Earth Treasure Vase for
the Great Stupa of Boudhanath, Kathmandu, Nepal

The Great Stupa of Boudhanath, in Kathmandu, Nepal.


The Great Stupa of Boudhanath is a powerful repository of blessings for the world. It is the largest stupa in Nepal and one of the largest stupas in the world. It lies on the ancient trade route from Tibet which enters the Kathmandu Valley in the northeast by the village of Sankhu and then by Boudhanath.

The stupa dates back to the time of the previous Buddha Kashyapa. As the story goes, a poultry farmer named Samvari, carried the aspiration to build a stupa to house the relics of Buddha Kashyapa. At some point, the stupa’s foundation began to appear and with the help of her four sons, the relics of the Buddha Kashyapa were enshrined in the central pillar and they began building the stupa further. When the stupa was finished, all the Buddhas and bodhisattvas of past, present and future assembled and dissolved into the stupa. That is how the stupa became known by the name ‘’Lhundrub Tsek’’, ‘’the all-encompassing stupa’’.

After that, the four brothers stood before the stupa and made deep aspiration prayers. Their personal aspirations to benefit the world led them to be reborn as major figures playing key-roles in bringing Buddhism to Tibet and laying the foundation for what is now known as Tibetan Buddhism. They returned as Dharma King Trisong Deutsen, the abbot Shantarakshita, the great tantric yogi Guru Rinpoche and the minister Nanam Dorje Dudjom.

This legend underlines that the stupa is a powerful place of worship. It has been in the past and it remains to be so in the present. The Tibetan lineage teachers would say that this stupa is so powerful that the wishes of anybody who makes prayers to the stupa are fulfilled.
Cynthia has held a heart-felt prayer to place one of the Earth Treasure Vases inside this Great Stupa at Boudhanath and while on three months retreat, this deeply held prayer was answered. Due to the damage done by the earthquake in 2015 the Stupa was ‘’open’’ for reconstruction and that provided a unique opportunity…

Cynthia tells the story.

Placement of the Vase inside the Great Stupa of Boudhanath

by Cynthia Jurs

Carroll Dunham with Boudhanath ETV
On the full moon of April 2016, my dharma sister, Carroll Dunham, who was visiting New Mexico from Kathmandu where she lives, joined me in retreat to practice together and make offerings into the Earth Treasure Vase which she had offered to take back to Nepal for the Great Stupa. I gathered sacred offerings from all the locations in the Global Earth Treasure Vase Mandala, as well as numerous other sacred places around the world and with tears in my eyes, together we made prayers for our next little Earth Treasure Vase whose job from inside the Great Stupa of Boudhanath – that great beacon of awakened compassion – is to hold a connection to all the other Earth Treasure Vase locations and radiate blessings out to the whole Earth!

It was an emotional ceremony during a time of deep quiet in my “cave” but the process of collecting all the offerings for the Vase provided a powerful opportunity to review the path, reconnect with the beauty of this epic journey anew, and be inspired beyond my wildest dreams. I find it utterly amazing what a life of their own these little vases have!

There are many more offerings being made into the Stupa than it can hold, but most people want recognition for their offerings whereas we just wanted to get the Earth Treasure Vase in. So through Carroll’s friend, Mani Lama, a photographer who is documenting the reconstruction process and whose family lineage has been to care for the stupa over many generations, it was done!

Mani knew the workers well, so Carroll gently handed him the Earth Treasure Vase, called a “bumpa” in Tibetan, wrapped in a white kata which he placed in his backpack and as she circumambulated the stupa from below, he climbed up the scaffolding to the open top with bamboo spires sticking out where about 20 men were working.

The Nyingma Lama placing the ETV next to the statue of Thangtong Gyalpo
in front of the Tsok Shin.

“It couldn’t have worked better!” Mani told Carroll. “There was a Nyingmapa lama up at the top overseeing the construction. We chatted and he pulled out a statue of Thangtong Gyalpo he was consecrating and putting in. I told him I had a “bumpa” with Guru Rinpoche relics and blessings from all over the whole Earth for world peace and asked if he would consecrate and put it in with his statue?”

He was most happy to. Prayers were recited, the vase was wrapped in plastic (all the offerings are) and nestled next to the statue, secure in a bed of brick powder mixed with lime.

Close up of Earth Treasure Vase and Statue of Thangtong Gyalpo.
Photos by Mani Lama

From Carroll:
“The Earth Treasure Vase was placed above the womb shape of the stupa, in the square part where the eyes are traditionally drawn before the 13 spires, on the western side next to the “tsok shing” which is the stupa’s spine – its central channel so to speak, where its life force resides and links earth and heaven. So it is very auspicious — the closer to the tsok shing, the closer to the central axis mundi of the stupa. And on May 9th, before noon, during the month of Wesak, the Earth Treasure Vase was firmly placed in the Great Stupa of Boudhanath. Emaho! Stealth compassion at its best!


For more on Carroll see: and


Monday Mindfulness Meditation