2019 © Copyright Victoria Knobloch Fine Art Black&White Photography

Tibetans in Exile III

 

In January 2016 I visited Clement Town, a Tibetan exile settlement in Dehradun which is the home of the re-established Mindrolling Monastery since 1965. Mindrolling Monastery is one of the greatest Buddhist centers of the Nyingma tradition today.

The unique symbol of the monastery is the World Peace Stupa, one of the largest Stupas in the world. The Stupa is 185 feet high and 100 square feet wide. It’s said that upon seeing the Stupa one can attain liberation in one lifetime. As most such sayings this has many layers to it. But what is usually meant by this is that by seeing the beauty of the Stupa in reality or just on pictures one could get inspired for setting foot on the path to liberation. It also represents a most wonderful offering to the Buddhamind as best, vast, excellently and beautiful as possible. And beautiful the Stupa is indeed.

 

The Stupa was established in 2002 and the unique mark of it is, that one can go inside the Stupa and finds 5 shrines there - The Padmasambava Shrine Room, The Shakyamuni Buddha Shrine Room, The Linage Shrine Room, The Ati Zabdön Shrine Room and The Dzogchen Shrine Room. They represent and show most excellent and authentic examples of traditional Tibetan Buddhist history, philosophy and artwork. The World Peace Stupa is a wonderful treasure of Buddhist architecture. Besides the outward appearance the Stupa has a highly symbolic meaning. The Stupa represents the physical form of the Buddha. It also represents his journey to enlightenment, rising from the base of the Stupa to the top, representing his awakening. This is possible through triumph of discriminating wisdom over ignorance, the root of suffering. Therefore the Stupa represents symbolically the motivation and path to a higher purpose of life, beyond competing or struggling, clinging and obsessing and helps to turn the minds of people to a more free and egoless state.