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HOLY RELICS OF LORD BUDDHA TO BE TAKEN FROM INDIA TO MONGOLIA

13th June, 2022 Art & Culture

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Context:

  • In a special gesture towards people of Mongolia, four Holy Relics of Lord Buddha are being taken from India to Mongolia for an 11-day exposition as part of celebrations of Mongolian Buddh Purnima falling on 14thJune, 2022.
  • The Holy Relics will be displayed at the Batsagaan Temple within the premises of Gandan Monastery.
  • The Holy Buddha Relics, currently housed in the National Museum, are known as the ‘Kapilvastu Relics’ since they are from a site in Bihar first discovered in 1898 which is believed to be the ancient city of Kapilvastu.
  • PM Narendra Modi was the first-ever Prime Minister of India to visit Mongolia, and taking the relics to Mongolia is an extension of the vision of Prime Minister to revive our relations with the countries with whom we have had cultural and spiritual ties since centuries ago.
  • Mongolia and India look upon each other as spiritual and cultural neighbours and due to this commonality, Mongolia can also be said to be our ‘Third Neighbour’ even though we don’t enjoy any common physical boundaries.

 

Buddhism in India:

 

Origin:

  • Siddhartha Gautam, was born in 563 BC into royal family of Sakya clan who ruled from Kapilvastu, in Lumbini. At age of 29, Gautama left home and embraced a lifestyle of asceticism.
  • After 49 days of meditation, Gautama attained enlightenment under a pipal tree at Bodhgaya in Bihar.
  • Buddha gave his first sermon in the village of Sarnath, near the city of Benares in UP. This event is known as Dharma-Chakra-Pravartana (turning of the wheel of law).
  • Died at the age of 80 at Kushinagara a town in UP. The event is known as Mahaparinibban.

 

Tenets of Buddhism:

  • Avoid the two extremes of indulgence in worldly pleasure and the practice of strict abstinence.
  • Buddha ascribed instead the 'Madhyam Marg' or the middle path which was to be followed.
  • Four noble truths: Suffering (dukkha) is the essence of the world, Every suffering has a cause – Samudya, Suffering could be extinguished – Nirodha, It can be achieved by following the Atthanga Magga
  • Eight Fold Paths: Right view, Right intention, Right speech, Right action, Right livelihood, Right mindfulness, Right effort, Right concentration
  • Buddha established code of conduct which are also known as the Five Precepts or Pancasil - Violence, stealing, sexual misconduct, lying or gossip, taking intoxicating substances

 

Major Buddhist Texts:

  • Three Pitakas: Vinaya Pitaka (rules of conduct), Sutta Pitaka ( Dhamma of Buddha): divided into five Nikayas: Digha, Majjhima, Samyutta, Anguttara, Khuddaka, Abhidamma Pitaka (philosophical analysis)
  • Other important Buddhist texts include Divyavadana, Dipavamsa, Mahavamsa, Milind Panha etc.

 

Buddhist Councils:

  • First: It was held in the Sattapani cave at Rajgriha soon after the Mahaparinirvan of the Buddha, around 483 BC under the patronage of King Ajatshatru and was presided by Mahakasyapa, a monk.
  • Second: held in Vaishali under the patronage of the king Kalasoka in 383 BC. It was presided by Sabakami.
  • Third: 250 BC in Patliputra under the patronage of Ashoka and was presided by Moggaliputta Tissa.
  • Forth: held in 72 AD at Kundalvana, Kashmir. It was presided by Vasumitra, while Asvaghosa was his deputy under the patronage of King Kanishka of Kushan Empire. Buddhism divided into Mahayan and Hinayan.

 

Schools of Buddhism:

  • Mahayana: literally means "Great Vehicle". It believes in the heavenliness of Buddha and Idol worship of Buddha and Bodhisattvas embodying Buddha Nature.
  • Hinayana: Literally Lesser vehicle. It believes in the original teaching of Buddha or Doctrine of elders. It does not believe in Idol worship and tries to attain individual salvation through self-discipline and meditation.
  • Theravada: is a Hinayana sect, developed in Sri Lanka and subsequently spread to the rest of Southeast Asia.
  • Vajrayana: means “The Vehicle of the Thunderbolt”, also known as tantric Buddhism.
  • Zen: It is a school of Mahayana Buddhism that originated in China.

 

https://www.pib.gov.in/PressReleasePage.aspx?PRID=1833152