The Global Vipassana Pagoda
The Global Vipassana Pagoda is a Meditation Hall near Gorai, North-west of Mumbai, India. The Pagoda was inaugurated by Pratibha Patil, then President of India on 8 February 2009. It is built on donated land on a peninsula between Gorai creek and the Arabian Sea. The pagoda is to serve as a monument of peace and harmony. The Global Vipassana Pagoda has been built out of gratitude to the Buddha, his teaching and the community of monks practicing his teaching. Its traditional Burmese design is an expression of gratitude towards the country of Myanmar for preserving the practice of vipassana. The shape of the pagoda is a copy of the Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon, Myanmar. It was built combining ancient Indian and modern technology to enable it to last for a thousand years.
The foundation of the dome consists of basalt, while the dome itself is made from sandstone imported from Rajasthan. The individual blocks of sandstone weigh 600 – 700 kg each and are kept in place due to the unique design of the bricks. Each of the bricks interlock with the ones adjacent to it and lime mortar is used to fill in any remaining gaps. The circumambulation path is laid in marble.
The pinnacle of the pagoda is adorned with a large crystal. The spire is covered in real gold, while the rest of the pagoda is covered in gold paint. The spire is topped with a special ornamental umbrella piece donated by the Burmese. The main doors to the pagoda are wooden and hand-carved in Burma.
The center of the Global Vipassana Pagoda contains the world’s largest stone dome built without any supporting pillars. The height of the dome is approximately 29 m, while the height of the building is 96.12 m, which is twice the size of the previously largest hollow stone monument in the world, the Gol Gumbaz Dome in Bijapur, India. The external diameter of the largest section of the dome is 97.46 m and the shorter sections are 94.82 m. The internal diameter of the dome is 85.15 m. The inside of the pagoda is hollow and serves as a very large meditation hall with an area covering more than 6000 m2. The massive inner dome seats over 8000 people enabling them to practice the non-sectarian Vipassana meditation as taught by Mr S.N. Goenka and now being practiced in over 100 countries.
The aim of the pagoda complex is, among others, to express gratitude to Gautama Buddha for dispensing what followers believe is a universal teaching for the eradication of suffering, to educate the public about the life and teaching of the Buddha, and to provide a place for the practice of meditation. 10-day vipassana meditation courses are held free of charge at the meditation centre that is part of the Global Vipassana Pagoda complex.
1. The information was edited from Wikipedia, URL: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_Vipassana_Pagoda
2. Official web site, URL: https://www.globalpagoda.org/
3. Vipassanā is a Pāḷi word meaning insight or inward vision and is sought during meditation.