There are eight main kinds of stupas in Tibetan Buddhism, each commemorating a major event in the Buddha’s life.
- The Lotus Blossom Stupa commemorates the birth of the Buddha.
- The Enlightenment Stupa commemorates the Buddha’s Enlightenment at Bodhgaya.
- The Stupa of Many Doors symbolises Buddha’s first teachings after his Enlightenment.
- The Stupa of Miracles commemorates the Buddha’s display of miracles at Shravasti.
- The Stupa of Descent from the God Realm commemorates Buddha’s return from a celestial realm where he had given teachings to his mother who had been reborn there.
- The Stupa of Reconciliation commemorates Buddha’s resolution of a dispute among the Sangha (community of practitioners).
- The Victory Stupa commemorates Buddha’s prolonging of his life by three months after one of his disciples had pleaded him not to pass away.
- The Parinirvana Stupa commemorates the passing away of the Buddha.
A ninth kind of stupa, the Kalachakra Stupa, is not connected to events in the Buddha’s life. This type of stupa has a general peacegiving purpose.
Stupas are monuments for peace and harmony in the world. Through their forms the different stupas symbolise the true nature of mind. Stupas have been built over centuries in Asia. Two of the most significant and well-known stupas are situated in Kathmandu in Nepal: the Swayambhu Stupa, one of the oldest stupas in the world and the 36 metre tall Boudha Stupa, both part of the Kathmandu Valley UNESCO World Heritage site.
Diamond Way Stupas
The Enlightenment Stupa at the Buddhist Retreat Centre in Lolland was inaugurated in 1982 by Tenga Rinpoche. http://lolland-buddha.dk. Since then several stupas have been built in connection with Lama Ole and Hannah Nydahl’s activity in spreading Diamond Way Buddhism. Lopön Tsechu Rinpoche, who was Lama Ole and Hannah Nydahl’s first Buddhist teacher, directed the construction of 16 stupas. After the passing of Lopön Tsechu Rinpoche in 2003, Sherab Gyaltsen Rinpoche has directed the construction of several Diamond Way stupas. The latest in this line will be the Copenhagen Victory Stupa, which was inaugurated in the summer of 2019.
The first stupa in Spain, a Kalachakra Stupa, was built in 1994 at the Karma Guen Retreat Centre near Velez-Malaga, under the direction of Lopön Tsechu Rinpoche. The largest stupa in Europe is the Enlightenment Stupa in Benalmadena, also in Spain. It measures impressive 108 feet equivalent to 33 metres. It is the very last stupa that Lopön Tsechu Rinpoche built. It was inaugurated in 2003 by the 14th Shamar Rinpoche, four months after the passing of Lopön Tsechu Rinpoche.
Since then Diamond Way stupas have been built in places such as Bulgaria, Greece, Poland, Russia, Schwitzerland, The Czech Republic, Germany and Austria. The Copenhagen Victory Stupa was inaugurated in 2019, and yet another stupa in Stupkalnis in Lithuania is expected to be inaugurated in 2020.
The Copenhagen Victory Stupa
Lama Ole Nydahl has chosen the positioning of the Copenhagen Victory Stupa to be in the garden of The Buddhist Center at 56 Svanemøllevej in Copenhagen. The stupa is situated in front of the garden door of the main building. The distinctive logo for the stupa shows the silhouette of the main building with the silhouette of the stupa inside.
The Copenhagen Victory Stupa is 5 metres tall. The building material is white Tolga granite from the granite quarry in Stören in Norway. All together 85 tons of raw granite was broken, which end up as 42 tons when processed. Approximately 6.000 tsa-tsas (miniature stupas) fill the stupa. The tsa-tsas are decorated before going into the chambers of the stupa together with mantrarolls, precious objects as well as the “Tree of Life” which will form the core of the stupa.