The Great Stupa, universally known as Boudha or Boudhanath, is also called Jharung Khashor.The Great Boudhanath Stupa, built in the 5th century, is one of the most ancient, largest and magnificent Stupas in the world. It is the most important place of pilgrimage and worship for Buddhists all over the world.The Great Stupa symbolizes the Mind of all the Buddhas.It is believed that whoever prostrates and circumambulates with a pure heart at the Great Stupa creates good karma resulting in the fulfillment of all their wishes. Furthermore, the gates of hell and rebirth in the lower realms are closed to them. The Great Stupa’s power and compassionate blessings are beyond the imaginations and conceptions of all sentient beings. Hence,for generations, devotees, meditators, practitioners and yogins worshipped with great devotion for protection, inspiration, purification, blessings, granting of wishes and miracles at the Great Stupa.
The legend of the Great Stupa tells of the story that many centuries ago, a woman named Jadzima had the aspiration to make an offering to the Buddha by building a great Stupa with her hard-earned savings. When Jadzima died, her four sons continued the construction and completed the Stupa. At that time, there was an ongoing drought in the country. The devotees laid out cloth at night to collect the morning dew, and the dew was then used to mix mortar for the construction of the Stupa .Even in this chronic shortage of water, the people put all their devotion and determination to complete the Great Stupa. It took seven years to complete and when it was finally completed,the sun did not set for five days. Heaven was so moved by the people’s devotion that all 84,000 Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, Gods, Goddesses, and Dakinis assembled from the ten directions to shower blessings and flowers on Boudhanath Stupa .Then they merged into the Stupa.That is why Boudhanath Stupa stands as the main root of Buddhism representing the minds of all the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. It is said that once in twelve years, during the “Jhya Lho” or bird year, holy water or ambrosia seeps out of the Great Stupa. Many devotees visit the Stupa to witness this miracle and take home some of the ambrosia and blessings.
Jadzima’s four sons who helped in the construction of the Great Stupa were reborn according to their karma.The first son was reborn as Tibet’s most venerated spiritual King Trisong Detsen, who devoted his energies to the propagation of Buddhism. The second son was born as Santarakshita , the holy abbot who ordained Tibet’s first monks. The third son was reborn as Guru Padmasambhava himself, the Second Buddha, the root master and founder of Bazrayana tradition, who suppressed and converted the malevolent spirits, demons and hostile forces.The fourth son was reborn as one of King Trisong Detsen’s Buddhist ministers. At the invitation of King Trisong Detsen, Guru Padmasambhava went to Tibet in the 8th century and the first monastery at Samye was consecrated by Guru Padmasambhava.
Jadzima, through her aspirations and merits attained Buddhahood as the Protectress Pramoha Devi, also known as Ajima or Ma Jadzima. Opposite the Stupa, on the north side, there is a temple devoted to Ajima and people worship her for protection. Opposite the Ajima Temple and across the courtyard is the world’s oldest and ancient Guru Padmasambhava Temple, which belongs to the lineage of His Holiness Chiniya Lama,Guru Lakhang or Marme Lakhang. In the centre of the temple is Guru Rinpoche Padmasambhava on a lion throne with Dakinis on both sides. The Temple is also graced by Avalokitesvara ,Shakyamuni Buddha, Amitabha Buddha, Dorjey Drakpo (wrathful manifestation of Guru Padmasambhava ), Tsongkhapa, Taras and dancing offering Goddesses. The spaces inside the Temple are used to make butter lamp and torma offerings to the Stupa.