The Great Stupa

Great Stupa at night - Tim Addison

Great Stupa at night – Tim Addison

The Great Stupa of Dharmakaya is one of the most magnificent examples of sacred Buddhist architecture outside Asia. It is a complete representation of the body, speech and mind of the Buddha.

The full name of the stupa is “The Great Stupa of Dharmakaya Which Liberates Upon Seeing.” It is commonly shortened to “The Great Stupa of Dharmakaya.” The Sanskrit word dharmakaya, which literally means “body of reality or truth,” refers to the essence of awakened being, absolute buddha nature.

It is said that those who gaze at The Great Stupa of Dharmakaya see the body of the Buddha. When their thoughts are stopped by its power and beauty, they experience the mind of the Buddha. That moment of direct insight, no matter how brief, is the gateway to enlightenment.

The Great Stupa is also a reliquary. Relics of the Buddha, as well as those from other great teachers, including Chögyam Trunpa Rinpoche are sealed into the 108-foot gilded structure. Countless mantras and fragments of sacred objects, many of them preserved in the Himalayas for centuries, are held within the massive base and walls.

Great Stupa interior (buddha) - photo by James Hoagland

Great Stupa interior (buddha) – photo by James Hoagland

The Great Stupa of Dharmakaya has a profound impact on the people who come in contact with it. Like all such undertakings, the stupa is a work of devotion. It has come to life through the efforts of a largely volunteer work force who gave their hearts, time, funds and skills to build it.

The stupa’s construction and artistry is unique. Most of it has been accomplished by hand. All of it is an act of love.


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