Four holy relics of Lord Buddha from Kapilvastu placed at Gandan Monastery in Mongolia
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Four sacred relics of Lord Buddha were kept at the Gandan Monastery in Mongolia from Kapilvastu, India, to mark the Mongolian Buddha Purnima celebrated on June 14.
Four sacred Kapilavastu relics brought from India by a delegation led by Union Law and Justice Minister Kiren Rijiju, and other relics from Mongolia will be displayed at Gandan for Buddhist devotees to visit till June 24.
Four holy relics from India were brought to Mongolia on 13 June.
A 25-member delegation led by Law and Justice Minister Kiren Rijiju has arrived in Mongolia with the holy relics.
The main Buddha statue at Gandan Monastery was gifted to the people of Mongolia by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2015 and was installed in 2018.
The Kapilvastu relic is one of the 22 special relics housed in the National Museum of the Ministry of Culture.
What are the holy relics?
According to Buddhist belief, Buddha attained salvation at the age of 80 in Kushinagar (Uttar Pradesh).
The Mallas of Kushinagar performed his last rites as a universal king.
The relics from the funeral pyre were collected and divided into eight shares.
It was distributed among the Licchavis of Vaishali, Sakyas of Kapilavastu, Ajathsatrus of Magadha, Mallas of Kushinagar, Mallas of Pava, Bullies of Allakappa, Koliyas of Ramagrama and a Brahmana of Vethadipa.
Its purpose was to build stupas over the sacred relics.
The stupas over the bodily remains of Buddha (Sarrika Stupa) are the oldest surviving sacred places of Buddhism.
Ashoka (272-232 BCE), an ardent follower of Buddhism, is believed to have built seven stupas.
The discovery of an inscribed coffin at the stupa site at Piprahwa (near Siddharthnagar in Uttar Pradesh) helped identify ancient Kapilavastu.
The inscription on top of the coffin mentions the relics of the Buddha and his community, the Shakyas.
Records from the Union Ministry of Culture show that this discovery was followed by several explorations.
The excavation of the stupa by the Archaeological Survey of India in 1971-77 led to the discovery of two other relic coffins containing 22 sacred bone remains, which are now under the supervision of the National Museum.
This was followed by the discovery of more than 40 terracotta ceilings which establish that Piprahwa was the ancient city of Kapilvastu.
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