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Boddhanath Great Stupa HomePage

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Guru  Rimpoche Prophecy




The Great Stupa in Boddhanath (Boddnath), named by  Tibetans as the Jarungkasor, stands at about five kilometers north- east of  Kathmandu Valley, surrounded by more than 25  Gompas, shops and buildings reflecting in the far away Himalayan ranges. Coming from downtown Kathmandu (Thamel), you will find the Great Stupa passed Chabihil crossingon the Ring Road, and not far from the KTM airport (10 minutes by taxi) and the holy cremation grounds of the Civa temple and Ghats of the sacred site of  Pashupatinath.

Bouddhanath  is the biggest Buddhist Stupa structure in Nepal, standing like a jewel in the center of  the Valley's Mandala. From its very beginning, the Stupa was erected as a pilgrimage site and a Tibetan Dharma powerplace. Stories abound on pilgrims coming from Tibet, Sikkim or Ladakh, who following the old salt road were going through Bouddhanath and Sanghu villages (Vajra Yogini), then back north to the pass of Khasa and Nyalam (Tibetan borders). The legend of its construction comes from times earlier than people can now recall. On their path on the old track to the north, traders, monks and lamas still perform here innumerable rituals for their safe journey, business and protection, as they always did.

For twenty-five years, the four sects of the Tibetan Buddhism have added to the old Bouddhanath Stupa rural hamlet some 25 new and big monasteries, as well as  other compounds. The impressive socio-economic and international development of the Tibetan ethnic minority, being all-in-all some 20,000 ethnic migrants Tibetans amongst local Tamangs, Rais, Gurungs, Newars, Chettris and others, has in itself greatly influenced the local trade, communication (Internet outlets are numerous), trans-cultural exchange and workers population today.
 
 

Surrounded by numerous new Gompas, buildings, shops, carpet factories, schools, clinics and a few old Newaris houses that remain as sole testimony of  its rural past, the Great Stupa village now emerges from Kathmandu urban confusion, as a testimony to vigour of Tibetan , Tamang, Sherpa and Newari Dharmas.

Guru Rimpoche (Padma Sambhava) foretold what would happen, if people did not respect Dharma principles. It was in Samye Ling (Tibet) that once Guru Rimpoche, the eight century Tantric Guru who brought Vajrayana Buddhism to Tibet, gave to King Trisondetsen and his twenty-five close disciples, the Prophecy of the Great Stupa.

In this prophecy, the Mongol invasion and the arising of Muslim power in India are predicted, as well as several other changes to come in the Himalayan  region.
The Tamangs, Newaris and Tibetan people of Bouddhanath, holders of the traditions and legends surrounding Guru Rimpoche's shrine, see in present day events, the wisdom of Guru Rimpoche's old predictions regarding the dark age of  Kaliyuga.
 
 

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The Bazra Lama,
 Gardian of Boddhanath Stupa

Amongst events, the Chinese aggression on Tibet and India in the 1950s, the destruction of the pinnacle of the Great Stupa by lightning in 1969, and the growing feuding between local Tamangs landlords and Tibetan monks for earthly possessions, are seen as the contemporary confirmation of these Prophecies.

During Guru Rimpoche's existence, thousands of  Termas (hidden spiritual treasures) were hidden by Dakini and himself, in secret caves, rocks, rivers and temples. Some of these have been discovered since, decodefied and transmitted to the common people by Tertons (the Lineage of  Secret Treasures Finders / Nyigma-Pa). These texts and teachings are needed in times of Kaliyuga, so that Dharma  remains fresh, clear and does not die out of exhaustion.
 
 

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 The Great  Stupa  Legends

One of the many legends of the Great Stupa goes something like this:  In the country of  Nepal, a long time ago, a woman named Shamrava, who was an incarnation of King Indra's second daughter Apurna, had amassed quite some wealth from her poultry business and was inspired to use it for the benefit of all sentient beings. She went and asked humble permission of the Maharaja to build a Great Stupa, to be a receptacle of the nature of all Buddhas. The Maharaja thought carefully on the women's motivation, then finding it suitable, he gave her his assent to build the Stupa. Once the construction of the Great Stupa had begun by the women and her four sons, with the help of an elephant and a donkey, it   continued, despite tribulations, for four summers and winters, until it was achieved up to the Stupa's neck.

By that time, the poultry woman, who was old and dying, called her four sons. She made them promise to fulfill the purpose of her life and respect her last wishes. The four sons, faithful to their mother, worked on the stupa for three more years. After seven years as w whole, it was  all well and completed.

Nepalese historical sources trace the construction of the Stupa to the early period of  Man Deva who ruled Nepal in the fifth century A.D.
The Stupa represents the Nepalese and Tibetan's equal devotion to the Buddha.
 
 

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The Guru Rimpoche Temple


 
 

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The old Guru Rimpoche Temple ,
now destroyed and under reconstruction

In the early 19th century, the King of Nepal officially declared that the Bazra Lamas or Chinya Lama lineage (also called Chine Lama, Bazra La) would function as the officiating religious body at the Great Stupa. Last year, in 1996, the old Guru Rimpoche Gompa, which stood as one of the oldest temples for the local Tamang and Newari community in Bouddhanath, was severely damaged. In preparation for its reconstruction the old Guru Rinpoche Statues, the shrine and other artifacts have been moved to a small temporary structure,now located between the old temple and the Stupa. It is open to the public.
 
 

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