Friday, July 02, 2010
Restoration of Swayambhu Stupa
We are happy to share with you some photos (view slideshow) from some recent events held at Swayambhu: A May 27th National Peace and Unity Event and a three-day consecration Tibetan Puja, performed from the sky by His Holiness Trulshik Rinpoche. For the next couple of weeks we will continue with elaborate Vajrayana re-consecration pujas at Swayambhu performed by Newari priests from around the Kathmandu Valley.
Started in July 2008, the Renovation of Swayambhu was completed during the most auspicious month of Saga Dawa in May 2010. Involving many of the finest artisans in Nepal from Gold, Copper, Iron, and Wood traditions, the renovation involved the removal, repair and re-gilding of the vajra, mandala, nine shrines, harmika, spire, and cornice. To celebrate the completion of the work on the Stupa, a large peace and unity event was held on May 27th, 2010 - Buddha Jayanti.
Hundreds of thousands of people were invited to light a lamp for peace and unity in Nepal and the world. Thousands came to Swayambhu to light a lamp while other lit a lamp and observed a moment of silence at home or in their communities around the country and world. The entire event was live telecast. That evening, 13,000+ bags of sand supporting candles were placed around the Stupa, down the stairways, and along the main circumambulatory path. At 7:30 pm at Swayambhu Stupa, an official lamp lighting ceremony began with the ringing of bells, followed by a minute of silence. Then an old man and young man and lit a large butter-lamp, symbolizing the coming together of different generations to achieve peace and unity. Once the lamp was lit, a chorus of famous singers from Nepal sang a song of peace and the Stupa was lit up from all four sides. For hours people circumambulated the Stupa lighting lamps and enjoying the beautiful scene of the Stupa, bright and shining, on top of the heart of the Kathmandu Valley.
The Tibetan Pujas were held on June 19, 20, and 21st 2010. The Stupa was cleaned and adorned with thousands of garlands of flowers. Every Mandala around the Stupa was covered with flowers. Over two hundred water bowls filled with saffron water and flowers were placed around the Stupa. Yellow cloth was offered around the prayerwheels and all of the main temples near the Stupa. Hundreds of our newly printed Manjushrinamasanghiti flags were placed around the Stupa and on the stairways leading to the Stupa. Incense offerings were also made in all four directions as well as four large butterlamps.
The first day was presided over by Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche and attended by around 300 monks and nuns. The second day was presided over by Phachok Rinpoche and again attended by around 300 monks and nuns. The final day of the puja was presided over by Tulku Orgyen Yangsi Rinpoche, Chokling Rinpoche, Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche, Tharik Rinpoche, Chosgyas Shapdrung Rinpoche, Shangpa Rinpoche, and Zang Zang Rinpoche and attended by over 2,000 monks and nuns from all four major schools: Nyingma, Kagyud, Sakya, and Gelugpa. H.H. Trulshik Rinpoche performed the main consecration, or rab-nas, from a helicopter that flew thrice around Swayambhu and dropped flowers from the sky onto the Stupa and surrounding area.
Over the past year, our workers have been creating a beautiful golden belt that was to be offered on the final day of the Tibetan puja. The pata, or hanging belt, to be hung on the West side, or Amithaba side, of the Stupa was first walked in a procession around the Stupa by the workers and blessed by all the Rinpoches before it was installed on the Stupa.
The long belt contains the entire Manjushrinamasanghiti in lhantsa and is decorated with over 600 multi-colored jewels lining its border. The Tibetan Nyingma Meditation Center seal adorns the lotus at its base surrounded by flames of lapis lazuli. The lotus also has statues of Avaloteshavara, Green and White Taras emanating from its petals. The dedication plaque that was also placed on this 30-foot long belt was composed by H.H. Trulshik Rinpoche, honoring the completion of the 15th Renovation of the Swayambhu Stupa and the life-long dedication of Tarthang Rinpoche in preserving and upholding the Dharma. Prayers were recited by his monks and attendants to seal the Nyingma blessings with the Swayambhu Stupa forever.
The entire assembly of monks received a copy of the Manjushrinamasanghiti, the Swayambhu Purana, or history of the Stupa, and a tsa-tsa containing a small piece of wood from the Swayambhu stupa. All of the presiding lamas also each received an 8 inch silver long-life butterlamp as a gesture of our wishes for the continuation of the three jewels.
Swayambhu Renovation Team