The Benefits of Building a Stupa, Offering Prostrations, Presenting Offerings, Circumambulating It,
Making Aspirations

Written by:
Chatral Sangye Dorje Rinpoche

Homage to the three Jewels!

I will explain briefly the benefits of building a Sugata Stupa and the benefits for the faithful ones prostrating to it, presenting offerings and circumambulating it.
Assembly of fortunate ones interested in the genuine scriptures that I have quoted here as witnesses, accept these with joy!

1- In the Karmavibhanga Sutra, it is said:

The Buddha spoke to the young Brahmin Shuka:
They are eighteen benefits of building a Tathagata Stupa. What are these eighteen?

1.      - One will be born as the child of a great king.
2.      - One will have a noble body.
3.     - One will become very beautiful and very attractive.
4.     - One will have sharp sense faculties.
5.     - One will be powerful and famous.
6.     - One will have a great entourage of servants.
7.     - One will become a leader of men.
8.     - One will be a support to all.
9 .     - One will be renowned in the ten directions.
10 .     - One will be able to express oneself in words and verses extensively.
11.     - One will receive offerings from men and gods.
12.     - One will possess many riches.
13.     - One will obtain the kingdom of a universal monarch.
14.     - One will have long life.
15.     - One’s body will be like a collection of vajras.
16.     - One’s body will be endowed with the major marks and the minor signs (of a Buddha).
17.     - One will take rebirth in the three higher realms.
18.     - One will swiftly attain complete nirvana.

These eighteen points are the benefits of building a Tathagata Stupa.

2 - In the Manjushri Mula Tantra, it is said:

If one builds a Stupa with one’s own hands in order to purify one’s body, one will be able to do so, even if one has committed the five heinous crimes. If one builds one hundred thousand Stupas, one will become the Universal Ruler of all Knowledge-Holders, completely understanding all scriptures and being endowed with skills and wisdom during an abiding Aeon. After death, one will always be born as a king and never go to the three lower realms. Like the sun rising in a central country, one will be endowed with all sense faculties, retaining what one has learned and remembering one’s former lives.

3 - In the Sutra called “ Casket of Secret Relics”, it is said:

The Bhagavan spoke:
Vajrapani! If one writes this Dharma teaching and places it inside a Stupa, that Stupa will become the quintessential vajra relic of all  the Tathagatas. It will become a Stupa blessed with the secret Dharani essence of all Tathagatas. It will become a Stupa of ninety-nine Tathagatas, just as many as there are sesame seeds in a sesame pot. It will be blessed as a Stupa which contains the eyes and Ushnisha of all Tathagatas.

Whoever places images of the Buddha in a Stupa, that person will be blessed with the nature of the seven precious jewels of the Tathagata images. Whoever pays reverence and respect to this Stupa, will become non-returners and will eventually completely and perfectly awaken to the unsurpassed and utterly perfect enlightenment.

Even if one offers only one prostration or makes one single circumambulation, one will be completely freed from going to places like the Avici Hell. One will never fall away from the (path to) unexcelled and completely perfect enlightenment. Also the area around this Stupa and images will be blessed by all Tathagatas.

4 - In the Saddharma Pundarika Sutra, it is said:

Walls are built from mud and bricks and a Stupa of the Jina is made likewise.
Therefore, even if it is built from heaps of dust;
Whoever builds a Stupa for the sake of the Jina, in remote places of suffering;
Even if it is made of a heap of sand, by children playing games;
(The builder) will reach enlightenment.

5 - The benefit of presenting offerings (to a Stupa) are stated in the Sutra requested by Prasenajid:

If one washes white a Buddha Stupa:
One will have a long life in the worlds of gods and men.
One’s body and mind will be free from sickness.
One will overcome all suffering.
One will attain permanent happiness and will be wealthy.

If one rings a bell in front of a Buddha Stupa:
One will have charismatic speech and great fame.
One will gain the pleasant voice of Brahma and remember one’s previous lives.

Whoever among the scholars, turns his mala with a devoted mind in front of a Sugata Stupa:
Will be well presented with many precious golden malas.
Will attain various ornaments.
And will become the foremost among the meritorious and fortunate ones.

Whoever offers to a Stupa of the Jina, the sound of music:
Will gain perfect confidence in profundity and knowledge.
One will have a perfect physical form and a pure mind and speech.
One’s speech will fill the world

If people fix various beautiful banners at an essential reliquary (Stupa), which is the source of immaculate merit, they themselves will receive offerings as they are now an offering field for the three worlds.

If one fixes streamers at a Sugata Stupa,
One will become a glorious ruler of men.
One will become a powerful ruler of gods and will experience great bliss.
One will attain the special streamer of complete liberation.

If one cleans a Buddha Stupa:
One will become beautiful and attractive.
One will have a noble face and the complexion of a lotus.
One will be completely free from defects of samsara.

Whoever cleans the dust around a Stupa, with clean water in the spring time, will be pleasantly fanned by ladies holding golden handled fans.

6 - Concerning the benefits of prostrating and circumambulating a Stupa, it is said in the Avalokiteshvara Sutra:

If one pays respect kneeling before a Buddha Stupa:
One will become a heroic and powerful world monarch.
One will have an armor with golden emblems.
One will become a powerful teacher and take delight in the Buddhas.

7 - In the Saddharma Pundarika Sutra, it is said:

Whoever joins their palms before a Stupa, whether with two hands or just one;
Whoever just one time bows their body, or even briefly bends their head;
Whoever prostrates or merely says “Buddha” with a distracted mind, whether once or several times before places where relics are kept;
That one will attain supreme enlightenment.

8 - In the Caitya Pradakshina Ghata, it is said:

The qualities of circumambulating a Stupa of the Protector of the World cannot be described properly with mere words.

These and other quotations from the Sutras and Tantras will generate confidence and vast joy. I urge all those who aspire to happiness and fortune to use their human existence in a meaningful way. Endeavor to the best of your abilities to gather the accumulations and purify the obscurations. With a noble Bodhicitta attitude, prostrate, make offerings, circumambulate, make aspirations and so forth before these special supreme supports (Stupas), which grant great meaningful benefits through seeing, hearing and remembering.

This was written by the renunciant Buddha Vajra,
Who in this day and age of the five decadences,
Gives the appearance of guiding beings,
Through the representations of Buddha’s body, speech and mind.

Through this merit, may all beings attain the level which transcends the limitations of samsara and nirvana. By defeating the armies of maras, may they hold the power of the great kingdom of Samanthabadra. May the two benefits spontaneously manifest and may auspiciousness and splendor blaze forth.

This was composed in the male-fire-horse year of the 16th sixty year cycle (1966), on the 22nd day of the ninth month.

Sarva Mangalam.

***ar 9/04