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Sanskrit: Chaitya Tibetan: Chorten
Arising historically from the chaitya (funerary mounds) of early Buddhism and symbolically from the tope (ushnisha), bundle of hair, on the crown of the Buddha's head, the stupa is viewed as a physical representation of the unseen enlightened mind of a Buddha. Later the stupa became a symbol incorporating both the blueprint for the path to enlightenment and enlightenment itself (see an example).
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Jeff Watt 8-2005 [updated 4-2017]
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