Stupa of Descent from the God Realm

The Stupa of Descent from the God Realm reminds Buddha's going to to one of the heavenly empires of Tushita to teach his mother there and then descend again in the Indian city of Samkasya.

This stupa is characterized by a central projection in each of its four sides containing a triple lader or project steps "which from a triple ascending ladder were said to have been constructed for the Buddha by the celestial architect Vishwakarma. They often have three rows of thirty three steps symbolizing the god realms laddered stairways in this design are frequently built at temple entrances. The central stairway is reserved exclusively for distinguished or incarnate lamas, the right starway is for the ordinated sangha and the left stairway for lay practitioners. Triple flights of wooden stairs at the potala palace and very worn down on their right and left sides, but completely unworn in their central section as this stairway was only used by the Dalai Lama.

Dimensions:

Total height      37,5 cm

Base width      18,2 cm

Internal volume        1,25 litters

Weight:

Without filling approx.   4,4 kg

Material:

Ceramic mass - artificial stone

Samkasya - a place where Buddhas descended from heaven

The Buddha descended to earth on a lapis lazuli ladder, accompanied by Brahma on a golden ladder to his right and Indra and his host of devas on a crystal ladder to his left. The ladders sank into the earth, leaving only seven rungs above ground. Since that time, Samkasya has been honored as a site of one of the eight great wonders, the place where Buddhas of the past and present descended to earth from the Trayastrimsa Heaven.

Queen Maya, the Buddha's mother, died seven days after the future Buddha's birth and was reborn in the heavenly realms. Since she had no opportunity to hear his teaching in this life, the Buddha manifested in the Heaven of the Thirty-three Gods to teach her the Abhidharma and ensure her progress on the path to enlightenment. After teaching his mother and large assemblies of devas for three months, the Buddha descended from the Heaven of the Thirty-three Gods on a celestial ladder. This sojourn in the heaven realms and the subsequent descent at Samkasya was one of the four great actions performed by all Buddhas. Samkasya, modern Sankissa, is located on the upper Ganges River directly east of Mathura in the Farrukhabad district of Uttar Pradesh. From ancient times, it has been known as the place where Shakyamuni Buddha, as have all Buddhas before him, descended bodily from the Heaven of the Thirty-three Gods. During the third century B.C.E., the emperor Asoka visited Samkasya and established the scene of the Buddha's return as a major place of pilgrimage. The site where the ladders entered the ground was excavated to the point where the diggers struck water; Asoka then built a temple over the excavation and placed in it a statue of the Buddha descending the ladder. Behind the temple the king erected a pillar topped by an elephant capital. Asocoated with miracles and a direct link to the heaven realms, Samkasya soon became a popular place of pilgrimage.

~ Holy places of the Buddha

© 2018 by LPArt