The word 'Swoyambu' means, 'Self - Created. How this meaning applies to the Swoyambu stupa should be clear after reading this text. Living in Nepal for three years and the better part of that time occupying a room near the stupa itself, I came to hear every imaginable explanation of the stupas significance from Nepali guides to foreign tourists. Often, I heard the local priests laugh at these often wrong interpretations. One day a recently completed english summary of an old and respected text, "The Shree Swoyambu Mahachaitya' by Hemaraj Shakya, written in Newari, came my way quite unexpectedly. It is this that is here presented to those interested in knowing what the 'Swoyambu Stupa', is.
The, one hundred and thirty one photos in this book, should be of interest, not only to the curious visitor, but also, as they represent what is significant in Nepal's Mahayana Buddhism, a valuable text for Buddhist adepts and scholars. I have tried to show in these photos all the varieties of chaityas and images to be found on 'Swoyambu's twin peaked hillock.
The work done of organizing, and accurately summarizing this difficult text, (Shree Swoyambhu Mahachaitya) could only have been done by a scholar - priest. My thanks to Mr. Nunche B. Bajracharya who systematized and eloquently stated the material. That he has a thorough understanding of the subject matter will be evident to every reader.
Mr. Collins Painter has headed english departments and teacher training pogramess throughout the world. For many years he has also been a serious student of Buddhist dharma. The contribution he has made to make this a polished presentation will be evident to the reader.
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