The Symbolism of the Stūpa

The Stūpa (Pali Thūpa), also known by such terms as Pagoda, Dāgoba, Cetiya, Chedi and Chorten, probably derives from pre-Buddhist burial-mounds for Kings and Heroes, known in a variety of cultures. In Buddhism the most important function of a Stūpa is to act as a container for relics: remains of the physical body of Gotama Buddha, Arahats, or past Buddhas, or portions of their possessions, such as bowls. These act as reminders of these great beings, but more importantly are seen to radiate a beneficent influence that they previously absorbed from them.

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