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The Pagoda

The Pagoda, or Temple Tower, is approximately 90 feet high at its tallest point. The covering of the roof is made of pure copper. The first floor of the pagoda contains niches to hold the urns of deceased members.

According to Buddhist legend, when Sakyamuni Buddha entered Nirvana, his body was cremated at Kusinara. Seven of the neighboring rulers, under the leadership of King Ajatasattu, demanded the ashes be divided among them. At first, the king refused their demands and a dispute ensued, threatening to end in war. But a wise man named Dona intervened and the crisis passed. The ashes were divided and enshrined in eight great stupas in India. The ashes of the funeral pyre and the earthen jar that contained the remains were given to two other rulers to be likewise honored. Because of the enshrinements, followers came to worship and pay homage to these stupas, also called pagodas, which later became a symbol of the spiritual image of the Buddha.

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