Psycho-cosmic Symbolism of the Buddhist Stupa
Lama Anagarika Govinda spent many years living and travelling in India and Tibet. He has published numerous works detailing a rich understanding of Buddhist teachings and their application in personal experience. Among them are WAY OF THE WHITE CLOUD and FOUNDATIONS OF TIBETAN MYSTICISM.
Much of Lama Govinda's knowledge about the stupa comes from his personal pilgrimages to various stupas in Tibet, Nepal, India, and Ceylon. His discussions of the relationship of the stupa to the chakras, or centres of psychic force, and to the traditional Buddhist stages of meditation are particularly significant in understanding our own development of consciousness.
Throughout the cultures of the Orient, the Buddhist stupa has been perhaps the most pervasive and symbolic form of architecture. From earliest times, stupas have been symbols of illumination as well as memorials intended to inspire later generations to follow the path to Enlightenment. More than a repository for the relics of revered persons, the stupa is a universal symbol that embodies all knowledge in a single architectural structure. The stupa transcends concepts to reveal the harmony and perfection of the natural laws of the universe. It offers a key to awakening higher awareness.
Preface to First Edition
Pronunciation of Pali and Sanskrit Words
Part One: Stupa and Dagoba
Origin of the buddhist Stupa
Stages in the Development of the Stupa
in India and Ceylon
Proportions of the Dagoba
Symbolical Terminology of the Main Elements of the
Part Two: Archetypal and Scholastic Symbolism
Pre-Buddhistic Origins of Stupa Symbolism
Relations between Stupa and Hindu-architecture
Part Three: Solar and Lunar Symbolism in the Development
of Stupa Architecutre
Lunar and Solar cults in Prehistoric Times
The Basic Elements of the Stupa
The Psycho-cosmic Image of Man
The Psycho-cosmic Principles of the Chorten