Relic

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steve19800
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Relic

Post by steve19800 » Tue Jan 24, 2012 12:29 am

Hi all,

So I have this question about Relic. Between all school of Buddhism, in my opinion, I have no doubt that Theravada is the teaching of Buddha. In the worst case, it is the closest one to the words of Buddha. Just as I say, this is just my view.
There are many sarira dhatu can be found after the cremation of the body of for example some great forest monk, we believe it is a sign of accomplishment. However, there are also many amazing sarira dhatu from other Buddhist school of thought or other tradition. So does relic mean something or not? Particularly if we also aware that even some animal also have relics found after their death. Can anyone talk about this?

chownah
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Re: Relic

Post by chownah » Tue Jan 24, 2012 2:19 am

I think the Buddha never taught anything about relics. If that is true then I think that whatever they are they are unimportant. I have never heard of anything that would indicate that relics are important except for people believing that they are important. If you take away all of the people saying that relics are meaningful then there is nothing to indicate that they are anything significant at all.

.....at least that is how I view relics....if I am wrong about the Buddha's teachings I would be very happy to see a reference and some discussion about that.
chownah
Last edited by chownah on Tue Jan 24, 2012 2:34 am, edited 1 time in total.

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mikenz66
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Re: Relic

Post by mikenz66 » Tue Jan 24, 2012 2:27 am

Relics are mentioned in DN 16, Maha-parinibbana Sutta
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .vaji.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Though mostly by others rather than the Buddha.
24. Then the Venerable Ananda said: "How should we act, Lord, respecting the body of the Tathagata?"

"Do not hinder yourselves, Ananda, to honor the body of the Tathagata. Rather you should strive, Ananda, and be zealous on your own behalf,[46] for your own good. Unflinchingly, ardently, and resolutely you should apply yourselves to your own good. For there are, Ananda, wise nobles, wise brahmans, and wise householders who are devoted to the Tathagata, and it is they who will render the honor to the body of the Tathagata."

25. Then the Venerable Ananda said: "But how, Lord, should they act respecting the body of the Tathagata?"

"After the same manner, Ananda, as towards the body of a universal monarch."[47]

"But how, Lord, do they act respecting the body of a universal monarch?"

26. "The body of a universal monarch, Ananda, is first wrapped round with new linen, and then with teased cotton wool, and so it is done up to five hundred layers of linen and five hundred of cotton wool. When that is done, the body of the universal monarch is placed in an iron[48] oil vessel, which is enclosed in another iron vessel, a funeral pyre is built of all kinds of perfumed woods, and so the body of the universal monarch is burned; and at a crossroads a stupa is raised for the universal monarch. So it is done, Ananda, with the body of a universal monarch. And even, Ananda, as with the body of a universal monarch, so should it be done with the body of the Tathagata; and at a crossroads also a stupa should be raised for the Tathagata. And whosoever shall bring to that place garlands or incense or sandalpaste, or pay reverence, and whose mind becomes calm there — it will be to his well being and happiness for a long time.
32. And when the body of the Blessed One had been burned, water rained down from heaven and extinguished the pyre of the Blessed One, and from the sala trees water came forth, and the Mallas of Kusinara brought water scented with many kinds of perfumes, and they too extinguished the pyre of the Blessed One.

And the Mallas of Kusinara laid the relics of the Blessed One in their council hall, and surrounded them with a lattice-work of spears and encircled them with a fence of bows; and there for seven days they paid homage to the relics of the Blessed One with dance, song, music, flower-garlands, and perfume, and showed respect, honor, and veneration to the relics of the Blessed One.

[Partition of the Relics]

33. Then the king of Magadha, Ajatasattu, son of the Videhi queen, came to know that at Kusinara the Blessed One had passed away. And he sent a message to the Mallas of Kusinara, saying: "The Blessed One was of the warrior caste, and I am too. I am worthy to receive a portion of the relics of the Blessed One. I will erect a stupa over the relics of the Blessed One and hold a festival in their honor."

34. And the Licchavis of Vesali came to know that at Kusinara the Blessed One had passed away. And they sent a message to the Mallas of Kusinara, saying: "The Blessed One was of the warrior caste, and we are too. We are worthy to receive a portion of the relics of the Blessed One. We will erect a stupa over the relics of the Blessed One and hold a festival in their honor."

35. And the Sakyas of Kapilavatthu came to know that at Kusinara the Blessed One had passed away. And they sent a message to the Mallas of Kusinara, saying: "The Blessed One was the greatest of our clan. We are worthy to receive a portion of the relics of the Blessed One. We will erect a stupa over the relics of the Blessed One and hold a festival in their honor."

36. And the Bulis of Allakappa came to know that at Kusinara the Blessed One had passed away. And they sent a message to the Mallas of Kusinara, saying: "The Blessed One was of the warrior caste, and we are too. We are worthy to receive a portion of the relics of the Blessed One. We will erect a stupa over the relics of the Blessed One and hold a festival in their honor."

37. And the Kolis of Ramagama came to know that at Kusinara the Blessed One had passed away. And they sent a message to the Mallas of Kusinara, saying: "The Blessed One was of the warrior caste, and we are too. We are worthy to receive a portion of the relics of the Blessed One. We will erect a stupa over the relics of the Blessed One and hold a festival in their honor."

38. And the Vethadipa brahman came to know that at Kusinara the Blessed One had passed away. And he sent a message to the Mallas of Kusinara, saying: "The Blessed One was of the warrior caste, and I am a brahman. I am worthy to receive a portion of the relics of the Blessed One. I will erect a stupa over the relics of the Blessed One and hold a festival in their honor."

39. And the Mallas of Pava came to know that at Kusinara the Blessed One had passed away. And they sent a message to the Mallas of Kusinara, saying: "The Blessed One was of the warrior caste, and we are too. We are worthy to receive a portion of the relics of the Blessed One. We will erect a stupa over the relics of the Blessed One and hold a festival in their honor."

40. But when they heard these words, the Mallas of Kusinara addressed the assembly, saying: "The Blessed One has passed away in our township. We shall not part with any portion of the relics of the Blessed One." Then the brahman Dona spoke to the assembly, saying:
One word from me, I beg you, sirs, to hear! Our Buddha taught us ever to forbear; Unseemly would it be should strife arise And war and bloodshed, over the custody Of his remains, who was the best of men! Let us all, sirs, in friendliness agree To share eight portions — so that far and wide Stupas may rise, and seeing them, mankind Faith in the All-Enlightened One will find!

"So be it, brahman! Divide the relics into eight equal portions yourself."

And the brahman Dona said to the assembly: "So be it, sirs." And he divided justly into eight equal portions the relics of the Blessed One, and having done so, he addressed the assembly, saying: "Let this urn, sirs, be given to me. Over this urn I will erect a stupa, and in its honor I will hold a festival." And the urn was given to the brahman Dona.

41. Then the Moriyas of Pipphalivana came to know that at Kusinara the Blessed One had passed away. And they sent a message to the Mallas of Kusinara, saying: "The Blessed One was of the warrior caste, and we are too. We are worthy to receive a portion of the relics of the Blessed One. We will erect a stupa over the relics of the Blessed One and hold a festival in their honor."

"There is no portion of the relics of the Blessed One remaining; the relics of the Blessed One have been divided. But take from here the ashes." And they took from there the ashes.

42. And the king of Magadha, Ajatasattu, son of the Videhi queen, erected a stupa over the relics of the Blessed One at Rajagaha, and in their honor held a festival. The Licchavis of Vesali erected a stupa over the relics of the Blessed One at Vesali, and in their honor held a festival. The Sakyas of Kapilavatthu erected a stupa over the relics of the Blessed One at Kapilavatthu, and in their honor held a festival. The Bulis of Allakappa erected a stupa over the relics of the Blessed One at Allakappa, and in their honor held a festival. The Kolis of Ramagama erected a stupa over the relics of the Blessed One at Ramagama, and in their honor held a festival. The Vethadipa brahman erected a stupa over the relics of the Blessed One at Vethadipa, and in their honor held a festival. The Mallas of Pava erected a stupa over the relics of the Blessed One at Pava, and in their honor held a festival. The Mallas of Kusinara erected a stupa over the relics of the Blessed One at Kusinara, and in their honor held a festival. The brahman Dona erected a stupa over the urn, and in its honor held a festival. And the Moriyas of Pipphalivana erected a stupa over the ashes at Pipphalivana, and in their honor held a festival.

So it came about that there were eight stupas for the relics, a ninth for the urn, and a tenth for the ashes.

And thus it was in the days of old.
:anjali:
Mike

chownah
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Re: Relic

Post by chownah » Tue Jan 24, 2012 2:49 am

mikenz66,
Thanks for the post and reference. I don't see that the Buddha mentioned relics at all in the portion you presented....you suggest that he did say something by using the word "mostly"....is it elsewhere?

...and I think that the excerpt you gave does not show any importance for the relics except for that which arises from people thinking that they are important.....I guess.....also notice that the ashes were viewed as being important too.....I'm relatively sure that if the match that was used to ignite the pyre was saved that it would be reverred and considered to be important too.....I guess....but I'm not sure.......

I consider relics to belong in the category of "rites and rituals"....

Thanks again for the reference,
chownah

steve19800
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Re: Relic

Post by steve19800 » Tue Jan 24, 2012 6:42 am

chownah wrote:I think the Buddha never taught anything about relics. If that is true then I think that whatever they are they are unimportant. I have never heard of anything that would indicate that relics are important except for people believing that they are important. If you take away all of the people saying that relics are meaningful then there is nothing to indicate that they are anything significant at all.

.....at least that is how I view relics....if I am wrong about the Buddha's teachings I would be very happy to see a reference and some discussion about that.
chownah
Relics are not teachings, it comes from latin word reliquiae, it means 'remains' or 'something left behind'. To me Relics are not something that we all should abandon or see it as a trash like.
In human, you can only find relics from the remaining of sages, not only in Buddhism but also in Christianity. But when animals have relics too, I'm wondering if there is any explanation?

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Re: Relic

Post by steve19800 » Tue Jan 24, 2012 6:44 am

mikenz66 wrote:Relics are mentioned in DN 16, Maha-parinibbana Sutta
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .vaji.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Though mostly by others rather than the Buddha.
24. Then the Venerable Ananda said: "How should we act, Lord, respecting the body of the Tathagata?"

"Do not hinder yourselves, Ananda, to honor the body of the Tathagata. Rather you should strive, Ananda, and be zealous on your own behalf,[46] for your own good. Unflinchingly, ardently, and resolutely you should apply yourselves to your own good. For there are, Ananda, wise nobles, wise brahmans, and wise householders who are devoted to the Tathagata, and it is they who will render the honor to the body of the Tathagata."

25. Then the Venerable Ananda said: "But how, Lord, should they act respecting the body of the Tathagata?"

"After the same manner, Ananda, as towards the body of a universal monarch."[47]

"But how, Lord, do they act respecting the body of a universal monarch?"

26. "The body of a universal monarch, Ananda, is first wrapped round with new linen, and then with teased cotton wool, and so it is done up to five hundred layers of linen and five hundred of cotton wool. When that is done, the body of the universal monarch is placed in an iron[48] oil vessel, which is enclosed in another iron vessel, a funeral pyre is built of all kinds of perfumed woods, and so the body of the universal monarch is burned; and at a crossroads a stupa is raised for the universal monarch. So it is done, Ananda, with the body of a universal monarch. And even, Ananda, as with the body of a universal monarch, so should it be done with the body of the Tathagata; and at a crossroads also a stupa should be raised for the Tathagata. And whosoever shall bring to that place garlands or incense or sandalpaste, or pay reverence, and whose mind becomes calm there — it will be to his well being and happiness for a long time.
32. And when the body of the Blessed One had been burned, water rained down from heaven and extinguished the pyre of the Blessed One, and from the sala trees water came forth, and the Mallas of Kusinara brought water scented with many kinds of perfumes, and they too extinguished the pyre of the Blessed One.

And the Mallas of Kusinara laid the relics of the Blessed One in their council hall, and surrounded them with a lattice-work of spears and encircled them with a fence of bows; and there for seven days they paid homage to the relics of the Blessed One with dance, song, music, flower-garlands, and perfume, and showed respect, honor, and veneration to the relics of the Blessed One.

[Partition of the Relics]

33. Then the king of Magadha, Ajatasattu, son of the Videhi queen, came to know that at Kusinara the Blessed One had passed away. And he sent a message to the Mallas of Kusinara, saying: "The Blessed One was of the warrior caste, and I am too. I am worthy to receive a portion of the relics of the Blessed One. I will erect a stupa over the relics of the Blessed One and hold a festival in their honor."

34. And the Licchavis of Vesali came to know that at Kusinara the Blessed One had passed away. And they sent a message to the Mallas of Kusinara, saying: "The Blessed One was of the warrior caste, and we are too. We are worthy to receive a portion of the relics of the Blessed One. We will erect a stupa over the relics of the Blessed One and hold a festival in their honor."

35. And the Sakyas of Kapilavatthu came to know that at Kusinara the Blessed One had passed away. And they sent a message to the Mallas of Kusinara, saying: "The Blessed One was the greatest of our clan. We are worthy to receive a portion of the relics of the Blessed One. We will erect a stupa over the relics of the Blessed One and hold a festival in their honor."

36. And the Bulis of Allakappa came to know that at Kusinara the Blessed One had passed away. And they sent a message to the Mallas of Kusinara, saying: "The Blessed One was of the warrior caste, and we are too. We are worthy to receive a portion of the relics of the Blessed One. We will erect a stupa over the relics of the Blessed One and hold a festival in their honor."

37. And the Kolis of Ramagama came to know that at Kusinara the Blessed One had passed away. And they sent a message to the Mallas of Kusinara, saying: "The Blessed One was of the warrior caste, and we are too. We are worthy to receive a portion of the relics of the Blessed One. We will erect a stupa over the relics of the Blessed One and hold a festival in their honor."

38. And the Vethadipa brahman came to know that at Kusinara the Blessed One had passed away. And he sent a message to the Mallas of Kusinara, saying: "The Blessed One was of the warrior caste, and I am a brahman. I am worthy to receive a portion of the relics of the Blessed One. I will erect a stupa over the relics of the Blessed One and hold a festival in their honor."

39. And the Mallas of Pava came to know that at Kusinara the Blessed One had passed away. And they sent a message to the Mallas of Kusinara, saying: "The Blessed One was of the warrior caste, and we are too. We are worthy to receive a portion of the relics of the Blessed One. We will erect a stupa over the relics of the Blessed One and hold a festival in their honor."

40. But when they heard these words, the Mallas of Kusinara addressed the assembly, saying: "The Blessed One has passed away in our township. We shall not part with any portion of the relics of the Blessed One." Then the brahman Dona spoke to the assembly, saying:
One word from me, I beg you, sirs, to hear! Our Buddha taught us ever to forbear; Unseemly would it be should strife arise And war and bloodshed, over the custody Of his remains, who was the best of men! Let us all, sirs, in friendliness agree To share eight portions — so that far and wide Stupas may rise, and seeing them, mankind Faith in the All-Enlightened One will find!

"So be it, brahman! Divide the relics into eight equal portions yourself."

And the brahman Dona said to the assembly: "So be it, sirs." And he divided justly into eight equal portions the relics of the Blessed One, and having done so, he addressed the assembly, saying: "Let this urn, sirs, be given to me. Over this urn I will erect a stupa, and in its honor I will hold a festival." And the urn was given to the brahman Dona.

41. Then the Moriyas of Pipphalivana came to know that at Kusinara the Blessed One had passed away. And they sent a message to the Mallas of Kusinara, saying: "The Blessed One was of the warrior caste, and we are too. We are worthy to receive a portion of the relics of the Blessed One. We will erect a stupa over the relics of the Blessed One and hold a festival in their honor."

"There is no portion of the relics of the Blessed One remaining; the relics of the Blessed One have been divided. But take from here the ashes." And they took from there the ashes.

42. And the king of Magadha, Ajatasattu, son of the Videhi queen, erected a stupa over the relics of the Blessed One at Rajagaha, and in their honor held a festival. The Licchavis of Vesali erected a stupa over the relics of the Blessed One at Vesali, and in their honor held a festival. The Sakyas of Kapilavatthu erected a stupa over the relics of the Blessed One at Kapilavatthu, and in their honor held a festival. The Bulis of Allakappa erected a stupa over the relics of the Blessed One at Allakappa, and in their honor held a festival. The Kolis of Ramagama erected a stupa over the relics of the Blessed One at Ramagama, and in their honor held a festival. The Vethadipa brahman erected a stupa over the relics of the Blessed One at Vethadipa, and in their honor held a festival. The Mallas of Pava erected a stupa over the relics of the Blessed One at Pava, and in their honor held a festival. The Mallas of Kusinara erected a stupa over the relics of the Blessed One at Kusinara, and in their honor held a festival. The brahman Dona erected a stupa over the urn, and in its honor held a festival. And the Moriyas of Pipphalivana erected a stupa over the ashes at Pipphalivana, and in their honor held a festival.

So it came about that there were eight stupas for the relics, a ninth for the urn, and a tenth for the ashes.

And thus it was in the days of old.
:anjali:
Mike
Thanks for the awesome post of honouring relics of Buddha :twothumbsup:

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Re: Relic

Post by chownah » Tue Jan 24, 2012 8:52 am

steve19800 wrote:
chownah wrote:I think the Buddha never taught anything about relics. If that is true then I think that whatever they are they are unimportant. I have never heard of anything that would indicate that relics are important except for people believing that they are important. If you take away all of the people saying that relics are meaningful then there is nothing to indicate that they are anything significant at all.

.....at least that is how I view relics....if I am wrong about the Buddha's teachings I would be very happy to see a reference and some discussion about that.
chownah
Relics are not teachings, it comes from latin word reliquiae, it means 'remains' or 'something left behind'. To me Relics are not something that we all should abandon or see it as a trash like.
In human, you can only find relics from the remaining of sages, not only in Buddhism but also in Christianity. But when animals have relics too, I'm wondering if there is any explanation?
I know that relics are not teachings.....my mention of the Buddha's teachings is that I don't think that the Buddha ever taught anything about relics and if the Buddha did not even mention them then in my view they are not very important in following the path.

From Wikipedia's article on "relic":
"In religion, a relic is a part of the body of a saint or a venerated person, or else another type of ancient religious object, carefully preserved for purposes of veneration or as a tangible memorial. Relics are an important aspect of some forms of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Shamanism, and many other religions."

.....so the defintion is something that is venerated by people and so of course the people who venerate these objects don't consider them to be trash but rather to be honored....but the Buddha never taught that people should do this or at least I have never seen any Sutta reference where the Buddha taught that people should do this. I have never found anywhere that the Buddha taught that people should venerate the cremation remains of any person or animal.

I do agree that people like to venerate the remains of venerated people. I do not see that this is a teaching of the Buddha. I see this practice as being a rite or ritual which did not come from the Buddha's teachings....if you have a reference showing that the Buddha taught this then I really would be very happy to see it so that I can learn more about an interesting idea that people have.
chownah

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Re: Relic

Post by Ben » Tue Jan 24, 2012 9:57 am

Hi all,

I don't think its always productive nor meaningful to attempt to link authenticity to a reference in the Tipitaka. The Theravada is a living tradition and has evolved over time. It is also a living tradition in the sense that the Dhamma, if it is to be meaningful, must be integrated into one's life to the point where its a lived experience.
Personally, I tend to think that there is a place for relics and relic veneration in the Theravada. Relics are merely an object that inspires saddha. And without saddha there can be no panna.
kind regards,

Ben
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Re: Relic

Post by Fede » Tue Jan 24, 2012 10:12 am

Moderators feel free to delete this if it is deemed inappropriate for any reason, but....


Could you explain exactly what you mean by this?
steve19800 wrote:.....But when animals have relics too, I'm wondering if there is any explanation?
What animals - and what relics??
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Re: Relic

Post by Tyler » Sun Jan 29, 2012 11:42 pm

When I think about relics I always think about the biography of Ajaan Lee Dhammadaro:

This was written in the foreward
However, I should say something here about the miracles surrounding the relics that play a large role in the latter part of the book. There is an old tradition in Buddhism that many of the bodily relics of the Buddha and his arahant disciples transformed into small pellet-like objects that come and go of their own accord. The Theravadin version of this tradition dates back at least to medieval Sri Lanka, and may go much further back than that. There are old books that classify the various types of relics by shape and color, identifying which ones come from which parts of the Buddha's body and which ones from which disciple. The tradition is still very much alive in Thailand, especially now that the bones of many of the dead masters of the forest ascetic tradition have turned into relics. As for relics of the Buddha, I have talked to many people who have seen them come and go, and I have had such experiences myself, although nothing as dramatic as Ajaan Lee's.

I mention all this not to make a case for the existence and provenance of the relics, but simply to point out that Ajaan Lee was not alone in having such experiences, and that the rational approach of Theravada Buddhism has its uncanny side as well.

At any rate, my feeling is that Ajaan Lee mentioned the issue of the relics for two reasons:

1) He was compelled to because it was a part of the controversy that surrounded his name during his lifetime, and his students would have felt that something was amiss if he didn't provide some explanation of the topic. The incident he mentions at Wat Supat was not the only time that relics appeared while he was teaching meditation to groups of people, and in fact he once mentioned to Ajaan Fuang that the frequency with which this happened often irked him: Just as his students would be settling their minds in concentration, these things would appear and that would be the end of the meditation session.
2) As Ajaan Lee mentions in the book, he believed he had a karmic debt requiring that he build a chedi to enshrine relics of the Buddha, and he needed to convince his supporters of the importance of the project.
If you want examples you can follow this link and ctrl+f for "relics:"

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/thai ... eauto.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

I agree that there is room for relics in Theravada practice but what seems most important to me is what acts as a relic of the dhamma. In this case the more narrow question is what by definition isn't a relic of the dhamma?

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Re: Relic

Post by steve19800 » Sat Feb 04, 2012 6:09 am

Fede wrote:Moderators feel free to delete this if it is deemed inappropriate for any reason, but....


Could you explain exactly what you mean by this?
steve19800 wrote:.....But when animals have relics too, I'm wondering if there is any explanation?
What animals - and what relics??
I read somewhere few years ago there were some animals left relics. I forget what animal they were, maybe bird or dog but for sure they left relics.

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Re: Relic

Post by Ron-The-Elder » Fri Feb 24, 2012 3:12 pm

steve19800 wrote:
mikenz66 wrote:Relics are mentioned in DN 16, Maha-parinibbana Sutta
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .vaji.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Though mostly by others rather than the Buddha.
24. Then the Venerable Ananda said: "How should we act, Lord, respecting the body of the Tathagata?"

"Do not hinder yourselves, Ananda, to honor the body of the Tathagata. Rather you should strive, Ananda, and be zealous on your own behalf,[46] for your own good. Unflinchingly, ardently, and resolutely you should apply yourselves to your own good. For there are, Ananda, wise nobles, wise brahmans, and wise householders who are devoted to the Tathagata, and it is they who will render the honor to the body of the Tathagata."

25. Then the Venerable Ananda said: "But how, Lord, should they act respecting the body of the Tathagata?"

"After the same manner, Ananda, as towards the body of a universal monarch."[47]

"But how, Lord, do they act respecting the body of a universal monarch?"

26. "The body of a universal monarch, Ananda, is first wrapped round with new linen, and then with teased cotton wool, and so it is done up to five hundred layers of linen and five hundred of cotton wool. When that is done, the body of the universal monarch is placed in an iron[48] oil vessel, which is enclosed in another iron vessel, a funeral pyre is built of all kinds of perfumed woods, and so the body of the universal monarch is burned; and at a crossroads a stupa is raised for the universal monarch. So it is done, Ananda, with the body of a universal monarch. And even, Ananda, as with the body of a universal monarch, so should it be done with the body of the Tathagata; and at a crossroads also a stupa should be raised for the Tathagata. And whosoever shall bring to that place garlands or incense or sandalpaste, or pay reverence, and whose mind becomes calm there — it will be to his well being and happiness for a long time.
32. And when the body of the Blessed One had been burned, water rained down from heaven and extinguished the pyre of the Blessed One, and from the sala trees water came forth, and the Mallas of Kusinara brought water scented with many kinds of perfumes, and they too extinguished the pyre of the Blessed One.

And the Mallas of Kusinara laid the relics of the Blessed One in their council hall, and surrounded them with a lattice-work of spears and encircled them with a fence of bows; and there for seven days they paid homage to the relics of the Blessed One with dance, song, music, flower-garlands, and perfume, and showed respect, honor, and veneration to the relics of the Blessed One.

[Partition of the Relics]

33. Then the king of Magadha, Ajatasattu, son of the Videhi queen, came to know that at Kusinara the Blessed One had passed away. And he sent a message to the Mallas of Kusinara, saying: "The Blessed One was of the warrior caste, and I am too. I am worthy to receive a portion of the relics of the Blessed One. I will erect a stupa over the relics of the Blessed One and hold a festival in their honor."

34. And the Licchavis of Vesali came to know that at Kusinara the Blessed One had passed away. And they sent a message to the Mallas of Kusinara, saying: "The Blessed One was of the warrior caste, and we are too. We are worthy to receive a portion of the relics of the Blessed One. We will erect a stupa over the relics of the Blessed One and hold a festival in their honor."

35. And the Sakyas of Kapilavatthu came to know that at Kusinara the Blessed One had passed away. And they sent a message to the Mallas of Kusinara, saying: "The Blessed One was the greatest of our clan. We are worthy to receive a portion of the relics of the Blessed One. We will erect a stupa over the relics of the Blessed One and hold a festival in their honor."

36. And the Bulis of Allakappa came to know that at Kusinara the Blessed One had passed away. And they sent a message to the Mallas of Kusinara, saying: "The Blessed One was of the warrior caste, and we are too. We are worthy to receive a portion of the relics of the Blessed One. We will erect a stupa over the relics of the Blessed One and hold a festival in their honor."

37. And the Kolis of Ramagama came to know that at Kusinara the Blessed One had passed away. And they sent a message to the Mallas of Kusinara, saying: "The Blessed One was of the warrior caste, and we are too. We are worthy to receive a portion of the relics of the Blessed One. We will erect a stupa over the relics of the Blessed One and hold a festival in their honor."

38. And the Vethadipa brahman came to know that at Kusinara the Blessed One had passed away. And he sent a message to the Mallas of Kusinara, saying: "The Blessed One was of the warrior caste, and I am a brahman. I am worthy to receive a portion of the relics of the Blessed One. I will erect a stupa over the relics of the Blessed One and hold a festival in their honor."

39. And the Mallas of Pava came to know that at Kusinara the Blessed One had passed away. And they sent a message to the Mallas of Kusinara, saying: "The Blessed One was of the warrior caste, and we are too. We are worthy to receive a portion of the relics of the Blessed One. We will erect a stupa over the relics of the Blessed One and hold a festival in their honor."

40. But when they heard these words, the Mallas of Kusinara addressed the assembly, saying: "The Blessed One has passed away in our township. We shall not part with any portion of the relics of the Blessed One." Then the brahman Dona spoke to the assembly, saying:
One word from me, I beg you, sirs, to hear! Our Buddha taught us ever to forbear; Unseemly would it be should strife arise And war and bloodshed, over the custody Of his remains, who was the best of men! Let us all, sirs, in friendliness agree To share eight portions — so that far and wide Stupas may rise, and seeing them, mankind Faith in the All-Enlightened One will find!

"So be it, brahman! Divide the relics into eight equal portions yourself."

And the brahman Dona said to the assembly: "So be it, sirs." And he divided justly into eight equal portions the relics of the Blessed One, and having done so, he addressed the assembly, saying: "Let this urn, sirs, be given to me. Over this urn I will erect a stupa, and in its honor I will hold a festival." And the urn was given to the brahman Dona.

41. Then the Moriyas of Pipphalivana came to know that at Kusinara the Blessed One had passed away. And they sent a message to the Mallas of Kusinara, saying: "The Blessed One was of the warrior caste, and we are too. We are worthy to receive a portion of the relics of the Blessed One. We will erect a stupa over the relics of the Blessed One and hold a festival in their honor."

"There is no portion of the relics of the Blessed One remaining; the relics of the Blessed One have been divided. But take from here the ashes." And they took from there the ashes.

42. And the king of Magadha, Ajatasattu, son of the Videhi queen, erected a stupa over the relics of the Blessed One at Rajagaha, and in their honor held a festival. The Licchavis of Vesali erected a stupa over the relics of the Blessed One at Vesali, and in their honor held a festival. The Sakyas of Kapilavatthu erected a stupa over the relics of the Blessed One at Kapilavatthu, and in their honor held a festival. The Bulis of Allakappa erected a stupa over the relics of the Blessed One at Allakappa, and in their honor held a festival. The Kolis of Ramagama erected a stupa over the relics of the Blessed One at Ramagama, and in their honor held a festival. The Vethadipa brahman erected a stupa over the relics of the Blessed One at Vethadipa, and in their honor held a festival. The Mallas of Pava erected a stupa over the relics of the Blessed One at Pava, and in their honor held a festival. The Mallas of Kusinara erected a stupa over the relics of the Blessed One at Kusinara, and in their honor held a festival. The brahman Dona erected a stupa over the urn, and in its honor held a festival. And the Moriyas of Pipphalivana erected a stupa over the ashes at Pipphalivana, and in their honor held a festival.

So it came about that there were eight stupas for the relics, a ninth for the urn, and a tenth for the ashes.

And thus it was in the days of old.
:anjali:
Mike
Thanks for the awesome post of honouring relics of Buddha :twothumbsup:
Here is my concern:

Doing some research this morning regarding the dating of The Historical Buddha, I found little reference to relics of The Buddha or his followers (The Elders). If these relics had been placed into stupas as is often spoken of in the suttas, then we would have access to direct evidence using radioactive carbon dating as to when Buddha walked The Earth. As it is we are left guessing.

Anyone know of any location where Buddha's remains are stored in a stuppa?
What Makes an Elder? :
A head of gray hairs doesn't mean one's an elder. Advanced in years, one's called an old fool.
But one in whom there is truth, restraint, rectitude, gentleness,self-control, he's called an elder, his impurities disgorged, enlightened.
-Dhammpada, 19, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.

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Ron-The-Elder
Posts: 1888
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Location: Concord, New Hampshire, U.S.A.

Re: Relic

Post by Ron-The-Elder » Fri Feb 24, 2012 3:26 pm

Ben wrote:Hi all,

I don't think its always productive nor meaningful to attempt to link authenticity to a reference in the Tipitaka. The Theravada is a living tradition and has evolved over time. It is also a living tradition in the sense that the Dhamma, if it is to be meaningful, must be integrated into one's life to the point where its a lived experience.
Personally, I tend to think that there is a place for relics and relic veneration in the Theravada. Relics are merely an object that inspires saddha. And without saddha there can be no panna.
kind regards,

Ben
Hi, Ben. Thanks for sharing your opinion, which I hold in the greatest respect.

Research results with regard to historical figures is greatly enhanced by artifacts, particularly with regard to those whose life efforts have changed the behavior of humanity as much as has Buddha. Artifacts are not of any value with regard to objects of worship, we agree. However, they are of value when discussing historical perspectives and context. I think it very sad that we know more about the chronology of Tyrannosaurus Rex than we do about Buddha. It really doesn't say much for the efficacy of the verbal tradition of memorizing The Suttas. Since skeptical doubt is one of the hindrances, The Elders did us no favors by not dating the events cited in the suttas.
What Makes an Elder? :
A head of gray hairs doesn't mean one's an elder. Advanced in years, one's called an old fool.
But one in whom there is truth, restraint, rectitude, gentleness,self-control, he's called an elder, his impurities disgorged, enlightened.
-Dhammpada, 19, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.

steve19800
Posts: 230
Joined: Sun Jun 19, 2011 1:20 am

Re: Relic

Post by steve19800 » Sun Mar 18, 2012 5:40 am

steve19800 wrote:
Fede wrote:Moderators feel free to delete this if it is deemed inappropriate for any reason, but....


Could you explain exactly what you mean by this?
steve19800 wrote:.....But when animals have relics too, I'm wondering if there is any explanation?
What animals - and what relics??
I read somewhere few years ago there were some animals left relics. I forget what animal they were, maybe bird or dog but for sure they left relics.
Please check this:
In Samguk Yusa: Legends and History of the Three Kingdoms of Ancient Korea.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C5%9Aar%C ... ite_note-1" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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Ron-The-Elder
Posts: 1888
Joined: Mon Jan 10, 2011 4:42 pm
Location: Concord, New Hampshire, U.S.A.

Re: Relic

Post by Ron-The-Elder » Mon Mar 19, 2012 9:59 am

Here is my concern:

Doing some research this morning regarding the dating of The Historical Buddha, I found little reference to relics of The Buddha or his followers (The Elders). If these relics had been placed into stupas as is often spoken of in the suttas, then we would have access to direct evidence using radioactive carbon dating as to when Buddha walked The Earth. As it is we are left guessing.

Anyone know of any location where Buddha's remains are stored in a stuppa?
I followed-up regarding this question with Bhikkhu Samahita, who has a good background in the medical sciences. He pointed out to me, and I verified, that radio carbon dating has a precision of +/- 400 years or so, which leaves us in the same neighborhood with regarding to the timing of Buddha's life as we have now. So, we would gain little to no more information than we have now even if we were to identify any of Buddha's remains.
What Makes an Elder? :
A head of gray hairs doesn't mean one's an elder. Advanced in years, one's called an old fool.
But one in whom there is truth, restraint, rectitude, gentleness,self-control, he's called an elder, his impurities disgorged, enlightened.
-Dhammpada, 19, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.

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