On our very last day in Nepal, we decided to revisit the Boudhanath stupa.
Dating back to the 14th century, Boudhanath is one of the holiest buddhist shrines in Kathmandu, as well as one of the largest stupas in Nepal (and the world). It is infused with spirituality, prayers and symbolic numbers.
There are 4 pairs of Buddha eyes looking out from the square block atop the white stupa, forever gazing down on the Kathmandu Valley, all-seeing and all-knowing. The question-mark noses (actually the number 1 in Nepali numerals) symbolize the Buddhist philosophy of the one ‘true’ way to enlightenment, which is through the Buddha’s teachings.
The three platforms at the base of the stupa represent Earth, and the two circular plinths water. The triangular pyramid assumes the shape of fire, and the 13 steps of the pyramid symbolize the ladder to enlightenment. The gilded canopy atop the steps embodies air, and the fifth element in Buddhist philosophy is represented by the spire, “symbolic of ether and the Buddha Vairocana.” Information found here.
Xik and I went in the late afternoon, just as a storm was brewing over the area. We circled the mandala a few times, along with faithful Buddhists who were saying mantras as they did their daily ritual(s).
When it started drizzling, we went up to a rooftop restaurant, sat under an umbrella and split a beer.
It was a peaceful afternoon, a good way to wrap up the end of our South Asia trip.