Stupa: Indian

A stupa (Sanskrit: स्तूप) is a Buddhist and Jain architecture that is found in the Indian subcontinent, where it originates, but also in the rest of Asia where it has followed the expansion of Buddhism. It is both a representation of Buddha aniconique and a monument commemorating his death or parinirvana.

The stupa has its roots in the mound and goes to first in a pile of stones at the heart of which is enclosed a relic of the Buddha. According to tradition, after the cremation of Buddha, his relics are divided into eight parts which are distributed to the eight kings came to pay tribute on this occasion: Ajatashatru, the king of Magadha, in Lichchavî of Vaishali, the Shakya of Kapilavastu, the Buli of Allakappa to Koliya of Ramagama, the Brahmin of Vethadipa to Papa Malla - Pava in Pali - and Malla of Kusinagar. These are the relics that will be embedded in the first stupas.

However, all stupas contain no relic. One class stupas generally into four categories according to type:

* The-Dhatu chaitya that house relics
* The paribhoga chaitya-containing objects having belonged to Buddha,
* The Dharma-chaitya explaining the Buddhist doctrine,
* The-uddeshika chaitya simply commemorating the parinirvana, chaitya is a Sanskrit word meaning sanctuary.

In the same way, all the remains are not buried in a stupa. Against a notable example is the famous tooth of Buddha, a molar supposed remained intact in the pyre of his cremation, which remained after Orissa, to Dantapura, perhaps the current Puri, was sent to Ceylon by Ashoka, where she legitimized the power of Sinhala kings. She then experienced many adventures - transfer in Burma during the Portuguese colonization of the island, two hammers and destroyed by cremation, including one in Goa of a Reply by the Inquisition - and is currently in the Dalada Maligawa, the Temple of the Tooth in Kandy, which is not a stupa.

Evolution and spread
The main structure, the anda, which is the alms bowl returned later evolves into a half-sphere, often with a cylindrical base as Sarnath, for example. ANDA relies mostly on a square pedestal, a group of three steps symbolizing the monk robe folded. The stupa may comprise one or more portals or access torana a Vedika or fence around the monument defining the pradakshinapata a path around the circumambulatoire anda who travels in the clockwise direction. At the top of the structure, there is a Harmik, a sort of platform surrounded by a balustrade, from which emerges a mast, the stambha chattr bringing a number of smaller umbrellas forming a cone. (We find these parts in the illustration above, against)

They often rearrangements, in particular the installation of a acchadya - or cover - to increase their size to make it more majestic.

Emperor Ashoka who ruled in northern India in the third century BC. AD, is regarded as the spread of this type. The tradition of the credit 84 000 stupas, but this is probably more symbolic than real.

The shape of the stupa is a large variation in its release into the Asian continent, with each region developing its own style. Thus, in Tibet and its former satellites are cultural Bhutan and Sikkim, it becomes a Chorten, with its characteristic shape of the bulb, and conversely, Burma and Southeast Asia, it adopts a typical form of a bell.

The stupas Jain
As Buddhists, the Jains have built stupas in honor of their saints, with their accessories of fences, gates decorated with umbrellas stone pillars and finely Scult abundant statues. Remains of ancient stupas have been discovered in the mound of Kankal, near Mathura in Uttar Pradesh. They are believed to date back to the first century BC.

Read also Temple of Borobudur


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