Gem of Wisdom for Daily Reflection: 

The Benefits of Building And Honouring Stupas In Accordance To The Buddha

Stupa of the great terton Mingyur Dorje at the Palyul Retreat Centre in upstate New York, USA Dhamek Stupa built at the site where Shakyamuni Buddha gave his first teaching in Sarnath, India The Peace Pagoda built by Nipponzan Myohoji monks in Vienna, Austria

The benefits of involvement in the construction of a stupa and being part of the auspicious activities of paying homage to a stupa are truly immeasurable. The advantages that can be gained from such actions are reiterated by Shakyamuni Buddha in numerous sutras.

In the Rivyasapariprccha Sutra, it states:

“Great sage, I proclaim that whoever pays respect
To the past Buddhas or the living Buddha,
The merits accumulated are equal.
Because the tathagatas are defined
By their qualities of dharmakaya
And not by their forms.”

In the Saddharma Pundarika Sutra, it states:

“To the stupa of the sugatas,
Even if one offers merely
The sound of a cymbal,
A single flower,
An offering with undisciplined thought
To an image of a sugata,
One will in times behold ten millions buddhas.
Whoever joins their palms in veneration before a stupa,
Be it be two palms together or one single palm,
The head bows for a moment,
Or the body bows just once,
Or prostrates with an absent mind,
To the place where the relics are placed,
Or utters the word ‘buddha’
Just once or a few times,
Will attain enlightenment.”

- Extract from the third of a four-part teachings on the origin, construction, benefits and practises related to stupa by Lama Dondrup Dorje Rinpoche. The full text is available to read under the feature of Gateway to Tibetan Buddhism. Click here to see the full list of articles available.