Great Stupa of Universal Compassion (Bendigo, VIC) (Stupa)
|Great Stupa of Universal Compassion (Bendigo, VIC) (Stupa)|
|Great Stupa of Universal Compassion|
The Great Stupa aerial shot September 2014
|Stupa location||36°43'12.6"S 144°11'12.9"E|
|Stupa location source||Google Maps|
|Stupa location map|
|Property address||25 Sandhurst Town Rd, Myers Flat, Victoria 3556, Australia|
Size of the Stupa base
|50m x 50m|
|Consecration of the land
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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, 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.
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.
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.
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."
For more pictures visit stupa.org.au