Mahaparinirvana Stupa in memory of Shakyamuni's death at Kushinagara
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ABR 003

 Code: ABR 003

  Country: Tibet (central)


  Date: 1150 - 1350

  Dimensions in cm WxHxD: 10.4 x 52.3 x 10.4

  Materials: Brass

Mahaparinirvana Stupa

Stupa commemorating "the great extinction of breath" (mahaparinirvana), the death of Buddha Shakyamuni.

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

 It can be inferred from the bell-shaped dome that this stupa is commemorating the "great extinction of breath" (mahaparinivana), that is, the death of Buddha Shakyamuni at Kushinagara.