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BUDDHIST STUPA ZURMALA

22.05.2022 1460

At the beginning of the II century. AD the most famous king of Kushan, Kanishka I, ruled. The Kushan kingdom reached the apogee of its economic and cultural development under his wise leadership. Thanks to Kanishka, the Fourth Buddhist Council was held, and at it the great thinker Nagarjuna approved the foundations of Mahayana (late Buddhism, following the path of the Bodhisattva), which blesses not only zealous ascetic monks, but also ordinary inhabitants who lead their lives in accordance with the law and do good deeds. affairs. And, if the teaching of Gautama (the great teacher of Buddhism) was the prerogative of exclusively philosophers and ascetics, now Buddhism has become understandable and understandable to the common people. Of course, thanks to this, Buddhism spread to the vast expanses of Asia. And roadside temples began to be built throughout the territory, open to both the peasant and the merchant. Thus, the era of the Kushan kingdom (I-III centuries AD) gave us another great monument of cultural heritage - the Zurmala stupa, which is in the southeast of the Old Termez settlement, which is located at a distance of 12 km from modern Termez. This tower is currently a building 14 m high, built of square raw brick (with a side of about 33 cm), with a pattern characteristic of the Kushan period - a line and two pits. Archaeologists, having studied the monument, summed up a kind of statistical result: 1,200,000 bricks were spent on the construction of the Zurmala stupa!

 

The functional purpose of the stupa, as such, was that it:

  • was the main symbol of Buddhism;
  • served as a means of Buddhist rituals (circumvention);
  • it was a repository of relics.

Thus, the Zurmala stupa has a spherical shape, similar to a burial mound, reminds the living of the fragility of existence and symbolizes parinirvana - the death of the Buddha and his burial. In the first years after the death of the Buddha, stupas were a kind of God's houses, where a lock of hair from his head, a piece of his clothes, a part of his relics were placed in a cube-shaped box. This box was placed on the top of the stupa, a Good Umbrella was placed over it, which in an allegorical sense protects from adversity and suffering.


The Zurmala stupa consisted of a rectangular foot of 22x16 m and, in fact, the "body" itself - a cylinder with a diameter of 14.5 m. The building was equipped with a staircase leading to the platform of the foundation for the ritual rounds of believers. The transition of brickwork to spherical completion is also clearly visible. Archaeologists have found that the foot of the stupa was covered with marl limestone, and burnt brick was also used for decoration. There is still no exact data on whether the Zurmala stupa was an independent structure or was adjacent to any temple complex.

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