The "Great Stūpa" at Alchi Author(s): Roger Goepper Reviewed work(s): Source: Artibus Asiae, Vol. 53, No. 1/2 (1993), pp.

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Director Emeritus Museum fiir Ostasiatische Kunst, K61n

ince David L. Snellgrove's and Tadeusz Skorupski's treatment of the temple complex at Alchi, Ladakh,I several books and articles have been devoted to this important jewel of Buddhist art in the Western Himalayas.2 Without any doubt the murals in the Sumtsek (gSum-brtsegs), the "ThreeStoreyed Temple," and the Dukhang ('Du-khan), the "Congregation Hall," are of utmost significance for the history of North Western Indian painting, especially in Kashmir, but also the architectural structure and the symbolic meaning of the buildings themselves present some basic problems for the understanding of the architecture not only of this region, but also of the more eastern Tibetan areas. This paper, being mainly descriptive, will point out some of the questions still to be solved in this field and will present some speculative solutions. Its theme is the so-called "Great Stupa" standing
near the western end of the Religious Area (chos 'khor) of Alchi (figs.


several stays in

Alchi since 1981, being engaged with a photographic documentation of the Alchi murals together with Jaroslav Poncar, Fachhochschule Koln, the author has been intrigued by the formal vigour of this building and the freshness of the paintings adorning its interior.4
I. The setting

The layout of the Religious Area (chos 'khor) in Alchi does not seem to follow a strict geometrical and therefore hierarchic scheme as we find it often applied to groups of Buddhist buildings all over Asia from India to Japan. Its temple halls are spread out irregularly near the northern and eastern
slopes of an alluvial plateau high above the river Indus. It is hard to imagine which impression the original setting made, since the visual context between the old temple buildings and stupas has been

seriously disturbed by the arbitrary addition of new houses. There must have been a wall as a kind of protecting cakravddad-parvata (Icags ri) around the whole area the remains of which are still visible in
David L. Snellgrove and Tadeusz Skorupski, The Cultural Heritageof Ladakh, z vols., (Warminster: Aris & Phillips Ltd, I979-80). R. Khosla, Buddhist Monasteries the WesternHimalaya (Kathmandu: Chronica Botanica India, I979); Yukei Matsunaga and Kei in Kato, Mandara, Nishi-Chibetto no bukkyobijutsu(Mandala, Buddhist Art of WesternTibet), 2 vols. (in Japanese) (Tokyo: Mainichi du Shimbun-sha, 1981);Charles Genoud and Takao Inoue, Peinturebouzddhique Ladakh (Geneva: Edition Olizane, 1981);Deborah E. BuddhistArt on the Trans-HimalayanTradeRoutes (Los Angeles: Klimburg-Salter, ed., The Silk-Routeand the DiamondPath, Esoteric UCLA Art Council, 1982); Roger Goepper and Jaroslav Poncar, Alchi, Buddhas, Gottinnen, Mandalas. Wandmalerei in einem Himalaya-Kloster(Koln: DuMont, I982 [revised English edition, Koln I984]); Pratapaditya Pal and Lionel Fournier, A Buddhist Paradise. The Murals of Alchi, WesternHimalayas (Glattbrugg: Ravi Kumar, 1982); Roger Goepper, "Clues for a Dating of the Three-Storeyed Temple (Sumtsek) in Alchi, Ladakh,"in: AsiatischeStudien(Etludes Asiatiques)44, no. 2 (i99o):I59-I75. Numbered JI by Snellgrove and Skorupski, op. cit. The journeys have been financed to a large extent by the Orientstiftung zur Forderung der Ostasiatischen Kunst, Cologne, founded by Hans W. Siegel, but also by several other private sponsors, to all of whom we owe our thanks. In I983 the late Johanna van Lohuizen-de Leeuw was a member of the party. She has left several important notes on the scenes painted onto the dhotzof the colossal Avalokitesvara sculpture in the Sumtsek which have been handed over to me by her husband and which will be integrated into our future research.




some places. There must have been also a more or less defined way leading from the western end of the chos 'khorto the sacred halls near the eastern end which all are facing south. Some so-called "entrancech6tens," one in the precincts of the Alchi Lonpo and two smaller ones just south of the Sumtsek, in addition to the building we will be treating here, are the only remaining vestiges of the mos.Although they are "neithersymmetrical nor obviously geometrical" in their original anagogicus relation to the temple buildings, they were certainly used "to define the path leading to the 'Du khang, which is the core of the whole enclave."5 The so-called "GreatStupa,"6situated about 37 m southwest of the Sumtsek and 33 m west of the two smaller entrancechotens set up as twins, most probablywas meant as an accentuation on the way to the sacred halls, and it possibly dominated an open space which is spoiled today by the later building of the Kanjur Lhakhang. Since another house was erected just a few meters west of the Stupa it has become more or less isolated from the other temple buildings. Furthermorethree of its entranceshave been walled up during restorationwork by the Archaeological Survey of India so that today only the western entrance remains open. Tourists mostly pass by and the villagers use the interior of the Stupa to store a kind of sedan-chairfor the deceasedduring funerals. 2. The inscription While photographing the interior of the Stupa in I983 Jaroslav Poncar discovered some long inscriptions hitherto unnoticed on three of the heavy wooden beams placed at right angles acrossthe central chapel of the passage ways leading through the building (fig. 5). Their characterswere hardly visible since they were covered by dust and dirt and partly obliterated by splashes of plaster from recent whitewashes by the villagers. Anyhow, our Ladakhifriend, the priest Konchok Panday, was able to decipher and transcribethe texts. Two of the inscriptions, covering the beams on the western and the northernside turned out to be prayers without any historical information. On the southern beam no traces of an inscription could be found, but the text on the eastern beam which formerly faced the visitor when he was passing through the Stupa on his way to the temple halls, revealed some interesting facts about one of the foundersof the Alchi temples and about the erecting of the Stupa. This eastern beam is I4 cm high and zIo cm wide and coveredwith eight lines of writing in the U chenstyle. It may be translatedas follows:7 "Om,maytherebe luck! Fromthe skyof the non-originated Dharmakaya like the unobstructed appears a cloud Sambhogakaya rain. comeslike incessant andthe activeNirmanakaya times! of I praisethe Sugatas the three

5 6

Khosla 1979, op. cit., 54. The reason for our quotation marks used in connection with the term will become obvious later. A first rough translation by the author together with Konchok Panday was later counterchecked by Professor Klaus Sagaster,

of University Bonn.

w ho does this. Bodhipaksika-dharma....... was born in this period of accumulation of the three bad defilements....... I pay homage to the congregations (of monks)! The fathers of religious traditions and their excellent sons.. cit.... Or: the three bad modes of existence (nonsongsum)..... I885).... .Paris: Mouton. After I had realized that the riches and possessions accumulated by me eventually (will vanish?) .... 43. Kasawara:Dharma-samgraha. I myself.. 14. the especially selected LowerLadakh(Ladvags smad) ........ TheJewel Ornament Liberationby sGampopa (Boulder: Shambhala. because of my former unpurified vows (pranidhi)......... I pay homage and praise him who expounds (the Dharma)! After having paid homage to the Buddhas.... the Dharma. I98I). r3 The Three Teachings are the backbone of the Buddhist way towards Enlightenment. Lessing and Alex pa....... no.... op.. of After the young adept has found his teachers he speaks to them about his thoughts.. I offered them to my jewel-like teachers.... 140.... I38-9."M and after being ordained alreadyduring the time of my youth having paid my respect to (the feet of) the teachers and upadhydyas ma mkhan (bla po)..... enumerated by Kenjiu Kasawara.. II3 ...The twelve sections of sacredwritings."? After I had obtained the precious body of man.. 8 9 IO II I2 Cf. of 1968). among them the best . David L. ........ Guenther. Ferdinand D..New York ... here in A l-lci.. the congregations and the teachers... I will note down this small list about the little amount of my accumulated merits.Toronto: Oxford University Press..... The HevayraTantra (London . also the Tripitaka...The Dharma-samgraha (Oxford: Oriental Press. mKhasGrzb rJe'sFundamentals the Buddhist Tantras (The Hague . Enlightenment ........ 1959).... orderthat theycangive him appropriate adviceandteaching. the four classes of Tantras..... Ioi ff. the jewel-like teachers (bla ma rin po che) who thought by contemplating their activities without effort. no..8 the (thirty-seven) Dharmas of the Wings of Enlightenment9 and the other Dharmas (teachings) ..I2 and I have learned the three teachings (trisiksa) for which one has to strive (brtson slabpa)... a monk of the 'Bro (clan).. Mount Meru and the seven (other) mountains.... Snellgrove.........13 bya The small amount (of merit) previously accumulated ...... I then have spoken a little about my mental activities (prapanca)..... In this excellent place in the range of Snowy Mountains one region of the country is Upper mNa-ris (mNa ris stod)........ his "mental activities" (spros prapanca). Adhering to ... Tshul 'khrims 'od......... See Herbert V....

337. in I made the thousand Buddhas of the (Bhadra)kalpa order to attain Enlightenment in one Kalpa. Skorupski. 2600. 15 This term. namely) 'Jam. So much there is for the Symbols of the Body as wholesome roots (kusala-mila). sDud and bZafi. I made ten thousand arrangementsof the bhagavat Sugata Aksobhya. IV. II4 . 4377.17 Out of the doctrines promulgated with (Buddha's)blessings The Three Wholesome Roots (or Roots of Virtue) are given by Kasawara. Indo-Tibetica(Rome: Reale accademia d'Italia. Dharma-samgraha.. 26I0. six of the middle version and one volume of the abridged version.. I. I formed the figures of female deities like Taraetc. cit.. 'Phags pa bZan po spyod pa'i smon lam gyi pa tshigs su bead pa (Arya-Prajnaparamita-sancaya-gatha-panjika). 33I. placeof Vajrapani.I6 all the deities (Iha. 2599. I02.I For the wholesome roots (kusfala-mzla)4 made symbols of Body. occurring also in one of the Sumtsek inscriptions could possibly be taken as the name of the Sumtsek: "Pile of Jewels" or I4 "Precious (Building)". deva)and Stupas (mchod rten) and the ten thousand (Bodhi)sattvas(sems dpa'). 17 They are: Jam dpal mtshan brjod kyi bsad 'bum (Arya-Ma4njusr-nama-samgiti-sadhana). I made more than one thousand figures of the Sugata. sDud Toh. rgyal po (Arya-Bhadracarya-pranidhana-raja). . (gduni For the sake of both of my parents and for the accumulation of merit for myself I erected about ten bigger and smaller temples (Iha khan). op. Speech and Mind. Toh. and I made about two thousand arrangementsof the figure of Mafijughosa. 138. however they occurredto my mind. 3798. The inscription possibly hints at the three colossal clay figures in the Sumtsek where Maitreya occupies the I932-36). Storeyed I6 The usual group is Avalokitesvara... Sarvadurgatiparisodhana (New Delhi:MotilalBanarsidass.. I made the figures and surroundings(parivdra) of the Protectorsof the Three Families (rigsgsummgon po. and I made two thousand arrangementsof the figure of the bhagavatAmitabha. Toh. (rtenrnams) As Symbol of the Body I made the following: I have built this (temple ?) Pile of Jewels (Rin chen 5 brtsegs pa). and in a different set by Tantra Tadeusz I983). Giuseppe Tucci.III. not caring about price and costs. As repaymentfor his favourI have built a tomb khan)for Rin po che. 2538. trikula-ndtha). Vajrapan-iand Manjusri. 2108. I made three golden (books. Cf. 1095. I produced fourteen volumes of the large version (of the Prajinaparamita-sutra?). Thinking to construct Symbols of Speech on extremely precious paper.

49. cit. They gave me advise about GradualDevelopment (bskyed)"? and Accomplishment (rdsogs).... cit.. Cf. and. utpattikrama.. po. sampannakrama.. I39. I myself erected the 'Bum mthofi bKra sis sgo marns ("The Stupa with Many Auspicious Doors of the One Hundred Thousand Visions").. Herbert V.." ibid... "Lestupa de Dhanyakataka selon la tradition tibetaine. Cf.89-Ioo.21 Service . rten). from the life of my teacher (Rin) cen on down to the life of the younger brother Rin cen19 I successively have asked for the Arising Mind and for Initiation (sems from the skyed.. 36. living up to .. of large body measurements ..I made a golden Essence of Wisdom (Ses rab sfiifi po... op. without thinking of food. 139.... He is mentioned also in two old inscriptions in the Sumtsek of Alchi.dbanbskur) the abbots and the dacaryas. That much there is for the Symbols of Speech. But to erect a Symbol of Mind. I (I975):5-23 Snellgrove and Skorupski. wealth or trouble.. Hevajra Tantra. Prajfiaparamita-hrdaya-sutra). "Mahamudra. cit. 36... op.I.The Method of Self-Actualization. inscription no. HevajraTantra.23 and another inscription in the same niche to the left of Maitreya's feet where it is stated that he erected the three colossal images inside 8 Perhaps an allusion to the famous Stupa in Amaravati or another sacred spot further to the north popular with Tibetan pilgrims... As by my only son Rin cen difficult to obtain once ... Snellgrove..7. and they introduced me into the Great Seal (phyagrgya chen mahamudri).` they transmitted to my mind profound advice. . no.. taking as an example the Svayambhu-Sri-Dhanyakatakax8 as it exists in Central India. op. The different (most probably three) persons bearing the name Rin cen and their interrelationships could not be identified. cit. .. Andre Bareau.. and for the accumulation of not-composite Dharmas (apratyaya-dharma). made as a Symbol of Mind.. jndna-sambhdra).157... The SamvaErodayaTantra (Tokyo: The Hokuseido Press. Lessing and Wayman.. one near the head of the large Maitreya image in the back niche where he is characterized as founder of the Sumtsek. by the same author.. cit... z..) The Stupa was built by Tshul khrims 'od of the noble 'Bro clan.. Snellgrove.. cf. Taking as an example this bKrasis sgomans(mchod made by the incarnateteacher Rin po che... I9 20 22 23 "Recherches sur de de complementaires la site probable la Dhanyakataka Hiuan-tsang.. there was constructed a Stupa (mchod-rten) dPal Idan 'Brasphufns(Sri-Dhanyakataka). II5 . Lessing and Wayman." Arts Asiatiques16 (I968):8I-88. op. Thinking that I might acquire the Equipment of Wisdom (yeseskyi tshogs. Shinichi Tsuda.. If we analyse the contents of this inscription we arrive at some important facts: (a... teachers.." TibetJournal I.. I974).".. I48. made marvellous blockprints (gsurn-dpar). Guenther. op..

impartentone ai discepoli il loro sacrabattesimo. "serie di maestri che si sono tramandati In his Indo-Tibetica. Tucci gives the following definition for sampradaya: 26 fedelmente le dottrine segrete e ne hanno alimentato. Luckily we now have another inscription in the third and topmost storey of the Sumtsek which was definitely composed and perhaps even written by our Tshul khrims 'od and which gives us reliable clues about the time when the Sumtsek and the Great Stupa were built. "The 'Bri-gun-pa Sect in Western Tibet and Ladakh.7 Taking thinto po pa or rather the early thirteenth century for the erection of the Great Stupa and the Sumtsek at Alchi.the temple. The inscription was discovered while Jaroslav Poncar took detailed photographs in the upper storey in I984. Bodhisattvas and deities. possibly creation of Tshul khrims 'od who is in several instances speaking of himself in the first person singular. but at least a follower of the famous priest 'Jig rten mgon po (1143-1217) who was head of the monastery 'Bri gun." (Budapest: Akademiai Kiado. II6 . Phag mo gru pa (111IO-II70) down to 'Bri gun pa (died 1217).2 The characteristic feature of this special type. and also innumerable paintintings Buddhas.. Mi la ras pa (1040-1123). Buzddhist in Monasteries the Western Himalaya. which is one among the set of eight Stupas called Asta-sugata (bde gsegs brgyadpa) and symbolizing prominent stages in the life of Sakyamuni. inscription no. cit. together with the copying of of sacred texts in handwritten and blockprinted form."AsiatischeStudien(EtudesAsiatiquzes) no. 2. I47. Dvags po On. bla ma'i rgyud). an "Auspicious Stupa with Many Doors" (Sanskrit: Bahudvara-stupa?).24 Whereas these two inscriptions were apparently not formulated by Tshul khrims 'od at er date. although not any more apparent in our Alchi version. The text together with the accompanying paintings were published by Roger Goepper. 2 (I990):I59-I75.) Another piece of information gained from the inscription is that this type of Stupa was regarded as a bKra sis sgo man mchodrten.op. . cit. Our text is therefore a reliable source for the fact that the "Great Stupa" was erected at about the same time as the Three-Storeyed Temple (Sumtsek) and that it is an integral part of the whole Sacred Complex (chos 'khor). "Clues for a Dating of the Three-Storeyed Temple (Sumtsek) in Alchi. IIo. We may therefore deduct that Tshul khrims 'od as author of the inscription most probably was a direct disciple. No old examples seem to have survived in an intact state. the inscription in the Stupa is definitely a himself. The earliest representation of the group known today seems to be the one on the entrance wall of the Dukhang at Alchi." 27 On the activity of the 'Bri-gun-pa sect in this area cf. we can imagine that he was one of the most active promoters of religious activities in Alchi. meant to house images of the Buddhist pantheon. op. but by other persons.) and Naropa (956-I040) to the Tibetan priests Mar pa (IOI2-I096).. Khosla. Dvags po chun pa. Ladakh. 6. Luciano Petech. as for instance a relic Stupa possibly dedicated to Rinchen Zangpo.. con la loro diretta esperienza. Since he lists his architecturalfoundations. situated about one hundred miles northeast of Lhasa and founded by a between the very late twelfth accounts rrive date at a inwe his teacher sGam this pa. Proceedings the Csomade KorosMemorialSymposium of 28 Illustrated by R. 3I3-325. la mistica efficacia. III. are the many "doors" or niche-like openings. (b.2 beginning with the mystic Bodhisattva Vajradhara (rDo rje 'chafn) over the Indian Siddhas Tilopa (Ioth cent. several temples of different size in order to promote the salvation of his parents. I66-I73. sGam po pa (1079-II 53).25 From this second inscription we can deduct a lineage of transmission (sampraddya. 44. The large Stupa at Changspa near Leh which up to now has resisted all efforts for an undebatable dating may serve as a comparatively 24 25 Ibid. pi. 1978). and furthermore about the sectarian background underlying their iconography and religious context.

cit.29although it differs structurally in many respects from the Alchi Stupa (fig.that Stupa seems to have been modelled after the famous Svayambhu-Srl-Dhanyakataka Central India. 30 I42." Saeculum no. the 'Bri gun pa. (I964):I29. Three of the originally four "doors" 29 August H. Between the eleventh and fifteenth centuries A.30all of whose names. thereby combining pronunciation and meaning of the Tibetan term. Therefore the designation of our Alchi Stupa may be taken as an accentuation of the 'Bri khun pa tradition. reprint (Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass. "Auspicious (Stupa) with Many Doors sgo One Hundred Thousand Visions". 3. by the way. (c. by the way. Snellgrove and Skorupski.1976). 2 I5. appear in the dedicatory inscription in the topmost floorof the Sumtsek. I. The repairs were necessary since the whole have been walled up building was in a progressing state of decay. op. as for instance of Mar pa (IOI2-IO96). 31 Helmut Hoffmann. resulting in drastic changes of its outer appearance. II7 .32 although structurally the two buildings had hardly anything in common. We will return to the problem of terminology in connection with this type of Stupa at the end of this paper. "Das Kalacakra. George N. i.."passage-door Stupa". regarded themselves as direct descendants of the Kalacakratradition and have integrated many Kalacakraideas into their teachings. Chan & Co. I and 5 (English summary 7 and I3-I4). According to basic texts of the syncretistic Kalacakrasystem. a name that might correspondto a SanskritDarsanalaksa (called) and might hint at the "innumerable"small figures of the Buddha Aksobhya and of Bodhisattvas painted onto the walls inside the building. or to the still more "innumerable"sacred images which Tshul khrims 'od commissioned.D..die letzte Phase des Buddhismus in Indien. It is to be regretted that Tshul khrims 'od does not enlighten us about the whereabouts of this monument. 6oi.31 Now. reprint (New Delhi: S. Such an allusion is probably more in than just a pious referenceto a sacredmonument. The Blue Annals. I972).. the bKrasis sgo man type in the function of a container of relics seems to have been quite popular in Tibet. Buddha preached the Kalacakra-tantra the Stupa of Dhanyakaat taka to a multitude of deities and Bodhisattvas. 32 The tendency was probably repeated when in I4I6 'Jam sbyarischos rje bKra sis spal Idan founded the famous monastery Drepung ('Bras spufs = Dhanyakataka).33 (d. as stated in his inscription. It was called 'BummthonbKraSis man. Ta Er Si Monastery Chinese) (in (Beijing: Wenwu chubanshe. The Chinese. sGam po pa (IO79-II53) and 'Bri gufi pa (1143-1217). 17). the bKa' rgyud pa School of Tibetan Buddhism and also its sub-sect. Francke. translated the Tibetan term sgo man by guomen-ta. 464.) Another interesting fact is that our Alchi Stupa was conceived as a copy after a bKrasis sgoman erected by the great Rinchen Zangpo. Antiquities of Indian Tibet.D. 406-7. Roerich. Quotations in The Blue Annals show that it was used either in a small and cask-like form or as a true architecturalmonument to house the ashes of famous priests.) Tshul khrims 'od's inscription probably also has preserved the name originally given by him to his Alchi Stupa. I982). 33 Li Zhiwu and Liu Lizhong. the latest creative phase of Buddhism in India around Iooo A.well preservedexample. 80. The architecture The Great Stupa at Alchi has in recent years been restored by the Archaeological Survey of India. Furthermore.

appear in the painting adorning the dhotzof the colossal Avalokitesvara in the left niche of the Sumtsek.I94 cm high. but it probably looked like a vertically elongated Stupa with stepped base. These walls are about as high as a the interior of the building widens into a chapellike space enshrining the inner man. which also projects slightly. Anyhow. the other three openings being closed. Their superstructures might have looked like sikharas or elongated Stupas. Originally four passagewaysallowed access into the interior of the building and at the same time t the low space underneath the inner Stupa which rests onthe wooden framework bearing the inscriptions and placed on the heavy basic walls three meters thick. are partly hollow and filled with old tsha tsha. pl.34 As reinforcement for the heavy superstructure the walls of the lower storey have been furnished outside with an additional thick layer of slanting walling nearly reaching the height of the doors and fulfilling the same function as buttresses in Gothic cathedrals. 24 shows the ruined state and the still open doors. The roof. has an additional band underneath as accentuation. The windows are 45 cm high and 68 cm wide. The upper storey.35 The building stands on a massive plinth about IIo cm in height and 974 cm in width from north to south. each being placed diagonally across the corners of the lower tier. but looks rather like an abridged Pancdyatana layout so familiar in early Kashmiri temple architecturecondensed into one single building. whereas the lower storey has one additional smaller turret on each of its four corners(diagram a). The storey is covered by a flat roof of plastered willow branches slightly projecting and accentuated by simple bands underneath the corner turrets. similar temple buildings II8 . 3).. The entrance is reached by four steps. It was crowned by a stupa-like cone carryinga lantern-like structurewith window and pyramidalroof. 138 cm that today the only remaining entrance lies to the east (fig. but their original appearanceis no longer recognizable(diagramd). has a partly visible wooden lintel and no wing. 35 This idea was shared by the late Johanna van Lohuizen-de Leeuw after examining the Stupa. I). It consists of seven layers of beams. As a result we have 34 Khosla. receding about 150 cm from the lower. cit. op. a low storey above. The outside appearance of the Stupa is mainly that of a two-storeyed building. The four turrets at the corners have a cubic body. The rectangular opening of the western "door". the resulting triangles being closed by boards. and 840 cm from east to west (diagram c). The walls of this upper space are covered completely with paintings of"thousand" Buddhas and Bodhisattvas (fig. the upper storey receding considerablyfrom the lower and being crowned by a large central tower. another set of stepped tiers followed by still another storey with a shallow central niche and stepped corners. is similarly formed and has one window on each side with a wooden frame rising directly from the roof of the lower storey. The height of the storey from plinth to roof is about 308 cm. above them Stupa and corresponding with the upper storey (diagram b). The main body of the lower storey consists of thick plain whitewashed vertical walls with only one remaining entrancein the middle of the western wall. The wooden ceiling is constructed in the so-called "lantern form" typical for square buildings in medieval architecture of Kashmir. The whole storey is I54 cm high. It has no access and is used today to deposit discarded leaves of old books. The whole building as such does not resemble the usual structure of a Stupa. The pinnacle of the central tower has also suffered from weather and time.

Photograph by the author.Fig. . 2 North-eastern corner of the Great Stupa. Photograph by the author. Fig. I The Great Stupa viewed from the east.

"Photograph by JaroslavPoncar. 3 Inner Stupa and murals of the western wall.Fig. . showing "ThousandAksobhyas. Cologne.

Cologne. 5 Deta'l of ded'catory inscript'o nwetr beam. . Photograph by jaroslav Poncar. 4 Structure of wooden beams bearing the inner Stdpa. Cologne. Photograph by jaroslav Poncar. F'g.Fig.

6 Easternwall. 7 Damage done to western wall by whitewashing.Fig. Cologne. showing groups of Four Bodhisattvas. Fig. Photograph byJaroslav Poncar. . Photograph by the author.

Cologne. Fig. 8 Ceiling of the Great Stupa. Photograph by JaroslavPoncar. . Photograph byJaroslav Poncar. 9 Deities in outer triangles of the ceiling.Fig. Cologne.

. A9'-' ? BL t. -0 i ss Fig. Cologne. .. Photograph by Jaroslav Poncar.. IO Deities on the ceiling of the small temple in Pandrethannear Shr-nagar.t _ K 1.Fig..i 4.-. ^^1 . . Cologne. . 12 Inside of the inner Stupa. 1. 1 - ...Photograph by Jaroslav Poncar. v l??.

m I 11 Pr *' ^ 1* . Photograph by JaroslavPoncar. II The inner Stupa. .*? *'* Fig. Cologne.

13 Naropa on easternwall of inner Stupa. Fig.Fig. . Photograph by JaroslavPoncar. Photograph by JaroslavPoncar. Cologne. Cologne. I6 Kashmiri priest on southern wall of inner Stupa.

15 Kashmiri priest on northern wall of inner Stupa. Photograph by Jaroslav Poncar.Fig. Cologne. Fig. Cologne. 14 Rinchen Zangpo on western wall of inner Stupa. . Photograph by Jaroslav Poncar.

1 Fig./ A Is t./ / . Photograph by the author. I7 The Stupa at Changspa nearLeh. .

I8 Reconstructed model of the Vatadage in Anuradhapura.-?LI" .1_ ' I .... ' .Photograph by the author.4s? I~ ~~~~~ I - - I -L Fig.\?n? .ar.n... .w? ??-.I L. ii-p W IIIi m-i .

A. Isometric representation of the Great Stupa. Cologne. Drawing by Gregor Wiesel. Isometric representationof the Great Stupa. Drawing by Gregor Wiesel. .A. Cologne.

Isometric representationof the inner Stupa. . Drawing by Gregor Wiesel.B. Cologne.

s 1 I7 n X7 . I L-ut I^ t k- . Drawing by Gregor Wiesel. C. la. Cologne.7n) vie . .uaSi an C.'k 97 Z77 t 2 ' _ t zit T 14 f I13 VI t Atztf 70. Groundplan and view from the east. I 1 I I l I l F. V Itl > UZA l V9 zl .

01 i . R .- . g.a $ os oe ^/ I o1 I ? \ i ? * ts ^ vxs A V I 1 X 0 ZI /t g. . . 5 HZ ^ JB w4` I^ILJ) / ^5 ia/Wi[ { us V lilj .

.i I C I I i I I I l l I i I I 1 I l 1 11 1 I I II I I I l~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ l~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I I . i I . i:'1411 I I I :1 t1 .~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ II II I l l~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ l~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ l l~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ l l~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ l~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I . Drawing by Gregor Wiesel. I I i l :~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ . ' E.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ . .~~~~~~~~~~~~ l~~~~~~~~~~~~ il SM//Z//////////////W///W///mE~~~ \I 1 l \ 'l'! ~ J f!' II 1'~~~~~~~I'^ I .~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ l11 11111r i 111 I i I l~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ . The inner Stupa. . Cologne.

cit. op. being below and directly in front of the officiating priest. For the development of this device and its transmission down to modern times see Albert von Le Coq. 3 and 7).D. 38 For instance in the other "entrancech6tens" at Alchi and the stupa-like building at Manggyu. A. but stop abruptly one vertical row after the windows in these side walls. and thus reduces the extent of the squareto be covered"(diagram d). In the Buddhist architecture of Ladakh it has become the most common device for ceilings over a squaregroundplan. The Pelican History of Art.v. Where the opening of the window interferes with their regular arrangement the figures are reduced to a smaller scale and the spaces between them are filled with "plans"of square altars set diagonally.). Hajime Nakamura. 1971). op. I233. Cf. in the grottoes of Kyzyl (6th-7th cent. Sho Nishimura (ed. is called "firstquarter"(shoho). and sentai-butsu sembutsu.. the different Buddhas of the past. as they are used in the different rituals of Esoteric Buddhism.) had this kind of ceiling. 40 In Mandalas of Japanese Shingon Buddhism the eastern section. MikkyoDaijiten.38 4. pl.und Kultuzrgeschichte Mittelasiens (Berlin: D. s. Altogether there are depicted about one thousand small images of Aksobhya. 1975).. facing his appropriate cardinal direction. The mystical Buddha or Tathagata Aksobhya has his paradise Abhirati (mNon dga' ba) in the eastern region of the cosmos.. 161. cit. 70-74.40 In the dedicatory inscription Tshul khrims 'od explicitly states that he made ten thousand images of this Buddha. Indian Architecture and Hindu). 3I-32 and figs. 1976).A.39The Aksobhyas are continued on the two side walls to the north and the south. 2. The murals in the outerbuilding The walls of the chapel-like upper floor which enshrines the inner Stupa are completely covered with murals showing the Buddha Aksobhya and a group of four Bodhisattvas.36 This kind of structure. fig. the present and the future kalpas. 37 Percy Brown. Taraporevala & Sons. the east. Boris J. Pal and Fournier. reprint (Kyoto: Hozokan. 15. thereby giving him a prominent position. 30.) and in the cave temples of Dunhuang at the western border of China. 42 The term "thousand Buddhas" has two different meanings: I. Cf. reprint (Bombay: D.cit. opposite to Amitabha's Sukhavati in the west. 23I ff. II3. 36 39 Geometrical altars of different shapes. Bukkyogo Daijiten (Tokyo: Shoseki.37 We find it in the cave temples of Bamiyan (5th-6th cent. possibly originated in Iran and spread over large areas of the Asian continent.eight "overlappingsquares.reprint (New Delhi: Sagar Publications. paperback edition (Harmondsworth: Penguin. Bilderatlas zur Kunst. identifiable by their blue colour and their Gesture of Touching the Earth (bhumisparsamudrd). 203. S 24-29. above the former main entrance. 41 Goepper and Poncar. in Stupas he is represented mostly on western walls.pls. I35 .). forming a false cupola. Stawiskij. I925). has eighteen horizontal rows with twenty-four figures each of the blue Buddha Aksobhya (figs. 834-5. pls.D. I58. Cf. Reimer. Benjamin (Buzddhist Rowland. op.Pal and Fournier.42 With these words Rama Chandra Kak describes the ceiling of the small masonry temple in Pandrethan. Cf. The western wall. From here on they are suddenly replaced by groups of Bodhisattvas as we meet them on the eastern wall. Still. Ancient Monumentsof Kashmir. 1982). Die Volker Mittelasians im Lichte ihrer Kunstdenkmaler(Bonn: Keil Verlag. I969). of Possibly already the "Square Hall" of Old Nissa (Ist-2nd cent. are quite common in the Alchi murals.41 The multiplication of a certain Buddha or Bodhisattva up to the number "thousand"is a common devise in later Buddhist art and literature to indicate the mystic or cosmic characterof that figure. B. 1970). Also in the Sumtsek the western wall of the groundfloor is completely covered with Aksobhya images. the multiplication of one and the same figure.each of which cuts off the angles of the square below it. The Art and Architecture India.

op. They are: The blue Vajrapani with his Vajra.53. 43 Benoytosh FirmaK. 9).44 the greenish Visvapani with his four-sided and lastly the white Samantabhadra visva-vajra. They are characterizedby the colour of their complexion and the emblems in their raised right hand. The deities are wrapped in triangles short skirts and their feet are stuck into richly decorated boots of half-length. 46 Ibid. they are represented in a "flying" attitude. This iconographic program which projects the four Families walls of the Stupa clearly impregnates it with an all-embracing of the Buddhist cosmological pantheon onto the character and invests the Stupa with a marked "orientation"in the strict sense of the word.. The decorationof the "cupola" The surfaces of all planes. 8). 5. as we will see later.47 The main motive of the four are pairs of four-armed male deities clad in fanciful garments made of colourful and and with "Central precious material (fig. which is also accentuatedby the paintings inside the inner Stupa. for instance in Pandrethan48 and Payar.. The Buddhist (Calcutta: I968).As stated above. pl. op.. of the so-called lantern ceiling in the outer building are completely covered with paintings. 47 Goepper and Poncar. gd.49 (b. although emblems wings. representing the Vajra Family (vajra-kula)of deities like his lord Aksobhya. namely Aksobhya. In their four hands they carry and offerings.. They wear short jackets with sleeves of half-length Asian" collars.) That the whole lantern ceiling might be explained as a kind of Mandala becomes evident by the groups of the same four Bodhisattvas as in the murals being painted onto the vertical planes of 45 Ibid. I.43the red Padmapaniwith his lotus. we are here confronted with a group of four Bodhisattvas in sequential repetition. as if they were running across empty space. They are bedecked with jewelry and wear diadems.) The lowest layer of triangles bridging the corners is set apart from the walls by a frieze of marching white geese which we meet also in other Alchi buildings. Mukhopadhyay.. partly ornamental (fig. Their overall appearance very much resembles that of similar figures flanking without Mandalaportals in the murals of the Dukhang.46 The Bodhisattvas are shifted in the superimposed rows in such a way that the repetition of their colours runs diagonally over the space of the wall (fig. Most of the jackets are open and expose the bare bellies. I36 . Iconography Bhattacharyya: Indian 44 Ibid. vertical or partly figurative. and the easternwall is completely coveredby them. cit. On each side the eighteen rows of figures contain six Bodhisattvas each. 66.op.SS55. presiding over the Action Family (karm-kula)'4 with his wheel (cakra) as representative of the Buddha Family (tathagata-kula). L.cit.cit. Like their historic predecessors. 49 48 Whereas there was only one Buddha. symbolizing the Lotus Family (padma-kula). (a. a direction from west to east. 5I. 6). the representations of Aksobhya on the two side walls suddenly change into groups of Bodhisattvas. GenoudandInoue. the Apsaras or Devas on the ceilings of masonry temples in Kashmir.

I957). 4 and II). triangles (f. 53 Duringthe last yearsrepeated whitewashing the villagershasdoneconsiderable by damageto the paintings(fig. (d.52 6. I. 5). I86.. above which the original parasols (chos kyi 'khor lo) are missing.. 23. I. The "cupola" (bum pa) is crowned by a narrow square harmika.3 Originally it was probably painted with bright colours as can still be observed in other entrance chotens at Alchi. Snellgrove: BuddhistHimalaya (Oxford: Bruno Cassirer. or (g. in its triangles the four superstructuresof Mandalaportals.op. IV. underlining the theory that the whole ceiling was meant to representa kind of Mandala..similar to the one appearing on the ceiling of the large chapel in Manggyu. The vertical walls of its lower cube are decorated outside with eight columns in half-relief and were probably painted with pairs of the symbolic animals of the four Tathagatas as can still be seen in without (called "lion throne". Indo-Tibetica.) The sixth layer is set off vertically by figures of goddesses and the SevenJewels (sapta-ratna) of a Cosmocrator(cakravartin) a Buddha. the trapezoid planes of which are decorated with magnificent textile designs very similar to those painted onto the ceilings of the Sumtsek. and cit. Cf. showing the head of a small Buddha." forthcoming the TransactionstheOriental of again similar to representationson the walls of the Dukhang and the Sumtsek. its width at the base I55cm.54The overall s height of the inner Stupa is about 260 cm. sen khri) in several layers. David L. op. Ladakh. op.Garudas Amoghasiddhi (north).elephantsfor Aksobhya for (south). Set on its wooden framework any connection to the massive walls of the outer building it seems to float symbolically in empty space (figs. It is made of reddish clay and covered with thin whitewash.) The last and central layer which orginally closed the "cupola"has been removed. V-2. The horizontal planes of the for contain a large vase emitting ornamentalbands. pl. its square groundplan being broken by stepped corners resulting in projections of the walls (glo 'bur can) (diagram e). Tucci. Only in one corner the rest of an original board remains..55 The Stupa proper rises above this substructure 54 For instance choten no.op.I5 (e. apart from the Bodhisattvas. The inner Stgpa and its paintings The inner Stupa resting on the framework of beams seems to be partly hollow in its upper part (diagram b).) The next vertical step has the usual four Bodhisattvas. in Ceramic Storeyed London Templeat Alchi. together with more textile designs. 29). he saw himself confronted on the eastern wall 50 On this interestingaspectof the Alchi paintingssee RogerGoepper:"Early KashmiriTextiles?PaintedCeilingsin the Three- the entrance StupaJz2.cit. 17I.) The seventh layer of small triangles again shows the Bodhisattvas. Jz (numbering according to Snellgrove and Skorupski. 52 See and Matsunaga Kato. cit.) The Bodhisattvas and other textile designs with friezes of running animals decorate also the triangles of the next third layer of the "cupola". heraldic flowers and dots which possibly imitate the dyeing technique ofplangi. but the central figure is placed inside a T-like element which is the common topos the actual Mandalaportal.5? (c. 5I 55 Lionsfor Vairocana (westernwall).the beams carrying the next layer. I37 .) The fourth layer has. possibly executed by the same artists. horsesfor Ratnasambhava (east). (h. On each side flights of projected steps (glo 'bur them skas) lead to the two receding storeys with central sham doors. Goepper Poncar. When in former days the visitor entered the building through the now barred western door and looked up into the hollow interior of the inner Stupa. cit. 1993.

pl. pu'i 'dugstans). 79. according to legend. the one to the right middle-aged and clad in a robe of brownish patchwork.. I.looking at the with a Tibetan monk. among them Kashmir Mar pa and. LXXII.. "Vierundachtzig Zauberer. but this is. two priests with brown complexion are represented in half profile (ardha-vilocana). but a long cape of white fur is draped over his shoulders.dapada.his head is turned to the left in (chos gyi forming half profile and he is clad like a Tibetan priest. probably a flute. pi. I6). 233) 58 Perhaps the plant in his right hand symbolizes the vegetable meal (sno bdas)by which he won the favour of his teacher Tillopa. 59 Snellgrove and Skorupski. has long curly hair and tsog staring. I. I4). again according to legend. op.his hands the dharmacakra-pravarttana-mudrai 'khor phyagrgya). In his right hand he holds a plant with three leaves. History of Indian and Indonesian Art and in Pala sculpture of the eleventh century (ibid.with a dark-skinned Indian Siddha (fig. (a."BaesslerArchiv 5 (i9i6):I68-9.He sits in a squatting attitude He (utkutdsana.his legs secured by a band (yoga-bandha). pi. the formally identical one at the lower end of the central fold in the dhotiof the colossal Mafijusrisculpture of the Sumtsek56is perfectly preserved. He is backed by a throne consisting of the elements common for North Indian deities. 956-Io40) who. cit. His importance is accentuatedby the rich throne. Rinchen Zangpo. Cf. pl.57 Although there is no direct iconographical clue. slightly squinting eyes. whether Buddhist or Hindu. His body seems to be naked. On both sides he recognized two dark-skinned priests.58 the constellation of the four priests makes the identification plausible. 57 Common already in bronzes of the tenth century from Nalanda (Ananda K. Albert Griinwedel. op. LXXI. only the vestiges of a band-like for diadem remain. cit.. no loincloth can be discerned.59 (b.) Rinchen Zangpo The white-skinned Tibetan priest on the opposite wall was alreadyidentified as Rinchen Zangpo (rdo by Snellgrove and Skorupski (fig. I4). Over flower ornament.) The Siddha Naropa The most prominent figure among the four is the dark brown Siddha on the eastern wall since he is the only one representedin strict frontality (abhimukham) I3). his hands in dhyana-mudra with a star-like his undergarmentshe wears a reddish brown kasdaya rosary(aksa-mal) (fig. in his left a sticklike emblem. the Siddha seems to be the famous Vajrayana rCa master Naropa (Na. ? He sits in vajraparyankasana rje'i skyil krun). 8. There seems to be no fixed iconographiccanon for the rendering of Naropa. the one to the left white-haired wearing a white patched robe. op. XI. cit. fig. In contrast to the poor condition (fig. pure speculation.) Kashmiripriests On the southern and northern walls. I38 . Coomaraswamy. 60 Ibid. 56 Snellgrove and Skorupski. Goepper and Poncar. The area around his face is heavily destroyed. who is representedon the opposite wall of but the inner Stupa.. bridging the space between Naropa and Rinchen Zangpo. Weyhe. Paraphernalia the ritual and an altar are placed in the plane of the mandorla. 229). The priest on the southern wall sits in meditation. 1927]. and a small adoring monk sits in front. of the present example. (c. [New York: E. There are no inscriptions giving their names. 13)who faces a Tibetan priest with white complexion on the opposite western wall (fig. sad pa. of course. fig. lived for severalyears in and there was one of the main religious sources for visiting Tibetan priests.

with a large lotus in the center (fig. 29 and 78.An older priest with trimmed white hair and beard occupies the northern wall. 139 . they must be older than Rinchen clad in a white kasayawith svastikadesign (fig. like the ridge of the nose. op. Buddhistsof Kasmzr 63 Naudou. op. P.) Technique of painting and modes of representation The painting technique in the inner Stupa is in general identical with the one in the Sumtsek. without any perspective foreshortenings.62 pupil of the famous Santipa. I969). but the ductus of the brush is here bolder and more vigorous. in the famousramita-sutra and Alice Heeramaneck collection. and are most probably two of his Kashmiri teachers or companions in his gigantic work of translation. The Sanskrit terms used here are borrowed 62 fromthis book. 89-90. 66 Pratapatitya Pal: The Art of Tibet(New York: Asia Society. To suggest three-dimensionality a special device of shading was used: Whereas in some of the fine paintings in the Sumtsek 5 differencesin values of the same colour were achieved by tiny dots placed together in different density (vindu-vartana). Bagchi. IS).. Prominent parts of the face. 190-93. the were represented in a certain illusionistic three-dimensionality body in its clothing was given as an absolutely flat plane showing the designs of the garbs. 1980). (e. 2. and the representationseems less detailed. of course. 92. The painting technique seems to have been the usual tempera with glue (vajra-lepa or carma-kvdta)prepared from boiled animal skins. using a brush (tulikd). appears. in 64 Jayanta Chakrabarti. but also in Central Asian. It). In an absolute horrorvacui it is decorated with paintings. The successive steps of the painting process seem to correspondroughly to that of traditional Indian murals as described by Jayanta Chakrabarti.. cit. 73 and and I90.66 manuscript in Nasli 6I Already Snellgrove and Skorupski have regarded them as Kashmiri priests. At least. could be accentuated by white highlights (ujjotana). cit.6 The white-haired priest might be both of them Sraddhakaravarman. should also be noted: Whereas the face and other bare parts of the human body with shading and highlights. 113. (Delhi: Agam India. mostly representing textile designs. I. here for The same device instance the squares of the kasdyas. and at times even in Chinese wall painting.Also in this case the ritual implements are important documents for the ceremonial atmospherein Kashmir at that time. op. for instance. but in a simpler structure with only three steps.. Jean Naudou. Los Angeles the County Museum of Art. Snellgrove and Skorupski. A peculiar mode of representing figures. but this. 65 Especially in the niches. characteristic for North Indian painting of the twelfththirteenth centuries. Because of the lack of inscriptions an exact identification of the two priests is not possible. in the Stupa a was used by which the raised parts (unnata) of a form appeared "shading by bands" (hairika-vartan) in the unbroken hue of the colour and the receding or depressed areas (nimna) were indicated by parallel bands of increasingly darker hues. 1980).Techniques Indian Mural Painting (Calcutta: K. p. (d. a device common not only in Indian.) "Cupola" The inner Stupa also has a lantern ceiling made of wood. cit.63 being close collaboratorsof Rinchen Zangpo. the other one Tathagataraksita. is pure speculation.64 The actual painting is executed on a rough ground (mani-bhumi)of mud plaster (suzdha) mixed with fibresof plants and with a thin layer of prime coating (mrttik-nirnaya).

but without quoting his source for this identification. (Alipore: 70 7I Tucci. (a. Khosla. Kulturdenkmaler (Zuiirich-Freiburg: Ta ErSi Monastery..) Terminology One of the several designations given by the local monks for the Stupa and other entrance chotens is the enigmatic term kakani choten. Dictionary. I. cit.. reprint Tibetan-English Dictionary. KuimbumDschamba Ling (Leipzig: F. "door".I96o).7. 169 ff.69 Possibly kakani may be explained as metathesis of kanika which Tucci quotes as the name of a Anyhow. have thought of such a possibility. Indo-Tibetica. (b. Trench. cit.Sarat reprint West BengalGovernment Press. op. Trubner. hereby comparable with the Stupa in Alchi. Tibetan-English (London: Das. "opening". although Tibetan scholars73 hinted at the possibility that the designation might be a corruptionof some obsolete place name. a name used for several well-known numerous painted or sculptured images adorning the building.reprint (London: Pali Text Society. 198I). Indo-Tibetica. 183. corresponding to a Sanskritpanca-siras. number 'bum appears in the designation for the Stupa which Tshul khrims 'od uses in his own dedicatory inscription. Tibet. 73 Mr. University of Bonn. founded I577. Cf. I909). I. Stede. I979). palace or Stupa.op. Another term given by Alchi monks for the "Great Stupa" is mgo Ina mchod rten. 54 and 60.I968). Routledge& KeganPaulLtd. 231-237. op.) Structureand meaning Structurallythe inner Stupa as the sacredcore of the whole building may be placed into the later phase of development of Stupas in the Northwestern area of Indian Buddhist culture.I. "One Hundred Thousand Visions (or Appearances)" and then could refer to the "innumerable" sacred The "astronomic" images painted onto the inner walls of the building. op. The name 'bum mthon corresponds to a Sanskrit darsana-laksa. karnika. I. 29. Francke. built by the prince of the Licchavis. lacking textual foundations. op. Stupa in Vaisali. The Pali Text Society's Pali-English Dictionary.71 But it is doubtful whether such a combination of an Indian with a Tibetan term would be possible under the circumstancesprevalent in Alchi today.7? "earornament") is also used with architectural connotations. Whether this is a local idiomatic version of Tibetan kha. also the Chinese publication by Li Zhiwu and Liu Lizhong.35.. and Mr. cit. op. which is actually reflected in the structure of the Type of Indian temple architecture.. 22. A. "Stupaof the One Hundred Thousand Bodies (or buildings in Tibetan Buddhism72 referring to the Images)". Tucci. meaning "upper storey" of a house. I80. which is occasionally also quoted without further specification by western authors.. cit. Antiquities Indian of Chandra A A 69 HeinrichA. "Stupa with Five Spires". Near relatives 67 Snellgrove and Skorupski. the Pall term kannikd(Skr. Tibet. to enter the field of speculation and thereby possibly find roadsfor furtherresearch. building. Tsering Tashi Thingo. Franckeaimed at an explanation.68declaring the term kha gan (which is also in use in Ladakh)as a corruption of khanggani.67Apparently only August H. Rhys Davids and 72 W. or the large monastery in Amdo. T. Robert C.. Conclusions If we now try to come to some general conclusions about the meaning of the "Great Stupa" in Alchi we are again forced. must remain speculation. 1933). Childers. IV. cit. W. reminiscent of the Pancayatana is sku 'bummchod Still another designation rten. Jaschke. For instance in Gyantse. 87. and lately by Michael Henss. Brockhaus. Loden Sherap Dagyab. cit. portrayed by Wilhelm Filchner. I40 .. 125. Cologne. die Atlantis Verlag. A Dictionary of the Pali Language (London: Kegan Paul.

The outer building with its central tower..1983). fig. but difficult to date. 23I and pl. which surely is ancient. the openings towards all four heavenly directions let an identification of the "Great Stupa" with the usual type of entrance chotens seem unlikely. Senake Bandaranayake. I956). 78 79 Forinstancein Guntupalle Junnar. 76 Forinstancethe exampleon the rightwall of the Dukhangbetweenthe two largeMandalas. but can also enter from all four sides and pass underneaththe Stupa and look into its "secret"interior.LinchengXian.. the apparitional inner Stupa as the spiritual core of the building.. then. I39-I60.74 They also have two storeys as basis of the "cupola"and flights of steps on each side for every storey. the paradise Abhirati. but could be explained as fanciful variations of the basic type. 43.76 The Stupas engraved in large numbers as rock carvings on boulders near the Indus below Alchi are of a considerably different type and period.D. cit. Enshrined within this transcendental space. I4I . was its essential meaning and function? The explanation which we venture to offer is at the same time tempting. By erecting this "Great Stupa" in Alchi its founder Tshul khrims 'od set up a cosmological and religious symbol. of (Harmondsworth: Penguin. the idea being later developed into the famous cetiya-gharaor vataddgeof Ceylon. 4 (I937):pls.SinhaleseMonasticArchitecture (Leiden: op. I57 B.dated 544. 77 A typical exampleis the one in the Shentong-si. the four turrets at the corners and its accessability from all four heavenly directions together with its murals is transformed into the mystic sphere of Buddha Aksobhya's heavenly realm.77 Possibly the "Great Stupa" at Alchi corresponds in its basic structural meaning to another type of early Buddhist architecture expressing "the idea of installing a stupa of appropriate dimensions as the central object of worship in a shrine. Laurence Sickman and Alexander Soper. Structurally it is the outer shrine protecting the sacred inner core. in Chinese. whereas in Alchi the devotee has to circumambulate outside of the building. I37. I974). datable to the eighth century A. & by Brentjes: (Leipzig: pl. The formulations in the dedicatory inscription underline the fact that the building was regarded as one of the major components of the ritual setting within the monastic area as a whole. The Art and Architecture China 4. ShandongProvince. I-z.op. cit.8? The main difference between this type of building and the "GreatStupa" is. and not just as an accentuation of the entrance. op. that the vatadage provides inside space for the ritual circumambulation (pradaksina)of the Stupa. the clay Stupa. their corners are stepped forming projections (glo 'bur can).7 The several Stupas represented in the murals of Alchi differ formally. Its appearance relates it to the temple complex of the Pancayatana type. see Bulletinof theSociety for Researchin ChineseArchitecture no. In an elongated form.C. Whether the outer building called "Great Stupa" throughout this paper actually was meant as Stupa seems highly improbable.are the clay Stupas of Tapa Sardar in Ghazni. As long as no textual support can be found it must remain unproven."78 namely the caitya-grha of early cave temples in India79 which seem to have been derived from free-standing wooden structures. 40. but also highly specu- lative. Although looking similar at first sight it differs in many respects from the Stupa form developed in Central Asia and China and known under the designation simen-ta. 75 Snellgrove and Skorupski. In spite of the west-east axiality reflected in the murals inside. 29. and Goepper Poncar. I. cit. condensing its five buildings into one. earlyas firstcenturyB. preserved in the Dukhang of Alchi. But what. and as 80 On this type of Buddhist architecture. Here also the Stupa is enshrined and protected by an outer building. is represented as 74 Latelyillustrated Burchard am VolkerschicksaleHindukusch Koehler Amelang. but without the projections the basic structure also appears in a small wooden Stupa. "Stupa with Four Doors". characteristic for Ceylon see Bandaranyake. 26.

........."It is elevated over the secular plane of the pious devotee.. mdzad pa'i // dge 'dun rnams la phyag 'tshal lo // ... revised by W. ill. I97I)..... la brtenpa'i// ri rabdafn ri bdundan// glifi bshi dafn glifi phranbrgyad// de'i nan na mchog gyur pa'i // ... Tibetan text of the dedicatoryinscription Om bkrasis par gyur cig // chos sku skye myed namkha'las // lofs sku 'gag myed sprin Itarsnan // 'phrin las sprul sku'i char rgyun 'byun // dus gsum bde(r) gsegs rnams la bstod // gsufnrab yan lag bcu gnis dan // sde snod gsum dan rgyud sde bzi // byah chub phyogs la sogs pa yi // dam pa'i chos .An illustration of the event is given in the ritualistic handbook Kakuzen-sho.."OneHundred Thousand Visions". according to legend. Sutra of the Lotus Flower of the WonderfulLaw.... rin cen brtsegs pa bshens // drin la lan gyis blan pa'i phyir 11rin gi po che la rdunikhafi bshens // pha ma gfiis kyi don du ni // rant bsod nams bsags pa'i phyir//l ha bcu tsam bshefis // . 1969). the patriarch Nagarjuna (Ryumo) was invited to be introduced into the secret teachings of the two basic Sutras of Esoteric Buddhism which is still living today in the Shingon and Tendai Schools ofJapan. no...... I706......actually "floating. 5....... Mikkyo Daijiten reprint (Kyoto: Hozokan... 82 See Sho Nishimura (ed..... representing it as floating in space.. but gives him at the same time the possibility of a visual approachinto its secret.. But the mystic character of the "Great Stupa" at Alchi was not only expressed by its paintings and by disconnecting it from the contact to this secular earth.. gnas mchog gans can 'di'i rgyud na // sa'i phyogs gcig mna ris bstod // mchog tu bton pa'i la dvags smad //. The revered master Rinchen Zangpo as the spiritual father of a new Buddhism in Western Tibet was thereby invested with a mystic quality..."81 into which the Buddha Sakyamuni entered and received the consecration to preach the Law from the mystical Buddha Prabhutaratna. 235........ Zuzo (The Tripitaka in Chinese..v............)... yin sfnamnas // bla ma dkon mchog phyogs su btan // bsod nams tshogs cig bsag snam nas // 'dus byas kyi dge ba'i rtsa ba la // sku gsun thugs kyi rten rnams bshens // sku yi rten du bshens pa ni // lha . inside this inner Stupa..... This secret is the group of the four closely related priests painted onto the inner surface of the walls..... E........ translated by Bunno Kato. 569... receiving instruction from the Siddha Naropa......I23... with two Kashmiri priests acting as mediators... We may also remember the so-called Iron Stupa of Southern India (Nanten-tetto) into which.... sras mchog bla ma rin po che // 'phrin las lhun grub rdzogs mdzad pa'i // . and shown as engaged in religious conversation.. but also by its name as quoted in its dedicatoryinscription: 'Bummthon... bde bar gsegs pa'i // sku yi bkod pa stoni khafi che churn lhag bshens // bcom Idan bder gsegs myi 'khrugs pa'i // sku'i bkod pa khri tsho bshefis // bcom Idan 81 The Myoho-renge-kyo.. gsufi ba la phyag 'tshal bstod // sanisrgyas chos dafndge' 'dun dafn bla ma rnamsla phyag 'tshal nas // bsod nams bag tsam bsags pa yi // kar chags dum bu 'bri bar 1 ni ni bya// byafichub .).. // sna ma'i bsags pa phra mo dan // .. In this connection we may remember the which "sprangup magic Stfpa described in the eleventh chapter of the Saddharma-pundarika-si7tra from the earth and abode in the sky.... 1933ff...... Nanten-tetto.. I42 ..Picture Section) (Tokyo: Daizo Shuppan. reproduced Taisho-shinshuDaizokyo.. al Ici 'dir // dnos ran 'bro ban tshul khrims 'od // sna ma'i smon lam ma dag pas // nan gsum tshogs pa'i dus 'dir skyes // myi lus rin chen thob nas ni // churnniu'idus su rab byufi nas // bla ma mkhan po'i shabs btud nas // sems kyi spros pa cun shig bsad .. Soothill and Wilhelm Schiffer (Toky6: Kosei Publishing Company...... 392.... rgyu nor lons spyod bsags nas kyain// tha ma .....82 In analogy to this idea of the Stupa serving as site of mystic revelation of a certain religious tradition in Buddhist teaching Tshul khrims 'od may have had the priest Rinchen Zangpo represented as initiator of a new propagation...... s........

since the figure was not characterizedas a Vinaya monk by the addition of an alms bowl and a staff.................... Chogyam Trungpa]. Mar pa's biographies give no Buddhica[Paris:Librairieorientaliste direct clue (JacquesBacot... who seriously doubted the identification of the white-skinned priest on the western wall with Rinchen Zangpo. a Colourplates madepossiblethrouzgh generozus contribution zur der from the Orientstiftung Forderung ostasiatischen Kunst.. Postscriptum During July 1992 the Archaeological Surveyof India began to add new plastering to the outside of the two lower storeys of the Great Stupa and to repairthe roofs.. At the same time a group of German specialists of the Fachhochschule... According to Tsering Dorje the priest should rather represent the translator Mar pa (Chos kyi blo gros. "Laview de Marpale "traducteur.... Rinchen Zangpo is nowhere mentioned directly in Alchi inscriptions...... Also in July 1992 the author discussed the identification of the four priests inside the inner Stupa with Tsering Dorje of Kyelong (Lahoul and Spiti)......... The Life of Marpa the Translator [Boulder: Prajna Press... I43 ............ I937] I.//i no mtshar can gyi gsufi dpar bshefis // gsun gi rten de tsam cig bshefis // thugs kyi rten du bshefnspa ni // rgya gar dbus na bshugs pa yi ran 'byufndpal Idan 'brasphufngi // de'i dpe' la byas nas ni // mchod rten dpal Idan 'brasphuns bshens // sprul sku bla ma rin po ches // bkra sis sgo mans bshens pa yin // de yi dpe' la byas nas ni // 'bum (m)thon kra sis sgo mafnsbshefns// .. 1982]). Anyhow. started to clean and conserve the murals inside the Stupa....'od dpag myed pa yi // sku'i bkod pa gnis ston bshens // 'jam pa'i dbyans kyi sku gzugs kyan // bkod pa ston tso gnis tsam bshens // bskal pa gcig la 'tshan rgya ba'i // bskal pa ston gi sans rgyas bshens 11 rigs gsum mgon po'i sku 'khor bshens // lha dan mchod rten thams cad dan // sems dp'a ston ..... VII. no. bar du bshugs nas ni // zas nor tshegs la ma bsam par // sku tshad che bas .. But in this case the two priests flanking him are difficult to explain since Mar pa's other teachers were so-called Mahasiddhaswho are usually not representedlike ordinarymonks. who was a direct pupil of Naropa and who would fit better into the original Bri gung pa tradition of Alchi. thugs kyi rten du bgyis // // ye ses kyi tshogs bsag sfiam nas // 'dus ma byas gyi tshogs sog la // bla ma . Tsang Nyon Heruka [tr." Paul Guenther.........Cologne.... cen gyis bshugs mdsad nas // nu bo rin cen bshugs kyi bar // bla ma mkhan po slob dpon la // sems bsked dbafnbskur rim par shus // bskyed rdsogs gnis kyi gdams nag gnan // gdams nag zab mo thugs la mnags // phyag rgya chen po'i rio sprod mdsad // shabs tog ... sgrol ma la sogs lha mo'i sku // blo la ci tsam byun tsad bshens // 'dus byas dge ba'i rtsa ba la // sku yi rten du de tsam cig // gsufi gi rten cig bshens sfiam nas // sin tu dkon pa'i bu sog la // gon dan rin la ma Itas par // rgyas pa bcu bshi'i gdum bu (?) bshens 11rab ma dum bu drug pa bshens // bsdus pa dum bu gcig pa bshens // gser gyi 'jam sdud bzan gsum bshens // byin gyis rlabs pa'i bka' las ni 11gser gyi ses rab snin po bshens // na yi bu cig rin cen gyis (?) 11rned par dka' ba'i thens ..Koln... IOI2-IO96).

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