Tag Archives: Relics

Film Review: Bones of the Buddha (Icon Films 2013)

Jeffrey Martin
24 May 2013


If you have read Charles Allen’s The Buddha and Dr Fuhrer (2011), you will be familiar with the content of this recent documentary from Icon Films.  It sets out the story of the Piprahwa stupa, its discovery in 1897 in the Indian terrai by an amateur English archeologist, and the controversy over the stupa’s contents and the claim that these included relics of the historical Buddha.  The book was rather tedious reading, but credit goes to Allen for laying out all the facts in the case.  The film moves at a much brisker pace and is narrated by the author himself.

The controversy surrounds Dr Fuhrer, at the time England’s only full-time archeologist in India, who — at about the time he visited Piprahwa — was exposed for having created fake documents and enabling the sale of bogus artifacts.   None of those misdeeds was in fact connected with Piprahwa, but the air of suspicious has not been easy to clear, and has clouded questions about the stupa’s contents. Continue reading

“Bones of The Buddha” explores one of the most significant religious finds in history

Media Update
7 May 2013

When workers stumble upon an ancient Indian tomb in 1898, they uncover one of the most amazing discoveries in Buddhist history: a huge stone coffer containing stone jars and urns, over 1000 separate jewels – as well as ash and bone.

One of the jars has an inscription indicating that these are the remains of the Buddha himself. But the most extraordinary find in Indian archaeology has been marred in doubt and scandal for over 100 years. For some, the whole thing is an elaborate hoax. For others, it is the final resting place of the messiah of one of the world’s great religions. Continue reading

Patna Museum Buddha relics a money-spinner

The Times of India
Parul Pandey
Apr 3, 2013

PATNA: The Patna Museum, one of the proud possessors of Buddha’s relics since 1972, earns around Rs 5 lakh every year from the visitors coming to pay homage to Buddha.

From March 2012 to March 2013, as many as 348 domestic and 880 foreigner tourists bought entry tickets to see the relics casket made of soapstone (steatite), making the museum richer by over Rs 4.7 lakh last year.

“The holy relic, kept in special temperature and humidity controlled room under 24×7 monitoring of CCTV at Patna Museum, was found in the centre of lowest mud layer of the stupa at Vaishali at the northern end of village Baniya near the Ruksoviya tank during an extensive excavation carried out by noted archaeologist late A S Altekar in 1958 to 1961,” museum additional director Jai Prakash Narayan said. Continue reading

Korea: Pieces of storied pagoda’s history unearthed

Korean Joongang Daily
By Kim Hyung-eun
Apr 03,2013

People gather to witness the removal of the caskets that allegedly contain Buddha’s sarira at the Three Storied Stone Pagoda at Bulguk Temple in Gyeongju, North Gyeongsang. [NEWSIS]

GYEONGJU, North Gyeongsang – Yesterday marked a historic day for Korea’s Buddhist community as well as professionals, students and fans of history, cultural properties and archaeology.

The core of the eighth-century Three Storied Stone Pagoda in the Bulguk Temple (also called Bulguksa Temple) here was unveiled for the first time in almost 50 years.

As part of the ongoing, wholescale restoration of Korea’s National Treasure No. 21, a group of caskets containing what is alleged to be Buddha’s sarira and placed in the middle of the pagoda was removed in a special ceremony yesterday afternoon. Continue reading

Tibetan spiritual leader gifts Buddha Relic to Sri Lanka

Asia Tribune
Colombo, 06 April 2013

The Gyalwang Drupka, spiritual head of the Drupka Order of Tibetan Buddhism, presented to President Mahinda Rajapaksa a bone relic of the Buddha as a gift to Sri Lanka.

Tibetan Spiritual Leader Dyalwang Drupka Gifts Buddha Relic to Sri Lanka (Pix By : Sudath Silva)

“We now leave in your devotional hands one of our most priceless treasures,” the Gyalwang Drupka said while making a request to President Rajapaksa to construct a monument to house the relics. Continue reading

S Korea: Sarira Buddhist relics put on display

Dong-A Ilbo
APRIL 03, 2013 09:22

People raised their voices as they recited Buddhist scripture. Tourists gathered one after the other while some held hands and took a deep bow to pray.

When children playing in front of Daewoongjeon, or the main building, of the Buddhist temple Bulguk, stopped moving, “okgaeseok,” or a stone roof covering the pagoda, was slowly lifted. “Sarigong,” or a container for storing “sarira,” a small crystal from the cremated remains of monks, in the temple`s three-story pagoda “Seokgatap” in Gyeongju, North Gyeongsang Province, has been unveiled.

The Gyeongju Stone Cultural Heritage Repair Task Force under the National Research Institute of Cultural Heritage on Tuesday dismantled the stone lid over the sarira hole (41×19 centimeters) on the second level of the pagoda, National Treasure No. 21, and pulled out “sarijangeomgu (sarira and its container).” Sarira and its container, which were stored anew in sarigong in 1966 when the pagoda was dismantled and repaired, have been displayed to the public in 47 years. Continue reading

Followers Claim Rare “Buddha’s Tooth” With Healing Powers Continues to Grow

NBC San Diego
By Heather Navarro
Tuesday, Apr 2, 2013

Hundreds have flocked to a Rosemead temple to pray before what they say is Buddha’s tooth, a reportedly ancient relic

Rare "Buddha's Tooth" Continues to Grow

Hundreds flocked to a Buddhist temple in Rosemead to view a 2,500-year-old still-growing tooth believed to have belonged to Buddha himself, a monk at the Lu Mountain Temple said.

Hundreds of followers have flocked to a Buddhist temple in Southern California to view what is claimed to be a still-growing, 2-inch-long molar with healing powers that belonged to Buddha himself. Continue reading

Rosemead, California: Never-before-seen Buddhist relics displayed

San Gabriel Valley Tribune
By Brian Day, Staff Writer

Tooth from the Buddha himself among priceless relics

Dharma Master YongHua shows a crowd hair shariras on display at Lu Mountain Temple in Rosemead, Calif., Sunday, March 31, 2013. Several shariras were made available for viewing to the public including a rare Shakyamuni Buddha tooth relic measuring about two inches in height. (SGVN/Correspondent photo by Anibal Ortiz)

Dharma Master YongHua places a tooth relic of Shakyamuni Buddha on the table
at Lu Mountain Temple in Rosemead, Calif., Sunday, March 31, 2013. (SGVN/Correspondent photo by Anibal Ortiz)

The largest collection of Buddhist relics in the United States, including a priceless tooth of the Buddha himself, recently donated to a Rosemead temple was on display Sunday for a public sneak preview.

Most of the sacred, 2,500-year-old relics had never been viewed publicly prior to Sunday’s unveiling at the Lu Mountain Temple, Dharma Master YongHua said. Future plans are to enshrine the relics in a “stupa,” or monument, for permanent display. Continue reading

Events in Connecticut

Events in Connecticut
New York Times
WESTPORT Westport Unitarian Church “Maitreya Project Relic Tour,” Buddhist works. Friday through Nov. 8. Donations accepted. Westport Unitarian Church