Monday, June 14, 2010

Buddha Relic Enshrined In China

A Buddhist ceremony was held at the Qixia Temple in Nanjing on June 12 to unveil the most sacred Buddhist scull relic ever found in China. The relic was found in a former temple site and is believed to be a part of the skull of Sakyamuni, the founder of Buddhism. All the relics were enshrined at Qixia Temple by 108 eminent Buddhist monks from the Chinese mainland, Macao and Taiwan. The name of the ceremony is " Relics Rediscovered in Time of Peace and Prosperity".

This Buddhist relic which has been hidden underground for more than 1000 years, is now out for the first time. Archeologists document the entire process with photographs and videos.

It is from a miniature gold coffin. The relic is believed to be the only known part of the skull of the Supreme Buddha Sakyamuni in the world. Buddhist relics are the highest spiritual objects in Buddhism, they are the evidence of Buddha's enlightenment. The casket, in which the relics known as "sarirars" (parts of the body of Buddha) were preserved in two different boxes, was opened amid chanting of hymns by the monks. The casket made of gold, silver and sandalwood was found among scattered objects in an underground chamber. The relics were kept carefully in a small box made of gold, which also contained a bottle of perfume.

To ensure the safety of the treasures, the ceremony was held under heavy security; the indoor temperature was maintained at 20 C, and humidity between 55 and 60 percent.

According to Buddhist scriptures, Emperor Ashoka collected all of Sakyamuni's (other name of Buddha) sarira, stored them in miniature pagoda-shaped shrines, before sending them to different parts of the world. The pagoda that contains this Buddha's relic was unearthed two years ago in an underground palace built in 1011 at the former Changgan Temple in Nanjing.

China is believed to have received 19 of them. Search is on for the rest. These caskets were not opened fearing bad luck.

Seeing the relics is like seeing the Buddha and it promotes good virtue

( The parietal bone of the Buddha )

The unearthed pagoda that contains the relics