Stupas are prevalent building structures with a long tradition in the Buddhist world. They were originally grave mounds in pre-Buddhist times containing the remains of Indian rulers and from which a rod protruded that supposedly collected energy. The dome shape also symbolized the balance between all energies in the universe. The word stupa is derived from the Sanskrit word “stup”, which means something like “accumulating” or “collecting”. Buddha is said to have recommended the building of stupas, which is why there are so many of them in Tibet and in the rest of the Buddhist world. Since early Buddhist times, the relics of the Buddha and of distinguished Buddhist monks have been stored in them.
A Stupa for Peace and Harmony in a Beneficial Place
Stupas are general monuments for peace in the world. Their perfect form symbolizes the mind’s pure nature. The stupa at Kamalashila Institute is a so-called enlightenment stupa. Its most important feature is its interior, which was ceremoniously blessed. In addition to many small clay Buddha figures, so-called Tsa Tsas, Buddhist mantra roles and relics are also contained in it. The stupa was consecrated and blessed in 2006 by Chödje Lama Phuntsok of the Karma Kagyu lineage, who had professionally supervised the building of it and who blessed it through rituals. While visiting Kamalashila Institute during his European tour in 2014, H.H. the 17th Karmapa blessed the stupa again himself in a very moving ceremony. The stupa is meant to radiate peace and harmony throughout Germany and the whole world and to transform negative energy into positive energy. One of the special treasures housed in the stupa is a statue of the Medicine Buddha – a gift from H.H. Karmapa. According to the Mahayana teachings of Buddhism, the Medicine Buddha cures all illnesses and liberates sentient beings from the three poisons: greed, hatred, and delusion. The Buddha in our stupa also represents a link to the early history of Langenfeld, as the area in which Langenfeld is currently situated has long been regarded as a holy place.
What is the stupa used for?
The Medicine Buddha practice is carried out in our stupa on the 8th day of the Tibetan calendar. All practitioners and interested persons are warmly invited to attend. It is also possible to have Medicine Buddha pujas performed for the benefit of persons in one’s family or circle of friends who are ill. Information on this is found in the tab “Butter Lamp Offering”.
The stupa itself is accessible at all times, so that you can meditate while walking clockwise around it. In doing so, the positive energy emanating from it is supposed to benefit the practitioner and the entire world. The interior of the stupa is open to visitors from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. in summer and when weather permits in winter. You can meditate in the stupa, carry out your own practice, or just light a candle in front of the statue.