ACCORDING TO THE GELUGPA TRADITION
In the “Me tu giung we do Sutra”, Buddha explains:
“Ananda, the one who builds a stupa of the mahaparanirvana of the perfect Buddhas, of the Tathagata, of those who conquered every demon, even if this stupa were as tall as the fruit of a cherry plum, if the tree of life inside it were as thin as a needle, the umbrella like a juniper leaf, the statue the size of a barley seed, and the relics like a mustard seed, [building this stupa] would create merits much larger and greater than all those accumulated by the sons and daughters of noble lineage who, with profound devotion, created three hundred thousand universes composed of seven types of precious substances and offered them to great realized beings such as:
Those who are stream-enterers,
Those who are once-returners,
Those who are never-returners,
Those who are ‘destroyers of the enemy’, the arhat.”
And in the Ge nampar gepe do Sutra, speaking to the sons of the Brahmin Netzo, Buddha listed the eighteen merits connected with building a stupa:
You will be reborn in a royal family.
You will have a beautiful appearance.
Your speech will be melodious.
Other people will derive great joy from merely seeing you.
You will be learned in the five sciences.
You will have a pleasant and captivating personality.
You will become a support for everyone.
You will receive prayers from every direction.
You will have interest in the sounds and words of Dharma.
You will live happily.
You will be adored by humans and gods.
You will obtain great riches.
You will enjoy a long life.
All your wishes will be fulfilled.
Your meritorious activities and wisdom will increase.
You will have an indestructible body, like a vajra.
You will be reborn in superior states of existence.
You will rapidly reach the state of perfect awakening.