The Great Self Arisen Caitya of Nepal


The blessed Svayambhu Mahacaitya, one of Asia’s greatest Buddhist monuments, has a glorious past that encompasses the whole of Nepalese history. Venerated by the Buddhas, by kings and by faithful devotees throughout the Himalayas, Svayambhü’s reputation as a power-place of inconceivable merit is legendary. In Sri Svayambhú Mahacaitya, every aspect of the grand Caitya’s heritage is laid out in detail: the stories of its origin, the records of its development, and the meanings of its profound Vajrayana sym-bolism.

Hem Raj Shakya’s magnum opus on the sacred site of Svayambhu is considered one of the most outstanding and comprehensive monographs on Buddhism written in the Newar language. It is presented here, for the first time, in a faithful English translation by Min Bahadur Shakya. Also included are a number of rare and up-to-date photographs sourced especially for this edition. Sri Svayambhu Mahacaitya is essential reading for those with an interest in Nepal and its unique artistic and religious heritage.


Born in the family of Shakyas in the year 1926, Hem Raj Shakya is a scholar of Newar Buddhism and epigraphy.He learned ancient seripts from Guru Todarananda. Altogether seventy books and booklets based on research works are published.

Some of his important publications are Nepal lipi Sangraha, 1953; Bouddha Vihar Va Grantha Suchi, 1957; Nepal Sanskritiya Mulukha, 1969; Lichchavin Abhilekha Prakasha, 1970; Colophons and Inscriptions, 1079; Bouddha Stupa Itibas, 1971; Mayur Vara Mahavibar Itibas, 1973; Nepal Lipi Prakasha, 1973; Manigal Raj Prasad, 1984; Suayamblu Mahachaitya, 1978; Document from the Rudravarna Maha Vihar, 1980; Samyak Mahadan Guthi, 1980;

He served in the government office as a Script Expert in the Department of Archaeology, 1956-83. He established under self-sponsor-ship Hemraj Sirapa and Hemraj Habpal, Sirapa (prizes), in 1991. He was awarded hon. Gorkha Dakshin Babu VS 1967; Shrestha Sirapa for Nepal Sanskritiya Mulukha, 1969 and for Suayambhu Mabachaitya, 1981; two gold medals for to publications: Mayurvarna Mabavibarya Sanskipta Itibas, 1973, and Manigal Raj Prasad, 1974; Mabendra Pragya Puraskara, 1986; Ganesha Man Singh Pratisthan Pinaskar, 1998. He was honoured as Bhasha Thusal by Nepal Bhasha Parishad, 1990.


Min Bahadur Shakya is a scholar of Newar and Tibetan Buddhism. Among his major publications are “A Short History of Buddhism in Nepal”, 1984; “Introduction of Buddhist Monasteries of the Kathmandu Valley”, “Iconography of Nepalese Buddhism”, 1994; “Princess Bhrikuti Devi”, 1997; “Baudhnath Stupa”; “Sacred Art of Nepal”, 2000.

He was elected Vice President of World Fellowship of Buddhist Youth (WFBY) for the years 1984-88. He was appointed as Research Associate in Fo Kuang Shan Chinese Buddhist Research Academy (1989-90), Kaohsiung, Taiwan. In 1990, he was Buddhis Studies by instip if Foreign Affairs, Bhutan.

He is a Director of Nagarjuna Institute of Exact Methods, Chakupat, Lalitpur, since 1988. Since 2000, he is a visiting lecturer of Buddhist Philosophy and Religion in the Central Department of Buddhist Studies, Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu.

Currently he is a project-in-charge of Sanskrit Buddhist Canon Input Project sponsored by University of the West, Los Angeles, USA and Buddhist Nuns Education Project sponsored by Peabody Museum, Harvard University, USA. His fortheoming works – “Sacred Buddhist Shrines of Nepal” in English and a Newari translation of “Ksemen-dra’s Avadanakalpalata” are awaiting publication.

Additional information

Weight 2 kg