| Jangchub Chorten | Kalachakra Stupa |

The Jangchub Chorten 

Buddhist monks dedicated a traditional Tibetan Chorten in a ceremony at the site on June 6, 1987. Later, in September of the same year, His Holiness the Dalai Lama consecrated the Jangchub Chorten not only as a reminder of the Tibetans' cause but also as a monument of hope to all people who seek world peace and justice.

The following dedication is inscribed on the plaque in front of the Janchub Chorten.

 Dedication of the Chorten

In recent times, conflict and aggression throughout the world have visited death and destruction on countless innocent people. This has been especially true in Tibet, a land devoted to religion, where more than one million people have perished since 1959 when the Chinese Army occupied the country. Even now as the devastating occupation continues, Tibetan lives are threatened, as the vast majority of Tibetan people are subject to policies whose ultimate aim to bring an end to their way of life. 

This Chorten stands before the people of the world who love justice and peace, as testimony to the miseries suffered by the Tibetan people and to the justness of their cause. In that sense, it stands also as a memorial to all people who have similarly suffered. may it remain so for all times. 

Our hopes as Tibetans-- and the hopes of people everywhere to dwell in nonviolence, peace and security-- will together endure as inward supports for all our spirits. 

THE CHORTEN expresses a symbolic significance, which binds the component parts of the monument into a meaningful whole.

The three main elements of the stupa are the base, dome and crowning parts. The shape of the monument explicitly resembles the body of the Buddha and evokes his physical presence. The base represents his throne; the four steps, his legs crossed in the lotus position; the dome, his torso; the square, his eyes; and the spire, his crown.

The stupa first and foremost represents the enlightened mind, and a more complex symbolism exists on this second level of interpretation. Each of the four steps corresponds to one of the four following groups; the perfect abandonments, the four legs of miracles, the five powers and the four close contemplations.

The base then symbolises the five forces: faith, enthusiastic perseverance, mindfulness, concentration and wisdom.

The dome is the vessel for the seven essential conditions of enlightenment: mindfulness, wisdom, effort, joy, flexibility, concentration,and equanimity.

The harmika symbolises the eightfold noble path: right view, right thought, right speech, right effort, right livelihood, right mindfulness, right concentration and right action.

The first ten discs of the spire correspond to the ten powers of the Buddha: thought, resolved thought, retention,concentration, perfect application, authority, confidence, prayers, great love and compassion, and the blessings of all the Tathagatas. The top three discs correspond to the three close contemplations or mindfulnesses.

At the top of the spire are the sun and the moon representing wisdom and method respectively. The union of these results in the ethereal state of enlightenment represented by the flaming jewel at the very top. The spire also supports an honorific umbrella, the emblem of royalty, which rests under the crowning parts of the chorten. It is said that honorific umbrellas appeared in the sky when an adept realised certain powerful feats. They were winged with volants and loose flaps, which rippled in the wind. These volants similarly adorn the decorative umbrellas of the chorten, as well as the ceremonial umbrellas and canopies found in Tibetan temples and represent great compassion.

In later illustrations umbrellas are depicted above the Buddha's coffin, his cremated remains and a stone stupa erected over them to mark the spot. This is thought to indicate that when Ashoka decreed Buddhism the state religion, the royal umbrella became strongly associated with the stupa to indicate that it was under state protection.

Occasionally a bell might also be found among these decorative elements, symbolising the voice of Brahma. The evidence of hollow shaft holes through the centre of so many ancient stupas indicates the original presence of a central wooden pillar. This symbolised the ten consciousnesses. However, it is more crucial in that it points to the nature of the monument as a pivotal place, an axis around which people rotate in the same direction as the solar system, the perceptible universe. This pillar was also thought to correspond with the world tree which was mythically conceived as having united heaven and earth.

THE SYMBOLISM of the stupa is so comprehensive as to embrace the five elements. The state of solidity or earth is represented by the base, the state of fluidity or water is represented bythe dome, the state of incandescence, or fire, is represented by the spire, the gaseous state or wind is represented by the moon, and the state of ether or space is represented by the sun.

There are varying interpretations of the chorten's symbolic significance, according to the different Buddhist textual traditions. There is no universally acknowledged scheme and the above interpretation is one of many. Nevertheless, in its entirety, the monument is always seen as representing the path to enlightenment, which is expressed by the height of the spire, reaching towards the sky.

THE JANCHUB CHORTEN includes a throne representing the universal axial mountain, Mount Meru, tapered toward the middle, creating an angle which approximates that of the tilt of the earth’s axis. The large square at the very base is is the ‘earth hugger." The steps decreasing inward suggest the Four Immeasureables: equanimity as the most basic, then compassion, loving kindness, and empathetic joy. The steps which then increase outward represent cushions or seats for the parts of the Chorten which rise above them. Then the four large steps inward represent the four stages within the path of Preparation: heat, summit, steadfastness, and the highest of things that may be known in this world.

The entire ensemble of these ‘terraces’ is the symbolic equivalent of a square, the shape associated with the element earth or ‘solidity.

Within this part of the TCC Chorten there were enclosed various instruments which could be used by those who might wish to harm other people--guns, swords, and knives. They have been buried in the earth as a symbol of world peace, proverbially ‘burying the hatchet.’

Buried beneath the Jangchub Chorten are 5 white hand-painted ceramic vases filled with 25 substances: rare Himalayan herbs, cloth, small amounts of various metals, etc. A traditional motif of Wishfulfilling Jewels is painted on the front of each, with a double-vajra seal painted on the bases.

Within the upper part is a 27 foot tall cedar pole extedning from the Seat to the Sun and Moon. this is called the Life Wood. It corresponds to the Life Channels in the human body: the spinal cord and sorta. It is inscribed with scriptures called charanis and is completely encased in metal.

Around the Life Wood, and inside the flask are many copies of Buddhist Scriptures and other texts, as well as clay impresssions called Tsha-Tsha. There are 10 copies each of the following works: The Good Aeon, The 8,00 Verse Perfection of Wisdom, The Life Sutra, The Diamond Cutter, The Essential Insight, White Parasol, Praise to the Savioress, the Extensive Medical Rite, The Supreme Bliss Root Tantra, The Secret Gathering Root Tantra, the Temporal Wheel Root Tantra, The Padma Scrolls, the Five Treastises of Maitreya, six philosphical works of Nagarjuna, the handbook for the monastic rules, and Vasubandhu’s treatise on the Physical Sciences.

There are also numerous copiesof the five Great Dharanis, and one copy of the Many Sutras, a collection of over 50 shorter texts.

At the middle, top, and just above the flask are repectively placed special dharanis of mind, speech, and body.

There are 105,000,000 copies of the mantra OM MANI PADME HUM.

Copies of 6 mandalas, including Stainless Headdress, White Umbrella,a Great Wisdom, Protective Goddesses, Stainless Lightrays, Medicine Buddhas, and Three Types.

There are two types of Tsha-Tsha. The first is a flat clay table, the shape of a rounded-off triangle. made with an ancient Tibetan mold borrowed from the Antoinette Gordon Collection of Tibetan Art. Each impression bears ten Buddha figures and eight Chorten figures. Around the edge is a short Sanskrit dharani of Akshobhya, Imperturbable in Tibetan letters. The second type of Tsha-Tsha is a small Chorten in three dimensions. There are 16,000 of the first type, 1,000 of the second.

Among the many other items enclosed are five tiny globes of aa crystalline substance (called ringsel) which grew and multiplied from the remains of the Buddha. There are hair clippings from all the 14 Dalai lamas with the exception of the first. a mani pellet made by Yangcan Drupal Dorje....A piece of cloth which belonged to the 12th century saint Jigten Gompo....A piece of the monk’s cloak of the Kashmiri teacher Panchen Shakyashri. There is a piece of wood from the walking stick used by Tsongkhapa when he first travelled to Lhasa from his home in Amdo (this was rescued when the tomb of Tsongkhapa at Ganden Monastery was desecrated).

There are many statutes of Buddhas, including one recently found among the ruins of Chokorgyal Monastery near the famous lake of visions named Lhamo Latso. There is also a small fragment from a manuscript written by the eighth century Tibetan monk and translater named Vairocana.

Dimensions: The entire Chorten is 35 feet high with a 21 foot square base, and contains 100 tons of cement.

Note: In Tibetan communities, as in India, one generally shows one’s respect to a chorten or other sacred object by walking around it with the right arm facing toward it, in order words, clockwise.


The Kalachakra Stupa

The Kalachakra Stupa with the Jangchub Chorten in the background.


 The Jangchub Chorten Viewed through the Kalachakra Stupa

The Kalachakra for World Peace Stupa has been constructed to commemorate the Kalachakra Ceremonies.  It is 45 feet high, 24 wide feet at the base and weighs 100 tons.  It was poured with special concrete that will last for thousands of years.

The construction of the Kalachakra Stupa consisted of five stages.  The first stage was the pouring of the foundation; the second stage was building the concrete platform, and the third stage was the creation of a room with four doors.  This room is decorated with limestone lotus carvings and is 15 feet high. The fourth stage was the pre-cast concrete dome which is 12 feet high.  Finally, the stupa is topped by a 16-foot spire, handmade from copper and covered with gold leaf.

The stupa contains thousands of copies of sacred scriptures, mantras, and holy relics.  It is surrounded by a circular path with lighting.

| Jangchub Chorten | Kalachakra Stupa |