Relics of buddha from the Supreme Patriarch of Thailand

Buddhist relics – The ashes of spiritual Masters

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Śarīra is a generic term referring to Buddhist relics, although in common usage it usually refers to pearl or crystal-like bead-shaped objects that are purportedly found among the cremated ashes of Buddhist spiritual masters.

Relics of the Buddha after cremation are termed dhātu in the Mahaparinibbana Sutta.

Śarīra are held to emanate or incite ‘blessings’ and ‘grace’ within the mindstream and experience of those connected to them.

Sarira are also believed to ward off evil in the Himalayan Buddhist tradition.

Buddhist relics & where to find them

This is a list of well known Buddhist relics and where to find them.

Sanchi

Stupa is a Buddhist complex, famous for its Great Stupa, on a hilltop at Sanchi Town in Raisen District of the State of Madhya Pradesh, India. It is located in 46 kilometres (29 mi) north-east of Bhopal, capital of Madhya Pradesh. The Great Stupa at Sanchi is one of the oldest stone structures in India, and an important monument of Indian Architecture. It was originally commissioned by the emperor Ashoka in the 3rd century BCE. Its nucleus was a simple hemispherical brick structure built over the relics of the Buddha. It was crowned by the chhatri, a parasol-like structure symbolising high rank, which was intended to honour and shelter the relics. The original construction work of this stupa was overseen by Ashoka, whose wife Devi was the daughter of a merchant of nearby Vidisha. Sanchi was also her birthplace as well as the venue of her and Ashoka’s wedding. In the 1st century BCE, four elaborately carved toranas and a balustrade encircling the entire structure were added. The Sanchi Stupa built during Mauryan period was made of bricks. The composite flourished until the 11th century.

Borobudur

, also transcribed Barabudur is a 9th-century Mahayana Buddhist temple in Magelang Regency, not far from the town of Muntilan, in Central Java, Indonesia. It is the world’s largest Buddhist temple. The temple consists of nine stacked platforms, six square and three circular, topped by a central dome. It is decorated with 2,672 relief panels and originally 504 Buddha statues. The central dome is surrounded by 72 Buddha statues, each seated inside a perforated stupa.

Sokushinbutsu

(即身仏) are a kind of Buddhist mummy. The term refers to the practice of Buddhist monks observing asceticism to the point of death and entering mummification while alive. They are seen in a number of Buddhist countries, but the Japanese term “sokushinbutsu” is generally used.

Relic of the tooth of the Buddha

The Relic of the tooth of Buddha is venerated in Sri Lanka as a relic of Gautama Buddha, on whose teachings was founded.

Ramagrama stupa

is a stupa located in Ramgram Municipality, in the Nawalparasi District of Nepal. This Buddhist pilgrimage site, which was constructed some 2500 years ago, contains relics of Gautama Buddha.

Śarīra

Śarīra is a generic term referring to Buddhist relics, although in common usage it usually refers to pearl or crystal-like bead-shaped objects that are purportedly found among the cremated ashes of Buddhist spiritual masters. Relics of the Buddha after cremation are termed dhātu in the Mahaparinibbana Sutta. Śarīra are held to emanate or incite ‘blessings’ and ‘grace’ within the mindstream and experience of those connected to them. Sarira are also believed to ward off evil in the Himalayan Buddhist tradition.

Global Vipassana Pagoda

The is a Meditation Dome Hall with a capacity to seat around 8,000 Vipassana meditators near Gorai, North-west of Mumbai, India. The Pagoda was inaugurated by Pratibha Patil, then President of India on 8 February 2009. It is built on donated land on a peninsula between Gorai creek and the Arabian Sea. The pagoda is to serve as a monument of peace and harmony. The Global Vipassana Pagoda has been built out of gratitude to Sayagyi U Ba Khin, Vipassana teacher and the first Accountant-General of Independent Burma, who was instrumental in Vipassana returning to India, the country of its origin.

Dhamek Stupa

is a massive stupa located at Sarnath, 13 km away from Varanasi in the state of Uttar Pradesh, India.

Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and Museum

The is a Buddhist temple and museum complex located in the Chinatown district of Singapore. The temple’s monastics and devotees officially practice Chinese Buddhism.

Temple of the Tooth

The Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic or Sri Dalada Maligawa, is a Buddhist temple in Kandy, Sri Lanka. It is located in the royal palace complex of the former Kingdom of Kandy, which houses the . Since ancient times, the relic has played an important role in local politics because it is believed that whoever holds the relic holds the governance of the country. The relic was historically held by Sinhalese kings. The is a World Heritage Site mainly due to the temple and the relic.

Sule Pagoda

The is a Burmese stupa located in the heart of downtown Yangon, occupying the centre of the city and an important space in contemporary Burmese politics, ideology and geography. According to legend, it was built before the during the time of the Buddha, making it more than 2,600 years old. Burmese legend states that the site for the Shwedagon Pagoda was asked to be revealed from an old nat who resided at the place where the Sule Pagoda now stands.

Tongdosa

is a head temple of the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism and in the southern part of Mt. Chiseosan near Yangsan, South Gyeongsang Province, South Korea.

Uppatasanti Pagoda

Uppātasanti Pagoda is a prominent landmark in Naypyidaw, the capital of Myanmar. The pagoda houses a Buddha tooth relic from China. It is nearly a same-sized replica of Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon and stands 99 metres (325 ft) tall.

Shwedagon Pagoda

The Shwedagon Pagoda ; Mon: ကျာ်ဒဂုၚ်; officially named Shwedagon Zedi Daw and also known as the Great Dagon Pagoda and the Golden Pagoda is a gilded stupa located in Yangon, Myanmar.

Shitennō-ji is a Buddhist temple in Ōsaka, Japan. It is also known as Arahaka-ji, Nanba-ji, or Mitsu-ji. The temple is sometimes regarded as the first Buddhist and oldest officially-administered temple in Japan, although the temple complex and buildings have been rebuilt over the centuries, with the last reconstruction taking place in 1963. It is the head temple of the Wa Sect of Buddhism.

Wat Chetawan

is a Thai temple in Petaling District, Selangor, Malaysia. The temple is situated at Jalan Pantai, off Jalan Gasing in Petaling Jaya. It was built in 1957 and officiated by the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej, the King of Thailand at the time. The temple is also the only Malaysian Siamese temple which has been chosen as the custodian of the Buddha sacred relics for all Malaysian Buddhists that are parts of the ancient relics discovered in Piprahwa, a village in Uttar Pradesh near the border of the Kingdom of Nepal in 1898 which were presented to King Chulalongkorn of Siam by the then British Viceroy of India, Lord Curzon.

Sangha Tenzin

Lama was a Buddhist monk. He is thought to have died in the 1500s. His remains are preserved as a mummy, which was discovered in 1975 in Gue, a small town in the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. Tenzin’s tomb was established in the village near the Line of Actual Control (LOC) in the Spiti Valley. His body is the only mummy of a Buddhist monk in India that was naturally mummified (self-mummification). However, the mummy was buried in an earthquake, leading the body to be rediscovered by ITBP personnel in 2004 when they were constructing roads in the area. When found, the body was naturally preserved in a thick glass box without the use of chemical preservatives.

Wat Phra That Doi Suthep

is a Theravada Buddhist temple (wat) in Chiang Mai Province, Thailand. The temple is often referred to as “Doi Suthep” although this is actually the name of the mountain where it’s located. It is a sacred site to many Thai people. The temple is 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) from the city of Chiang Mai and situated at an elevation of 1,073 meters. From the temple, impressive views of downtown Chiang Mai can be seen.

Relics of Sariputta and Moggallana

Sariputra and Mahamoggallana were the two chief disciples of Gautama Buddha, and died within two weeks of one another, after which they were cremated and their relics kept. After a period, the relics were lost to civilisation.

Relics associated with Buddha

According to Mahaparinibbana Sutta, after his death, the Buddha was cremated and the ashes divided among his followers.

Allakappa

was, in Buddhist tradition, one of the eight republics to whom were given the relics of the Buddha upon his death, or Parinirvana.

Nittai-ji

Kakuōzan is a Buddhist temple located in the city of Nagoya, Aichi prefecture, Japan. It was built in 1904 in order to keep the ashes of Buddha, given to Japan by the Kingdom of Thailand. ”覚王” literally means “Enlightenment King,” referring to the Buddha, and “日泰” means Japan and the Kingdom of Thailand in Japanese.

Qixia Temple

is a Buddhist temple located on Qixia Mountain in the suburban Qixia District of Nanjing, Jiangsu, 22 kilometres (14 mi) northeast of downtown Nanjing. It is one of Nanjing’s most important Buddhist monasteries. The temple is the cradle of East Asian Mādhyamaka.

Famen Temple

is a Buddhist temple located in Famen town, Fufeng County, 120 kilometers west of Xi’an, Shaanxi, China. It was widely regarded as the “ancestor of pagoda temples in Guanzhong”.

Buddha Dhatu Jadi

The is located close to Balaghata town, in Bandarban City, in Bangladesh. Dhatu are the material remains of a holy person, and in this temple the relics belong to Buddha. It is the largest Theravada Buddhist temple in Bangladesh and has the second-largest Buddha statue in the country.

Buddha footprint

The footprint of the Buddha is an imprint of Gautama Buddha’s foot or both feet. There are two forms: natural, as found in stone or rock, and those made artificially. Many of the “natural” ones are acknowledged not to be genuine footprints of the Buddha, but rather replicas or representations of them, which can be considered cetiya and also an early aniconic and symbolic representation of the Buddha.

Buddhist mummies

, also called flesh body bodhisattvas, full body sariras, or living buddhas (Sokushinbutsu) refer to the bodies of Buddhist monks and nuns that remain incorrupt, without any traces of deliberate mummification by another party. Many were destroyed or lost to history. In 2015, the Hungarian Natural History Museum exhibited a Buddhist mummy hidden inside a statue of Buddha, during its first tour outside China.

Bulguksa

is located on the slopes of Mount Toham. It is a head temple of the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism and encompasses six National treasures of South Korea, including the Dabotap and Seokgatap stone pagodas, Cheongun-gyo, and two gilt-bronze statues of Buddha. The temple is classified as Historic and Scenic Site No. 1 by the South Korean government. In 1995, Bulguksa was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List together with the Seokguram Grotto, which lies four kilometers to the east.

Cetiya

Cetiya, “reminders” or “memorials”, are objects and places used by Theravada Buddhists to remember Gautama Buddha. According to Damrong Rajanubhab, four kinds are distinguished in the Pāli Canon: “Relic [Dhatu], Memorial [Paribhoga], Teaching [Dhamma], and votive [Udesaka].” Griswold, in contrast, states that three are traditional and the fourth, the Buddha Dhamma, was added later to remind monks that the true memory of Gautama Buddha can be found in his teachings. While these can be broadly called Buddhist symbolism, the emphasis tends to be on a historical connection to the Buddha and not a metaphysical one.

Dāṭhavaṃsa is a Pali chronicle attributed to Dhammakitti Thero. It is sometimes titled in English as “The History of the Tooth Relic” and contains histories and popular traditions associated with the Relic of the tooth of the Buddha. This relic is currently enshrined at the Temple of the Tooth in Kandy, Sri Lanka.

Giác Lâm Temple is a historic Buddhist temple in Ho Chi Minh City, the largest city in Vietnam. Built in 1744, it is one of the oldest temples in the city. It was officially listed as a historical site by the Vietnamese Department of Culture on November 16, 1988 under Decision 1288 VH/QD. The temple is located at 118 Lạc Long Quân, in the 23rd ward of Tân Bình district, in the Phú Thọ Hòa region of the city. It stands on Cẩm Sơn, and is also known as Cẩm Đệm and Sơn Can.

Pha That Luang

is a gold-covered large Buddhist stupa in the centre of the city of Vientiane, Laos. Since its initial establishment, suggested to be in the 3rd century AD, the stupa has undergone several reconstructions as recently as the 1930s due to foreign invasions of the area. It is generally regarded as the most important national monument in Laos and a national symbol.

Hōryū-ji is a Buddhist temple that was once one of the powerful Seven Great Temples, in Ikaruga, Nara Prefecture, Japan. Its full name is Hōryū Gakumonji (法隆学問寺), or Learning Temple of the Flourishing Law, the complex serving as both a seminary and monastery.

Kaylartha Pagoda

is a Buddhist Pagoda that sits atop the summit of Mount Kaylartha in Mon State, Myanmar. Local legend claims that at the foot of Kaylartha Mountain sat the ancient Kingdom of the Gold.

Kyaikhtisaung Pagoda

is a Buddhist pagoda in Bilin, Mon State, Myanmar.

Kyaiktiyo Pagoda

is a well-known Buddhist pilgrimage site in Mon State, Burma. It is a small pagoda built on the top of a granite boulder covered with gold leaves pasted on by its male devotees.

Mahindarama Buddhist Temple

is a Sri Lankan temple situated in Jalan Kampar of George Town of Penang in Malaysia. It is the sole and the oldest Malaysian Sri Lankan temple in the state which is also one of the few temples in Malaysia where the Buddha’s relics are stored. The temple became a focal point for the Candle Lighting Day and the annual Wesak festival within the city suburb.

Asuka-dera

(飛鳥寺), also known as Hōkō-ji (法興寺), is a Buddhist temple in Asuka, Nara. Asuka-dera is regarded as one of the oldest temples in Japan.

Zinkyaik Pagoda

is a Buddha Hair Relic Pagoda on top of Zinkyaik Mountain in Mon State, Myanmar.

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