A Kalachakra Stupa for World Peace is to be built at the Crystal Castle. This rare sacred monument will be only the seventh of its kind to be built in the world and the first in Australia.
“This stupa is very important for Byron Bay, the whole of Australia and for World peace.” Gen Lama Thupten Phuntsok, Gyuto Monk elder
What is a Stupa?
A stupa is a sacred monument built by the Tibetan Buddhists to represent the process of enlightenment. Symbolic of community strength and interdependence, Tibetans believe contributing to the building of a stupa is one of the most auspicious things one can do in this lifetime and once built, that great benefit can be gained from walking clockwise around it. The mere sight of a stupa is said to put one in touch with one’s own innate goodness inspiring compassion, kindness and thus ultimately good karma.
Kalachakra means ‘Wheel of Time’ and a Kalachakra stupa with its unusual spherical body symbolizes the energy cycle and the essential structure of the cosmos. It is known as the Stupa for World Peace.
The project officially begins on Friday 10th December when the Gyuto Monks of Tibet and local indigenous people will bless the site, remove obstacles and seek permission from the local spirits to proceed with the construction of this highly significant monument.
The World Peace Stupa Project
The dream of building a stupa began in 2003 when Crystal Castle owners, Naren & Sono King, were visiting the Buddhist sacred sites in Borobudur, Java.
“We were touched by the beauty and the energy of the monuments, and dreamed of one day building a stupa in the Crystal Castle grounds. Last February we travelled to Dharamsala in India for a private audience with His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Whilst there, we were requested by a high lama Woser Rinpoche, using a Tibetan form of divination called the ‘mo’, to build the rare Kalachakra stupa. This is specifically for restoring balance to the Earth in times of war, conflict and environmental destruction. During our audience with the Dalai Lama, we were privileged to receive His Holiness’ blessings for the project.”
This project has also been blessed by other revered Buddhist spiritual leaders, the Karmapa, Gaden Tripa and His Holiness Sakya Trizin.
Gyuto Monks of Tibet to guide project
The stupa is expected to take a year or more to complete and will be created under the guidance of the Gyuto Monks of Tibet. As masters of the tantric arts, there is no-one more qualified to oversee and carry out the necessary rituals and ceremonies at each stage of the construction. The monks will create the intricate sculpture and artwork on the stupa.
The eight metre structure will be filled with many sacred objects, scriptures and relics. “Recently in Kathmandu a monastery gifted us with a complete collection of the Buddha’s teachings, 108 volumes of sacred scrolls, as well as the teachings of the first Dalai Lama.” explained Naren King. The local community will be invited to contribute a wide range of objects that symbolize the functioning, survival and prosperity of a good society.
“When we were in Dharamsala a monk came to our guesthouse one evening and very carefully handed us one of his monastery’s most sacred objects: the ceremonial yellow hat of his late teacher, Kirti Tsensup Rinpoche, who was one of the Dalai Lama’s teachers. It was a very moving moment. The generosity of spirit the Tibetans possess makes being in their presence a privilege. It seems like the stupa has begun a life of its own and we are along for the extraordinary ride.” said Sono King.
Forty brass prayer wheels, known as ‘Mani’ wheels are currently being handmade for the stupa by a family in the Kathmandu Valley of Nepal. For around 350 years this family have been creating these extraordinary prayer wheels. Their family name translates as ‘metal beater’. Each prayer wheel when finished will contain over 130,000 Om Mani Padme Hum mantras. Tibetans believe that when a prayer wheel is turned the prayers inside are released into the universe for the benefit of all.
Bringing the community together
Involvement of the community is an essential part of creating a stupa. All of the local community as well as visitors to this region are welcome to be a part of this powerful process.
“The stupa is as much a metaphysical structure as it is a physical construct that holds sacred objects. Getting the protocol right from the beginning is as important as getting the physical structure right, for it is to bring the community together for the common good. This approach is essential to align the wheel,” Gen Lama said.
During the Gyuto monks’ previous visits both locals and visitors, mostly the children, have already created six or seven hundred Buddha statues made from clay to be sealed inside the stupa. In the coming months, all of the local community as well as visitors to the region are invited to be a part of this powerful process, a rare and exciting opportunity for all.
Invitation to something special
Everyone is welcome at the Crystal Castle on Friday 10th December 2010 11am for an indigenous ceremony and consecration of the Kalachakra stupa site by the Gyuto Monks of Tibet. There will be free entry for everyone coming to the ceremony.