Stupas are Buddhist structures, symbols of peace and tranquility. The oldest stupas are found in traditional Buddhist countries – especially in India, Nepal, Tibet and Bhutan. The oldest ones can probably be found in India, where stupas originally served as tombstones and reliquaries. In addition to preserving the remains of Buddhist teachers, statues and sacred texts later began to be stored in the stupas.
The shape of the stupa represents the different elements of the universe and the five elements that make up the world (earth, water, fire, air, and space itself). The building as a whole symbolizes the way to develop a full human potential. Each part embodies another stage of development or a certain quality of our mind. The base therefore represents the first stage. The diamond crowning the stupa symbolizes the goal of this journey – the perfect essence of the mind.
Tibetan stupas also refer to major events in the life of Buddha Shakyamuni. The eight kinds of stupas refer to the Buddha’s birth, enlightenment, wisdom, descent from heaven, miracles, reconciliation, long life and death.
There are many reasons for building a stupa. They bring peace and prosperity to the country and protect the place where they are located. They serve as public places where visitors come to pray for the good of others and to meditate. Buddhists walk clockwise around the stupas.
The Tibetan Enlightenment Stupa in Velký Šenov was built on the initiative of the Thonmi Association for Understanding Asian Culture. It was completed in 2017. It was built according to the traditional procedure. The stupa contains a tree of life, five kinds of cereals, clay statues of Buddhas, and Buddhist texts.