Kapilvastu Relics

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Overview:

Four bone fragments of Lord Buddha, also known as Kapilvastu Relics, presently kept in the National Museum will be taken to Thailand after about 30 years.

About Kapilvastu Relics

  • The relics were excavated from Piprahwa in the Siddharthnagar District of Uttar Pradesh, an erstwhile part of the ancient city of Kapilavastu.
  • A British colonial engineer and an estate manager William Claxton Peppé discovered an inscribed casket in 1898 at the stupa site in Piprahwa.
  • The inscription on the casket’s lid refers to the relics of Buddha and his community, the Sakya.
  • History
    • At the age of 80, according to Buddhist beliefs, Buddha attained salvation in Uttar Pradesh’s Kushinagar district.
    • The Mallas of Kushinagar cremated his body with ceremonies befitting a universal king.
    • His relics from the funeral pyre were collected and divided into eight shares to be distributed among the Ajathsatrus of Magadha, the Licchavis of Vaishali, the Sakyas of Kapilavastu, Mallas of Kushinagar, Bullies of Allakappa, the Mallas of Pava, the Koliyas of Ramagrama and a Brahmana of Vethadipa.
    • The purpose was erecting stupas over the sacred relics.
    • Two more stupas came up — one over the urn in which the relics had been collected and the other over the embers.
    • Thus, stupas erected over the bodily relics of Buddha (Saririkastupas) are the earliest surviving Buddhist shrines.
    • It is stated that Ashoka (circa 272–232 BCE) being an ardent follower of Buddhism, opened -up seven of these eight stupas, and collected major portion of the relics for enshrinement within innumerable (84000 stupas) built by him in an effort to popularize Buddhism and spread dharma.

Q1) What is Buddhism?

It is one of the world's largest religions and originated 2,500 years ago in India. Buddhists believe that human life is one of suffering, and that meditation, spiritual and physical labor, and good behavior are the ways to achieve enlightenment, or nirvana.

Source: After 30 yrs, Buddha relics to travel to Thailand