Architecturally, the World Center stands out among Lumbini’s other monasteries with its thoughtful blending of modern and traditional styles. Its central location highlights its significance among them.
The World Center’s shape, designed by Rinpoche himself, is based on the Stupa of Shariputra at the ancient site of Nalanda Buddhist University. Four towers—one at each corner of the Stupa—symbolize that the Stupa is embraced and protected by the blessings of the four immeasurable thoughts: loving kindness, compassion, joy and equanimity.
Just inside the Great Stupa, statues of Buddha Shakyamuni and other Buddhas and Bodhisattvas are enshrined in the Main Hall. Encircling it, a unique indoor Circumambulation Corridor enables practitioners to circumambulate the stupa, regardless of weather.
On the dome, the wisdom eyes of the Buddha gaze in all four directions. The thirteen levels of enlightenment and sacred symbols such as the precious umbrella and the victorious banner will also be engraved there.
Construction of the World Center began in 2006 and was completed in 2011. Throughout the construction period, Rinpoche himself paid close attention to every detail, instituting some novel structural features. As a precaution against earthquakes, Rinpoche required the structural strength of the building be increased. For the outer walls, a double-layer system was adopted to suit the local weather conditions and to save costs; this was the first time such a structure was built in the area. The structural beams are concealed within the floor system, helping to reduce heat in Nepal’s summer season, as well as to provide a better view of the inner portion of the dome.
The Buddha once said, “Whoever sees, hears (the sound of bells of a stupa) or is touched by the breeze (that blows across a stupa) will gain ultimate liberation.” By prostrating, circumambulating, keeping the environment clean, or making offerings to the World Center, we can accumulate tremendous and countless merits.