Buddha relics enshrined in the world’s highest stupa

May 10th, 2009 - 4:37 pm ICT by ANI  

Shaan New Delhi, May 10 (ANI): A finger bone believed to belong to the founder of Buddhism was enshrined in a 148-meter-high stupa, the world’s highest, in an ancient temple in northwest China’s Shaanxi province.

The grand ceremony started on Saturday in the Famen Temple, Fufeng County, where a sarira, thought to be the middle finger of the left hand of Sakyamuni, was found in 1987 in a 1,000-year-old underground hall along with 2,000 ancient relics.

Senior monks carried the finger bone sarira past 20,000 people gathered to see the ceremony, concealed in a golden pagoda-shaped container, Xinhua reported.

The sarira was put into an underground sanctum in the stupa. It would be presented to the public on significant dates or events, said Zeng Qin, vice chairman of the Provincial Buddhist Association.

“The enshrinement of Buddha’s finger bone proceeded according to Buddhist rituals,” said Xue Cheng, vice chairman of the China Buddhist Association.

According to historical records, the sarira had been kept in the underground sanctum in Famen Temple since 874 in the Tang Dynasty, before it was taken out in 1987.

Since then, the temple, 118 kilometers from the provincial capital of Xi’an, has become a holy place for Buddhists from around the world.

According to the provincial tourism bureau, the temple has received about 10 million visitors over the past 20 years. (ANI)

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