PIYUSH KUMAR TRIPATHI
Patna, Aug. 10: Strong voices are now being raised from the state to bring back the 400kg greenish-grey bowl kept at National Museum of Afghanistan in Kabul to Vaishali, which is being claimed to be its place of origin.
The bowl, considered to be one of the most revered relics in Buddhism across the globe, was supposedly used by Gautam Buddha as a “daanpatra” (alms bowl) during his stay in Vaishali.
Art, culture and youth affairs department minister Vinay Bihari said today that the state government would extend its support to the central government in establishing the provenance of the bowl in Vaishali.
Veteran RJD leader and former Vaishali MP Raghuvansh Prasad Singh has written a letter to chief minister Jitan Ram Manjhi, asking him to write to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to initiate steps to bring back the bowl.
The Telegraph yesterday reported that archaeologists have lately found strong evidences to prove that the bowl was made in the 6th century BC in Vaishali, and taken to Kandahar (then Gandhar) in Afghanistan by the first century Kushan emperor Kanishka.
“It is known to the entire world that Gautam Buddha frequented Vaishali and he even gave his last sermon there only. We would keep a close watch on how things unfold with regard to the ASI’s final report on this. If necessary, the state archaeology directorate would also provide its findings with regard to Vaishali being the place of origin for the artefact,” Bihari said.
Raghuvansh, who lost the general election from Vaishali this year, said today: “When I had raised the question in Parliament in 2011 and again last year, I was told that the ASI would assess the provenance first and then only take any step for bringing it back to Vaishali would be made.”
Historians have also hailed the claims of the bowl having originated at Vaishali. “Kanishka came from Purushpura (modern day Peshawar) to Pataliputra (modern Patna). He took a scholar from Pataliputra to Vaishali, and got the bowl carried back to his capital,” said Jai Deo Mishra, professor, department of ancient history and archaeology, Patna University.