Great Stupa of Universal Compassion

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Great Stupa of Universal Compassion
Information
Main School Vajrayana
Sub School Tibetan, Gelug
Affiliation Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition
Founded 1994
STUPA
Stupa Yes (See Stupa Page)
People
Spiritual Director Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche
Contact Infotmation
Address 25 Sandhurst Town Road
Myers Flat
Victoria 3556
Australia
Country Australia
Coordinates
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Map
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Phone (03) 5446 7568
Website http://www.stupa.org.au
Email info@stupa.org.au
Postal Address PO BOX 869 Maiden Gully VIC 3551 Australia
Social Media

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Great Stupa of Universal Compassion

The Great Stupa of Universal Compassion will be the same size and design as the Great Stupa of Gyantse which is 50 metres (164 feet) wide along each side at its base and nearly 50 metres high. This will make it the largest stupa in the Western World. It is being built near Bendigo, Australia.

3D model of The Great Stupa master plan in Bendigo

MasterPlanNEWSTUPABENDIGO.JPG

Introduction

What is The Great Stupa?

The Great Stupa of Universal Compassion will be the same size and design as the Great Stupa of Gyantse which is 50 metres (164 feet) wide along each side at its base and nearly 50 metres high. This will make it the largest stupa in the Western World. It is being built near Bendigo, Australia.

A Stupa is the most sacred monument in the Buddhist world. It is a symbolic representation of the fully Enlightened mind and the path to Enlightenment. As the sacred texts are the verbal expression of the Dharma, so the Stupa is its architectural expression.

Objectives of The Great Stupa

  • To inspire people to seek a peaceful and spiritual path.
  • To be a pilgrimage place for Buddhists from around the world.
  • To provide a refuge of peace and serenity for all and especially those in need.
  • To help explain Buddhism to anyone interested.
  • To provide a Gompa for use by monks from Thubten Shedrup Ling Monastery and members of the Atisha Buddhist Centre.
  • To be of service to as many beings as possible.

The Gompa

The Gompa, inside the Stupa, will have many features of traditional large Tibetan gompas including large statues of Buddhas and deities. The Gompa will be used for pujas, meditation and teachings. It will also be designed to present an overview of Buddhism to visitors.

The Gardens

Beautiful gardens will surround the Stupa. Visitors will be encouraged to walk through the garden and to ascend the Stupa in the clockwise direction. Along the paths will be 100,000 small stupas.

Funding

Construction of The Great Stupa is estimated to be around $20 million. These funds are being sought through fundraising on an international basis. Construction is taking place on a progressive basis as funds become available.

Blessing

Lama Thubten Yeshe

In August 1981, Lama Yeshe, the founder of the Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition, selected Atisha Centre near Bendigo in Southern Australia as the site for an enormous stupa with a very large gompa (temple) inside.

Lama Zopa Rinpoche

Rinpoche has said:

"Just by holy objects such as the Great Stupa existing in the world it makes it so unbelievably easy for us sentient beings, whether we are in this world or will be born in this world or are from other universes, to purify the obstacles for happiness, peace and realisations on the path, and also to achieve liberation and enlightenment.................So now you can see the importance of this Great Stupa...how (it will) illuminate the world and bring inconceivable peace and happiness, and by building this holy object it prevents the destruction that is happening so much in the world, including war."

H.E. Kyabje Choden Rinpoche, 2/26/2014

"Keeping a relic the size of a grain of sand, creates immeasurable merit - but you maintain a great collection of relics, therefore your merit is inconceivable.
Making a statue the size of a toothpick, creates immeasurable merit - but you have large statues, therefore your merit is inconceivable.
Building a stupa the size of a thumb-nail, creates immeasurable merit - but you are building a Great Stupa, therefore your merit is inconceivable.
I cannot even begin to calculate your merit. I rejoice again and again in your merit and activities, and was very pleased to visit the Exhibition Center and the Great Stupa today.
In the future it will bring incredible benefit to all sentient beings. Again I rejoice."


Tarthang Tulku

"It is wonderful to hear about this project which is so important for the well-being of our planet."

Consecration of the land

The site for the stupa was consecrated by Venerable Khensur Rinpoche, his attendant and Thubten Donyo in November 1994.

Blessings

Blessings of The Great Stupa site have been given by His Holiness the Dalai Lama, His Holiness Sakya Trizin, Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche, Thich Giac Nhien and Thich Phuoc Hue.

Architecture

Gyantse2.jpg
Gyantse1.jpg

This famous 15th century stupa from Tibet was chosen by Lama Thubten Zopa as the design for The Great Stupa of Universal Compassion in Australia. It is about 50 metres square at its base and rises to almost 50 metres high. The Great Stupa of Gyantse in its beauty, its ecumenical acceptance of all Buddhist schools and its unique presentation of Buddhism is one of the treasures of the Buddhist world. Professor David L. Snellgrove has said:

"The Stupa of Gyantse may well be accounted the chief wonder of the Tibetan Buddhist world in that it records iconographically in its interior practically the whole pantheon of Indo-Tibetan religion up to the time of its construction during the first half of the 15th century."

Architectural services

Architectural services have been provided by original architect Peter Weiss and current architect Paul Von Chrismar of Buro Architects (Melbourne)

Similarities between the Stupas of Gyantse and Borobodur (Indonesia)

Lama Anagarika Govinda (in "Psycho-cosmic symbolism of the Buddhist Stupa") has drawn strong parallels between these two famous stupas - Borobodur in Indonesia and Gyantse Stupa (Kumbum) in Tibet.

"...the actual groundplan of Borobodur fits exactly on the spiral groundplan of the orthodox stupa as explained by the scholastic symbolism."

The same is true of the Kumbum - the famous terraced Chorten of Gyantse in Central Tibet, known as the Golden Temple of the Hundred Thousand Buddhas. It was built on the same general plan as that which was originally intended for Borobodur.

The latter had to change in the course of construction, because the ground was apparently not strong enough to bear the weight of the massive cupola, and this was further aggravated by the ever-present danger of earthquakes. Thus, in order to prevent the building from sinking, the big cupola...had to be replaced by a circular terrace, corresponding to the base of the cupola...The nine stories of the Kumbum correspond exactly to the nine levels of the Borobodur.

Though the Kumbum was built about 500 years later than Borobodur, when the latter was already buried under a deep layer of earth and forgotten even by the inhabitants of Java, the outlines of the Kumbum appear as an almost exact replica of the four lower terraces of Borobodur."

Gyantse Layout (Tibet)
Borobodur Layout (Indonesia)

The Great Stupa Team

  • Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche, Spiritual Director
  • Ian Green (Chairman)
  • Judy Green (Board Member)
  • Wayne Thomson (Board Member)
  • Garrey Foulkes (Board Member)
  • Jon Breukel (Board Member)
  • Tony Steel (Board Member)
  • Alan Marsh (Board Member)
  • Bridget Hartland (Finance and Administration Manager)
  • Aleshia Ng (Festivals and Tours Coordinator)
  • Alyce Crosbie (Marketing Officer)
  • Dennis Kenny (Works Manager)
  • Sandra Tomamichel (Tour Guide)
  • Cilla Brady (Tour Guide)
  • Rhonda Carter (Tour Guide)
  • Robyn Ryan (Tour Guide)
  • Linda Jackson (Tour Guide)
  • Lydia Chee (Tour Guide)
  • Christine Priest (Tour Guide)
  • Barb Rozmus (Archives / Library)
  • Damien Tuohey (Carpenter)
  • Ian Mountjoy (Handyman/Gardener)
  • Dennis Rixon (Stonemason)
  • Sean Braidner (Stonemason)
  • Justin Simpson (Gardener / Landscaper)
  • Mark Cooper (Bus Driver)
  • Wendy Buchan (Bookkeeper)
  • Quinn Pham (Webmaster)

The Board of Directors

Under the guidance of Lama Zopa Rinpoche an Australian company, The Great Stupa of Universal Compassion Limited has been formed to take overall responsibility for the Great Stupa. The aims of The Great Stupa of Universal Compassion Limited are to:

  • Oversee the design and construction of the Great Stupa.
  • Oversee the design and construction of the many holy objects that are stored in the Great Stupa and its grounds.
  • Oversee the operation and maintenance of the Great Stupa and the holy objects.
  • Employ fundraising methods to raise the capital to build and to maintain the Great Stupa and the holy objects.
  • Employ various means to raise the awareness of the Great Stupa.
  • Ensure that the holy relics, texts and objects are properly preserved and protected.
  • Ensure that high levels of financial accountability are maintained in handling funds.

The Great Stupa is affiliated with FPMT Inc.

FPMT Mission Statement

The FPMT is an organization devoted to preserving and spreading Mahayana Buddhism worldwide by creating opportunities to listen, reflect, meditate, practice and actualize the unmistaken teachings of the Buddha and based on that experience spreading the Dharma to sentient beings.

We provide integrated education through which people’s minds and hearts can be transformed into their highest potential for the benefit of others, inspired by an attitude of universal responsibility and service. We are committed to creating harmonious environments and helping all beings develop their full potential of infinite wisdom and compassion.

Our organization is based on the Buddhist tradition of Lama Tsongkhapa as taught to us by our founder, Lama Thubten Yeshe and our spiritual director, Lama Thubten Zopa Rinpoche.