Characteristics of a Stupa
Found in all Buddhist countries, stupas are the archetypal symbol of the enlightened mind. Even just seeing a stupa brings immense benefit. Stupas are a way to plant the seed of enlightenment and peace in the minds of all who see them, human or animal, Buddhist or non-Buddhist.
Inside each stupa are mantras and relics of holy beings that create incredible purification, merit, and blessings. These relics and mantras create the cause for so many sentient beings to be purified just by seeing, touching or making offerings to the stupa; this includes all the insects that come in contact with it.
Stupas are an antidote for war, famine, and disease and are also extremely powerful for health and healing. You can visualize white healing light coming from the stupa, purifying you of your sickness, as you circumambulate and chant mantras. If you are facing death the best thing to do is circumambulate a stupa.
By actually building a stupa or statue, without words you are continually liberating many sentient beings – every day, anybody who sees, touches (including insects that touch the stupa), remembers, talks or dreams about the stupa plants the seed of enlightenment and purifies delusions and negative karma. When the wind touches a stupa, the wind becomes blessed and then wherever it goes and whoever it touches is liberated from the lower realms, by purifying their negative karma. When the rain falls on the stupa, that running water liberates any being it touches, all the worms in the ground etc., from the lower realms. The same is true of dust.