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A Stupa In Ashfield. February 3, 2012

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature, Love and Death.
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Here’s a lithic monument I regularly pass in Ashfield, MA, beneath a set of power lines running along a rural road:

It’s a good-size piece of work:

It’s quite a ways from the nearest dwelling, and not in a particularly pretty spot, which leaves me wondering why it was built there.

I suppose that everyone who needs to know that has already been told.

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Comments»

1. lisahgolden - February 3, 2012

I’ve never seen anything like that. Were they used as landmarks for travelers?

2. littlebangtheory - February 3, 2012

Lisa, no – the “cairns” used here and elsewhere to mark trails are generally smaller and more roughly constructed. The Stupa (or Chorten, depending on where it is/who built it,) is an ancient form of monument or reliquary representing the perfect body (!) of the Buddha. We have a number of Tibetan stone masons in our area, and I expect that one of them built this beauty!

I’ve tried to nail down the cultural cues which differentiate chortens from stupas, and as near as I can tell, the term “stupa” is used more frequently in India, while “chorten” is preferred in Tibet and Nepal. But then, I’m seeing conflicting references, so I’m still not clear on that.

lisahgolden - February 4, 2012

Thank you for the explanation, C.R. I appreciate it!

3. susan - February 4, 2012

Some stupas (or chortens) are built to protect against negative energies. Maybe this one will keep the gas frackers away.

lisahgolden - February 4, 2012

Here’s hoping!

4. littlebangtheory - February 4, 2012

Well, we so far haven’t been targeted in Massachusetts as having gas-bearing shale deposits, but who knows what the future holds, and I’ll buy the “protection” if it’s being offered by this beautiful structure! 🙂


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