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Sunday, August 19 , 2012 - 13.05 GMT
Sacred Kapilavastu Relics brought from India


The sacred Kapilawasthu relics brought to Sri Lanka from India after 34 years have been received by the Ven. Mahanayaka theros and President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the Bandaranaike International Airport today (19).

During the landmark State Visit of President Rajapaksa to India in June 2010, it was decided that the 2600th year of the attainment of enlightenment of Prince Siddharatha as Gautama Buddha (Sambuddhatva Jayanthi) will be commemorated by India and Sri Lanka through joint activities. Following this agreement, President Rajapaksa personally requested the Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, to afford Sri Lankan Buddhists an opportunity to pay homage to the sacred Kapilavastu Relics by allowing the Relics to be taken to Sri Lanka as a part of the commemoration of the 2600th year of the Sambuddhatva Jayanthi.

These Relics of the Gautama Buddha which are known to the world as the ‘Kapilavastu Relics’ are from a site in Bihar first discovered in 1898 which is believed to be the ancient City of Kapilavastu. This epoch making discovery was at a stupa site, Piprahwa. The relic casket discovered in 1898 bore the inscription “The shrine for relics of the Buddha, the August One, is that of the Sakyas, …”.

The first exposition of the sacred Relics of Kapilavastu outside India was in Sri Lanka in 1978. Subsequent expositions of the Relics took place in Mongolia in August 1993, in Singapore in July 1994, in South Korea in 1995 and in Thailand in 1996. Subsequently, taking into consideration the inestimable value and delicate nature of the Relics, the authorities in India entrusted with the care of the Relics decided that the sacred Kapilavastu Relics will henceforth remain as a venerable object at the National Museum of India in New Delhi and will not be taken outside India for public veneration.

However, the request made by President Rajapaksa in the 2600th year of the Sambuddhatva Jayanthi received special consideration at the highest level of the Government of India. Making an exception, the Government of India decided to lend the sacred Relics to Sri Lanka for public veneration, once again. The sacred Relics are thus being brought to Sri Lanka after three decades since their first exposition in 1978.

The sacred Relics were received in Sri Lanka at a stately Ceremony led by President Mahinda Rajapaksa, with the participation of the Venerable Maha Sangha and other dignitaries.

This sacred event is yet another manifestation of the close fraternal ties that happily exist between India and Sri Lanka since time immemorial, especially from the days of Emperor Asoka whose son and daughter carried the message of Buddhism to Sri Lanka 2,301 years ago, says the High Commission of Sri Lanka in New Delhi.




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Last modified: August 20, 2012.

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