Gisborne site sought for first stupa in world to see the sun
The spiritual leader of a Buddhist monastery in Northern India has sent two lamas (teacher monks) to Gisborne to seek a suitable site for a stupa (spiritual monument).
Pema Donyo Nyinje, head of the Palpung Sherabling Monastery in Himachal Pradesh, sent lamas Karma Dorjey and Damcho to Gisborne this week to view locations from Muriwai to Tatapouri.
They were met by Gisborne Palpung Centre members and Sonam Rinchen of the Auckland Palpung Centre.
“We're affiliated with the head monastery in Northern India,” said Mr Rinchen.
“The spiritual director requested we build a stupa in Gisborne because of its auspiciousness as the first city in the world to see the sun.
“He has specifically asked us to build a stupa here in Gisborne.
“It is important to us to find the right location. We need an elevated site and it must see the sun rising from the ocean. This will be the first stupa in the world to see the sun.”
As a place that fosters peace and harmony the stupa must be built to particular specifications and proportions.
At more than 27 metres high the structure will be the biggest stupa in Australasia.
A minimum of four acres is needed. A park-like environment will surround the building.
Mr Dorjey and Damcho will send pictures of various sites to Pema Donyo Nyinje, who also has access to Google maps and Google Earth.
“For us the stupa is spiritually significant,” said Mr Rinchen. “The stupa has a peaceful and healthy effect on the environment.
“Our spiritual director is a master of geomancy and feng shui. He will be able to see any significant features and he will lay out the site.
“Once our project is complete our intention is to gift the stupa to the Gisborne District Council for the people of Gisborne.”