Yogini in Sankhu and he was told by the goddess that the only way he could undo his sins was to let a cock fly and build a Stupa wherever cock landed for his father. The cock alighted at Boudha, and King Manadeva built magnificent Stupa there.

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