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Thread: The Buddha's bones, really

  1. #1
    Senior Member AlanLa's Avatar
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    The Buddha's bones, really

    http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2012/04/2 ... ?hpt=hp_c2

    First stop for bone from Buddha skull: Hong Kong
    By Vicky Kung, for CNN

    Hong Kong (CNN) – A skull bone believed to be from the original remains of the Buddha will be on display in Hong Kong for six days, the first time the relic will be displayed outside mainland China.

    The parietal bone will be enshrined for worship at the Hong Kong Coliseum from April 25 to April 30. China is sending the relic to celebrate the 15th anniversary of Hong Kong’s return to China, said Venerable Yin-chi, the secretary general of the Hong Kong Buddhist Association. The display also coincides with the World Buddhist Forum in the city and Buddha’s birthday, celebrated in Hong Kong on April 26.

    “The Chinese government had sent us the Buddha’s tooth once in 1999 and the finger bone once in 2004,” Yin-chi said. “But this is the first time that the parietal bone is being moved away from the mainland for a public worship.”

    Like the great panda, Buddha’s bones are often sent as a gesture of diplomatic friendliness to countries where Buddhism thrives.

    China, India, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Singapore and Taiwan possess bones or teeth purported to be relics of Sakyamuni Buddha, the founder of Buddhism. In 2011, India lent relics to Indonesia for the 2,600th anniversary of Buddha’s enlightenment. China, which has most of the relics, has lent bones to South Korea, Thailand, Myanmar, Taiwan and Hong Kong.

    The skull fragment, unearthed in 2008 at the Grand Da Bao’en Temple in Nanjing, China, is described as the “highest spiritual object in Buddhism” by Venerable Hong-ming, the executive vice president of the Hong Kong Buddhist Association.

    “ 'Buddha' literally means 'the awakened one,' ” Yin-chi said. “In Buddhism, we do not believe in a god who is the creator, but we strive to be spiritually awakened, like Sakyamuni did with his supernatural wisdom. The cremated remains of the Buddha are encouragement to all Buddhist followers who want to be awakened, so the bones are highly venerated.”

    Together with the Buddhist Association of China and the China Religious Culture Communication Association, The Hong Kong Buddhist Association will organize a “Grand Blessing Ceremony” to welcome the relic to the city.

    “We sometimes call the Buddha’s birthday the Bathing-Buddha Festival,” Yin-chi said. “Believers sprinkle water on the infant statue of Sakyamuni to commemorate his birth. This is because according to the legends, nine dragons sprayed water when Sakyamuni was born. The rain symbolizes the cleansing of one’s soul and purity.”

    Hong Kong first included the Buddha’s birthday on its list of public holidays in 1999, two years after its reunification with China.

    “The official acknowledgement might be one reason why Buddhism blossomed in Hong Kong,” Yin-chi said. “Such publicity helps, but Buddhism was pervasive here long before 1999. More and more people believe because Buddhism inspires people who are looking for the meaning in life.”

  2. #2

    Re: The Buddha's bones, really

    Hi,

    Bone fragments, teeth, various calcified stones remaining after cremation (now thought to be perhaps actually the remains of kidney stones and gallstones!) and other claimed vestiges of the Buddha (called 'Sariras') are found enshrined all over Asia, now other places too. So much so, that I have sometimes joked that the man must have had a few thousand teeth (well, he is the Buddha after all!). It is not different at all from how various body parts of Catholic Saints and pieces of the Cross can be found enshrined around Europe ... a way to make tangible contact, "evidence" of their spiritual power in being beyond decay and such.

    Were they actually part of the person? Are they the person? ... Well, they are what they are, and each is "Buddha" in its way.

    One tooth of Buddha is found a short drive from here in Tsukuba, at the giant statue of Amida Buddha located in the next town (sometimes seen on the "sit-a-longs" here). It was a gift from the government of Thailand. It is, though, rather stuck away in a corner there of their little museum, without much particular comment ... because I think the Amida/Pure Land folks did not really know what to make of it (I do not think that such things are central to their beliefs either). But, there it is ... the "Tooth of Gautama Buddha" in a nice gold display case in Ushiku near Tsukuba! When folks come here to visit, I always take them to see it.

    Gassho, J

    PS - For more information on Sariras, with a bit of a medical bent, this link. NOTE: CONTAINS PHOTOS OF MUMMIES AND KIDNEY STONES, MAYBE A BIT GRAPHIC TO SOME:

    https://sites.google.com/site/philosoph ... riras.html

  3. #3
    Senior Member Ekai's Avatar
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    Re: The Buddha's bones, really

    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo
    Hi,

    Bone fragments, teeth, various calcified stones remaining after cremation (called 'Sariras', now thought to be perhaps actually the remains of kidney stones and gallstones!) and other claimed vestiges of the Buddha are found enshrined all over Asia, now other places too. So much so, that I have sometimes joked that the man must have had a few thousand teeth (well, he is the Buddha after all!). It is not different at all from how various body parts of Catholic Saints and pieces of the Cross can be found enshrined around Europe ... a way to make tangible contact, "evidence" of their spiritual power in being beyond decay and such.

    Were they actually part of the person? Are they the person? ... Well, they are what they are, and each is "Buddha" in its way.

    One tooth of Buddha is found a short drive from here in Tsukuba, at the giant statue of Amida Buddha located in the next town (sometimes seen on the "sit-a-longs" here). It was a gift from the government of Burma (maybe Thailand). It is, though, rather stuck away in a corner there of their little museum, without much particular comment ... because I think the Amida people did not really know what to make of it (I do not think that such things are central to their beliefs either). But, there it is ... the "Tooth of Gautama Buddha" in a nice gold display case in Ushiku near Tsukuba!

    Gassho, J

    PS - For more information on Sariras, with a bit of a medical bent, this link. NOTE: CONTAINS PHOTOS OF MUMMIES AND KIDNEY STONES, MAYBE A BIT GRAPHIC TO SOME:

    https://sites.google.com/site/philosoph ... riras.html
    Come on, are you teasing me now? Those photos are not that bad. I am tougher than you think. :lol:

    Gasshi,
    Ekai

  4. #4

    Re: The Buddha's bones, really

    Quote Originally Posted by Ekai

    Come on, are you teasing me now? Those photos are not that bad. I am tougher than you think. :lol:

    Gasshi,
    Ekai
    You have a lot of gall! 8)

    Heck, I was just watching a C.S.I. rerun last night. Boy, they put stuff worse than that on American prime time TV now! :?

    Gassho, J

  5. #5
    Senior Member Ekai's Avatar
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    Re: The Buddha's bones, really

    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo
    Quote Originally Posted by Ekai

    Come on, are you teasing me now? Those photos are not that bad. I am tougher than you think. :lol:

    Gasshi,
    Ekai
    You have a lot of gall! 8)

    Heck, I was just watching a C.S.I. rerun last night. Boy, they put stuff worse than that on American prime time TV now! :?

    Gassho, J
    Criminal Minds is another good crime show but very graphic. I used to watch all of those shows but now it's Toy Story 1-3, Cars 1-2, and Elmo. However, I still sneak in Law & Order. 8)

    Gassho,
    Ekai

  6. #6

    Re: The Buddha's bones, really

    Quote Originally Posted by Ekai
    I used to watch all of those shows but now it's ... Elmo.
    Speaking of which, I was looking for some Elmo online yesterday for our daughter, and stumbled on this Sesame Street outtake ... funny ...

    [youtube] [/youtube]

  7. #7
    Treeleaf Unsui Dosho's Avatar
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    Re: The Buddha's bones, really

    Hi all,

    Good stuff...actually, I'm a double dipper, watching Sesame Street during the afternoon with my youngest and Criminal Minds reruns in the evening.

    I never thought I'd double dip with one clip, but you have to love Elmo necrophiliac jokes.

    Gassho,
    Dosho

    P.S. This is a good one too...a PG-13 song...turned into a G parody sanctioned by the folks at Sesame Street:

    [youtube] [/youtube]

  8. #8

    Re: The Buddha's bones, really

    I've just pulled a muscle in my side laughing - but I needed
    that laugh this morning ...

    Willow :lol:

  9. #9
    Senior Member AlanLa's Avatar
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    Re: The Buddha's bones, really

    When I posted that article about Buddha's bones I thought "those crazy Buddhists" over there and now that this thread has degenerated into Elmo clips only confirms that those crazy Buddhists are right here :lol:

  10. #10
    Senior Member Nenka's Avatar
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    Re: The Buddha's bones, really

    Quote Originally Posted by AlanLa
    When I posted that article about Buddha's bones I thought "those crazy Buddhists," and now that this thread has degenerated into Elmo clips only confirms that those crazy Buddhists are right here :lol:
    I'm in the right place! :lol:

    Jen

  11. #11
    Senior Member Ekai's Avatar
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    Re: The Buddha's bones, really

    Dosho,

    That Elmo video is so funny! I laughed so hard that it made cry :lol:

    Gassho,
    Ekai

  12. #12
    Treeleaf Unsui/Engineer Kyonin's Avatar
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    Re: The Buddha's bones, really

    Holy macaroni! This thread has it all!

    I had no idea there were supposed Buddha's remains all over Asia. I have read that there is historic evidence about Shiakamuni's travels and life and this gives Buddhism a solid historic ground, but this is the first time I read about his bones...

    But for what Jundo says about the Buddha's thousand teeth, well I think is a pretty human thing. Christian saints must have had thousands of fingers and even Jesus' cross itself must've been made of several forests in order to send splinters to all corners of the world. Next to my home there is a church that claims to have a big chunk of the cross. Go figure.

    And about sariras... I have always had my reserves on just believing that they magically appeared when a Buddhist teacher died and was cremated. Now I know that my suspicions were correct.

    Finally... Elmo + Ricky Gervais = WIN!

  13. #13

    Re: The Buddha's bones, really

    Quote Originally Posted by Kyonin
    I had no idea there were supposed Buddha's remains all over Asia. I have read that there is historic evidence about Shiakamuni's travels and life and this gives Buddhism a solid historic ground, but this is the first time I read about his bones...

    But for what Jundo says about the Buddha's thousand teeth, well I think is a pretty human thing. Christian saints must have had thousands of fingers and even Jesus' cross itself must've been made of several forests in order to send splinters to all corners of the world. Next to my home there is a church that claims to have a big chunk of the cross. Go figure.
    Well, actually Gautama Buddha's travels during his lifetime were probably limited to a very small area of Northern India (and part of what is now Nepal) ... literally walking distance, although he was a very good walker. It is about the region shown on this map in the little square.



    Of course, BUDDHA (Big "B" Buddha) is not limited by time or place and fills the 10 Directions ... as much in Indiana as in India, London as Lumbini ... and that's just in this universe! We Buddhists are simply unbounded by space and time. (Here, by the way, Jundo is being serious ... not joking. Really.)

    Oh, and did you know that Jesus is buried in Japan, where he secretly came? It's True! Oh, and he left descendants.

    His place [on Calvary] was taken by one of his brothers, who for some reason is now buried by his side in Japan.

    The story goes that after escaping Jerusalem, Jesus made his way across Russia and Siberia to Aomori in the far north of Japan where he became a rice farmer, married, had a family and died peacefully at the age of 114.

    A villager hinted that I might be able to meet one of Jesus' descendents - a Mr Sajiro Sawaguchi, who is now in his 80s.
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/programmes/f ... 326614.stm

    Gassho, Jundo

  14. #14
    disastermouse
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    Re: The Buddha's bones, really

    Quote Originally Posted by AlanLa
    When I posted that article about Buddha's bones I thought "those crazy Buddhists" over there and now that this thread has degenerated into Elmo clips only confirms that those crazy Buddhists are right here :lol:
    This made me grin like an idiot.

    Chet

  15. #15
    Treeleaf Unsui Shokai's Avatar
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    Re: The Buddha's bones, really

    Next to my home there is a church that claims to have a big chunk of the cross.
    There is a story about Brother Andre's (now close to or already signed into the Hall of Saints) Shrine in Montreal. If you go there you can see a wall covered with the crutches of those poor souls who claim to have been healed by Brother Andre. As a matter of fact, my former Father-in-law suffered from a malady that he claimed to have been mitigated by a visit to the Bro, himself back some eighty years ago. But, I digress. What I truly wish to convey is the story of the young fellow who suffered from hemorrhoids, who went up to the shrine in hopes of being healed. However, on arrival, he didn't notice any a-holes hanging on the wall so he lost faith and returned home to sit and suffer in pain.

  16. #16

    Re: The Buddha's bones, really

    Quote Originally Posted by Shokai
    What I truly wish to convey is the story of the young fellow who suffered from hemorrhoids, who went up to the shrine in hopes of being healed. However, on arrival, he didn't notice any a-holes hanging on the wall so he lost faith and returned home to sit and suffer in pain.
    absolutly fantastic

  17. #17
    Senior Member AlanLa's Avatar
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    Re: The Buddha's bones, really

    Quote Originally Posted by disastermouse
    Quote Originally Posted by AlanLa
    When I posted that article about Buddha's bones I thought "those crazy Buddhists" over there and now that this thread has degenerated into Elmo clips only confirms that those crazy Buddhists are right here :lol:
    This made me grin like an idiot.

    Chet
    Me too!

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