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Buddha relics to be displayed in Sikkim
Published on 25 Feb. 2010 12:07 AM IST
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The relics of Lord Buddha, where the Lord Buddha statue-cum-eco garden at Rabongla in South Sikkim is coming up, will be displayed at the Rabong Karma Thekchenling Duppai Gatsal monastery in the Mane Choekerling complex on February 27 and 28. The relics (known as Ringsel in local nomenclature) will be displayed for public visit during daytime on these two days, informed officer on special duty for Sakyamuni project Mr Topchen Takarpa. The display is timed with the annual Bhumchu ceremony at Tashiding Monastery in West Sikkim which falls on February 28. According to a report in UNI, Bhumchu, the holy water ceremony, an important religious calendar event in Sikkim is held on the 15th day of the first month of the lunar calendar. The relics had been offered by the 19th Supreme patriarch of Thailand and various other countries of Southeast Asia and abroad to the Sakyamuni project and brought to Rabong in November,2008. This is the first public display after the relics have been offered from various Southeast Asian countries to the Sakyamuni project and is presently housed at the Karma Thekchenling monastery before the completion of the Sakyamuni project. The relics will be kept at the under-construction 135 feet statue of Lord Buddha, the largest metal statue of Buddha in India after its completion. There are some 16 relics from various countries, including that offered by the 19th Supreme patriarch of Thailand. The Sakyamuni project is giving impetus to pilgrimage tourism with Rabong falling at the centre of major Buddhist cites in Sikkim. The ceremony of holy water distribution to the devotees at Tashiding in West Sikkim for the Bhumchu ceremony will begin in the early hours of Sunday, according to senior officials of the state ecclesiastical department. It may be recalled that 2006 marked the 2550th birth anniversary of Lord Buddha and the state government in a policy decision had declared to observe the anniversary throughout the year then. An initiative was taken by the people of Rabong to build a large statue of Lord Buddha there. It may be added here that after Lord Buddha’s body was cremated at Kushinara, the fragments that remained were divided into eight portions. These were sent to various kingdoms to be enshrined in stupas as per Buddhist convention. More than a hundred years later, Emperor Ashoka converted to Buddhism and to propagate the faith, he gathered all the relics. They were subsequently enshrined in 84,000 stupas across Buddhist Asia in what comprises many today. These relics are believed to possess miraculous powers of multiplication. The Buddha’s relics show people that enlightenment is possible and also promote good virtue.

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