Byron Naturally
Byron Naturally

Whoever thought going on holiday would help world peace?

However, through the ‘World Peace Stupa Project’, at the Crystal Castle in Byron Bay’s hinterland, visitors and locals alike will have the opportunity to do just that.

Through the project, a Kalachakra Stupa for World Peace is to be built at the Crystal Castle. This rare, sacred monument will be only the seventh of its kind to be built in the world and the first in Australia.

The project is being organised by Crystal Castle owners Naren and Sono King, guided by the Gyuto Monks of Tibet, and has been blessed by the Dalai Lama.

“Now what is a stupa?’ you may well ask.

A stupa is a sacred monument built by Tibetan Buddhists to represent the process of enlightenment. It is symbolic of community strength and independence, and Tibetans believe contributing to its building is one of the most auspicious things one can do in this lifetime. It is also believed that, once the stupa is built, great benefit can be gained from circumbulating (walking clockwise around) it.

The mere sight of a stupa is said to put one in touch with one’s own innate goodness, inspiring compassion, kindness, and ultimately good karma.

While there are various types of stupas, the Kalachakra stupa has an unusual spherical body that symbolises the energy cycle and the essential structure of the cosmos. Kalachakra means ‘Wheel of Time’, with a Kalachakra stupa known as the Stupa for World Peace. It is specifically for restoring balance to the Earth in times of war, conflict and environmental destruction.

The project is expected to take at least a year to complete. The Gyuto Monks of Tibet will oversee and carry out the necessary rituals and ceremonies at each stage of construction, and will create the intricate sculpture and artwork on the stupa.

The eight-metre structure will be filled with sacred objects, scriptures and relics. Already a Kathmandu monastery has gifted the project with a complete collection of the Buddha’s teachings, 108 volumes of sacred scrolls, and the teachings of the first Dalai Lama. The local community will also be invited to contribute a wide range of objects that symbolise the functioning, survival and prosperity of a good society.

Forty brass prayer wheels, known as ‘Mani’ wheels, are currently being handmade by a family in the Kathmandu Valley of Nepal. For around 350 years this family – whose name translates as ‘metal beater’ – has been creating prayer wheels. Each prayer wheel contains over 130,000 Om Mani Padma Hum mantras. Tibetans believe that when a prayer wheel is turned the prayers inside are released into the universe for all.

During the Gyuto Monks’ previous visits both visitors and locals, mostly children, have already created around 650 clay Buddha statues to be sealed inside the stupa. In the coming months visitors to the Crystal Castle are invited to be part of what is considered to be a powerful process.

Donations are also being sought to assist with building the World Peace Stupa. Contact the Crystal Castle for more information. Good karma guaranteed!