Stupa of Miracles

The Stupa of Miracles commemorating how the Buddha, through miracles, persuaded Mara sand heretics, a supporter of bad opinions in the grove of Javetavana in Shravasti.

Also known as Stupa of Conquest of theTirthikas. This stupa refers to various miracles performed by the Buddha when he was 50 years old. Legend claims that he overpowered Mara sand heretics by engaging them in intellectual arguments and also by performing miracles. This stupa was raised by the Lichavi kingdom to commemorate the event.

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

Sravasti - a place of miracles and a holy place of Dharma

Hearing that the Buddha had forbidden his disciples display their powers before laymen, six non-Buddhist philosopher-magicians challenged the Buddha to a exhibition of logic and supernormal powers in Sravastī, King Prasenajit's capital city. At that time the Buddha was residing in Rajagrha, capital of the neighboring kingdom of Magadha. When Bimbisara, king of Magadha, inquired of Buddha how he would respond to the challenge, the Buddha replied, "If they perform miracles, I will do the same." "But have you not forbidden the performance of miracles?" said the king. "Great King," replied the Buddha, "I have not laid down such a precept for myself; the precept was intended only for my disciples."

The Buddha announced that he would travel to Sravasti and defeat the challengers in the shade of a mango tree. While King Prasenajit erected a great hall for the debate, the six philosophers had all the mango trees in Sravasti cut down. When the time came for the contest, the Buddha cast a mango seed on the ground; instantly the seed took root and a great mango tree arose to shade the hall. The Buddha then defeated the six philosophers and converted them to his teaching, after which the Enlightened One performed the Miracle of the Pairs. The Mahavastu describes this display:

"Then the Exalted One, standing in the air at the height of palm tree, performed the Miracle of the Pairs. Flames engulfed the lower part of his body, and five hundred jets of water streamed from the upper part. Then flames leapt from the upper part of his body, and five hundred jets of water streamed from the lower part. Then, by his magic power, the Blessed One transformed himself into a bull with a quivering hump. Appearing in the east, the bull vanished and reappeared in the west. Vanishing in the west, it reappeared in the east. Vanishing in the north, it reappeared in the south. Vanishing in the south, it reappeared in the north... Several thousand kotis of beings, seeing this great miracle, became glad, joyful, and pleased."

After twenty-two variants of these 'pairs,' the Enlightened One seated himself on a lotus and multiplied Buddha-forms as far as the Akanistha Heaven. For this remarkable display of spiritual powers, Sravasti became known as the site of one of the eight great wonders.

 

~ Holy places of the Buddha

© 2018 by LPArt