The Stupa Completed

For many years members of the local Triratna sangha had envisioned a stupa at Aryaloka containing the ashes of Dhardo Rimpoche, one of Sangharakshita’s main teachers.  The beautiful stupa was finally completed in the summer of 2014.  Now Aryaloka joins five other Triratna communities (England, Wales, Gemany, Spain, and New Zealand) that have built stupas to honor Dhardo Rimpoche and to share with the world this ideal of wisdom and compassion, this symbol of Enlightenment for the benefit of all beings.

 Who is Dhardo Rimpoche?

Dhardo RinpocheDhardo Rimpoche was one of the eight spiritual teachers of Sangharakshita, the founder of the Triratna Buddhist Order. He was considered by Sangharakshita and many others to be a living Bodhisattva, one who strives for Enlightenment for the sake of all sentient beings. In the small hill town of Kalimpong in northeastern India he established a school for Tibetan children.  The school, called the IndoTibetan Buddhist Cultural  Institute (ITBCI), continues today and has educated orphans, refugees, and other children from Tibetan and Indian families for over 60 years.

Many people involved in the Triratna Buddhist Community feel a special connection to him and some have met him, either personally or in meditation. Dhardo Rimpoche died in 1990.


Dhardo Rimpoche and Sangharakshita

Dhardo Rimpoche and Sangharakshita developed a strong friendship over the many years Sangharakshita lived in Kalimpong. It was through this friendship that they both realized the transformative and transcendental nature of spiritual friendship, which is one of the key practices in the Triratna Buddhist Community. It was from Dhardo Rimpoche that Sangharakshita took his Bodhisattva vows and our Triratna Buddhist Community exists today as the enactment of that vow.

Listen to hear Sangharakshita share thoughts on his friendship with Dhardo Rimpoche.

What is a stupa?

What is a Stupa`Stupa‘ literally means `heap‘ and was originally a simple mound of mud to cover relics. Over centuries Buddhist stupas took on distinctive forms. The symbolism of the stupa shape represents the Buddha in a meditation posture.

The stupa containing the relics of Dhardo Rimpoche is a memorial, a place of worship and inspiration creating positive conditions for the arising of the bodhicitta, the will to Enlightenment for the sake of all

Within the base of the stupa are buried items representing samsara, our ordinary world; ie weapons, wealth, food etc In addition to the ashes of Dhardo Rimpoche and his personal relics (bone of Tsongkhapa, hair of a dakini), there are mantras written by the worldwide Triratna community and Dharma bo0ks, prayer flags and rupas (Buddha statues).

The stupa has becime an important place of practice for us. We have circumambulated the stupa in a clockwise direction, while chanting a mantra;  walingd  meditatively focusing on the present moment; and we have  reflected on one of the qualities of the Buddha, such as compassion.


The stupa project

Bodhilocana's DreamIn March of 2009 Bodhilocana, a well-loved member of the sangha who passed away in 2011, Viriyagita, and Kiranada led a Dhardo Rinpoche Celebration Day on which   Bodhilocana inspired the others to build this stupa dedicated to Dhardo Rimpoche. Through her enthusiasm, dedication, and strong connection with Dhardo Rimpoche, Bodhilocana brought more people (Amala,Dayalocana,Singhatara, Shantikirika} together to help bring this idea to fruition

Suvajra found us the ashes and brought them to the  UK, where Candradasa met him and then transported these ashes encased in tsa-tdsd and ritually transferred them to the stupa kula  for safekeeping. The stupa kula then found a Tibetan stonemason, Sonam Lama, trained at Ganden Monastery and his team of builders who knew about the important mantras, blessings, and ritual objects to be included in the stupa.




Dhardo Tulku Rinpoche                                                 

In March 0f 2012 several Order members had the great privilege to meet with the present Dhardo Tulku Rinpoche in Kalimpong, India. Based on her meeting with him and discussion about the envisioned stupa, Viriyagita and the stupa kula invited him to come to Aryalola to do a blessing for the site. On June 19, 2013 the present Dhardo Rinpoche dedicated the site of the future stupa at Aryaloka. He shared with us some precious relics from the late Dhardo Rinpoche’s personal collection; shards of bone from Tsongkhapa, the founder of the Gelugpa school, and the hairs of a dakini.   See a video of the talk he gave during that visit:



When the stupa was finally completed, Dhardo Tulku Rinpoche returned in March of 2015 to dedicate the stupa.

The Stupa Has Been Built!

Due to generous donations from members of the local and the worldwide sangha, we have seen the completion of this sacred project. It is our honor and privilege to maintain this stupa for the benefit of all beings. We would still welcome donations to maintain, landscape, and beautify the stupa site. Thank you to all who have participated, contributed, supported and worshipped this symbol of Enlightenment.

We accept the following through the Aryaloka office:

To make a donation by check or cash, or for other options, please Contact the Aryaloka OfficeAryaloka Buddhist Center, Inc. is a 501(c)3 organization and donations in all amounts are fully tax-deductible.

Thank you for your generosity!