Swayambhunath Favorites

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    Symbols of the buddhist philosophy

    by josephescu Written Jan 26, 2007
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    Favorite thing: The stupas are tipically Buddhist. From simple domed burial mounds, “build to hold relics of Buddha”, stupas they evolved over the centuries to become complex structures that represent Buddhist philosophy.

    The five elements characteristic to the Buddhist universe are represented in the stupa structure – the base symbolises the earth, the dome - water, the spire – the symbol of fire, the umbrella – air and the pinnacle – ether.

    At the lowest level of the stupa is the plinth, which may be a simple square platform or terraced one. Atop the plinth is the hemispherical dome (kumbha), which is freshly whitewashed every year.

    Atop the dome is a harmika, a square base usually painted on each side with a pair of eyes. Topping the harmika is a tapering section of 13 stages, said to represent the 13 stages of perfection on the way to Nirvana.

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    Symbols - the thunderbolt

    by josephescu Written Jan 26, 2007

    Favorite thing: The thunderbolt (dorje) symbolises the male force or compassion, and the bell symbolises the female wisdom. Around the pedestal supporting the mighty thunderbolt are the animals of the Tibetan calendar.

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    Symbols - the vechicles of Buddha

    by josephescu Written Jan 26, 2007

    Favorite thing: The pairs of animals on each side of the steps as you climb towards the temples –lions, elephants, horses and peacocks are the vehicles of Dhyani Buddha.

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Swayambhunath Favorites

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