Stupa reliquary
  See it in the Museum
India and Nepal
Orientation 3
Display 2

ABR 094

 Code: ABR 094

  Country: Nepal


  Date: Unknown

  Dimensions in cm WxHxD: 9 x 20

  Materials: Brass


The stupa (chöten in Tibetan) is a significant religious monument in Buddhism and serves as a reliquary for the remains of eminent masters. Stupas are also portable works of art created from precious materials, as is the case here.

In Tibet, stupas are often found in groups of eight. Each of the eight stupas represents one of the eight most important events in the life of Buddha, which is expressed in eight different shapes. These events were: the birth at Lumbini; the victory over the mara (inner demons) at Bodhgaya; his first speech at Sarnath; the miracle at Sravasti; the descent from Tushita Heaven at Sankasya; the taming of the raging elephant at Rajagrha; the gift of honey from a monkey at Vaishali; and his death at Kushinagara. 

Beer, Robert , 2003. Les symboles du bouddhisme Tibétain. Albin Michel.

Dallapicola, Ana Libera (ed.), 1980. The Stupa: Its Religious, Historical and Architectural Significance. Wiesbaden : Steiner.

Dorjee, Pema, 2001. Stupa and its Technology: A Tibeto-Buddhist Perspective. Delhi: Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Art & Motilal Banarsidass Publ.

Essen, Gerd-Wolfgang and Thingo, Tsering Tashi, 1990. Die Götter des Himalaya - Buddhistische Kunst Tibets. München: Prestel-Verlag. Band I, pp. 43-53, figs. I-1-22, Band II, pp. 31-34, figs. II-43-56 - References to the eight types of Stupa

Govinda, Anagarika , 1976. Psycho-cosmic symbolism of the Buddhist stūpa. . Emeryville, Calif: Dharma Publications..

Kottkamp, Heino, 1992. Der Stupa als Repräsentation des buddhistischen Heilsweges: Untersuchungen zur Entstehung und Entwicklung architektonischer Symbolik. Wiesbaden: Otto Harrassowitz.

Leoshko, Janice, 1994. “Scenes of the Buddha’s Life in Pala-Period Art”, Silk Road Art and Archaeology. No. 3. Silk Road Art and Archaeology. No. 3. Pp. 251-76, 14 figs - References to the eight types of Stupa

Snodgrass, Adrian, 1985. The symbolism of the stupa.. Cornell University Press; Southeast Asia Program Publications.

Tucci, Giuseppe, 1988. Stupa - Art, Architectonics and Symbolism. South Asia Books.