Ascending to Enlightenment: Mongolian Bronze Stupa
This magnificent, exquisitely crafted Mongolian bronze stupa is a 19th-century masterpiece. It is comprised of a square platform, a dome, and 13 tapered steps rising from a two-tiered square base. Pairs of lions are engraved on each side of the stupa. Garlands trail from the sides. A framed image of Buddha is set below the ribbed spire, flanked by a lotus-petal border.
The 13 steps signify the 13 states of the journey to enlightenment, and symbolize the13th Heaven. The aim of the practitioner is to climb the mountain of one’s own mind, ascending stage by stage through the planes of increasing levels of enlightenment.
A stupa is used to house sacred relics associated with the Buddha or other saintlyfigures. Making sincere offerings and performing prostration toward a stupa that contains sacred relics are expressions of one’s dedication and gratitude to Divinity.