Sunday Observer Online


Sunday, 8 November 2009





Marriage Proposals
Government Gazette

Sacred Relics exposition in Darjeeling

It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the people of the Hills, especially the Buddhists. The ashes of the Buddha have been brought to Darjeeling from Bodh Gaya and will be on display for the common people from Saturday to Monday at the Gorkha Ranga Manch, near Mall Road.

The Dharma Chakra Committee (DCC) of Darjeeling brought the casket containing the Relics of the Buddha to the Druk-Sa-Ngag Choeling monastery near Dali on Friday. The ashes of His first disciples Sariputra and Maha Mogallana have also been brought.

Though many Buddhists make a pilgrimage to Bodh Gaya, where Buddha was Enlightened, few know that His ashes are also preserved. “This is a big opportunity for those who cannot make it to Bodh Gaya, to take Buddha’s blessings,” said Gautam Tamang, Joint Secretary of DCC. The casket containing Buddha’s ashes was discovered in 1930 by the Archaeological Department of Sri Lanka during the excavation of the Mahiangana Stupa. It had been taken to the Mullegamma Temple at Asgiriya in Kandy. At the request of the Maha Bodhi Society of India’s Buddhagaya Centre, it was brought to the Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi Vihara to commemorate the 2550th Buddha Jayanti in 2006. Since then, it has been kept there.

On Friday afternoon, the caskets were brought to Darjeeling from New Jalpaiguri station amidst tight security. This is the first time the ashes of Buddha and His disciples will be on display.

“It is a blessing for us Buddhists,” said Tshering Dorjee, member of the Maha Bodhi Society Committee.

The intricately-designed caskets which are shaped like stupas are made of gold and adorned with precious stones and gems.

The Lamas of Dali monastery performed a pooja before unveiling the caskets, which were wrapped in red and yellow cloth. On Saturday, the caskets will be thrown open for the public.

After Darjeeling, the caskets will be taken to Triratna Buddhist Monastery near Salbari in Sukna for display. From there, they will be taken back to Bodh Gaya on November 13.

-Times of India



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