Colombo, Novemner 23 (newsin.asia): In a visit to Rajaguru Sri Subuthi Viharaya on 21 November, the High Commissioner of India, Gopal Baglay, sought the blessings of the Chief Incumbent Most Ven. Sri Mahindawansa Mahanayake Thero for peace and prosperity of the people of Sri Lanka and India.
The High Commissioner prayed at the Waskaduwa Rajguru Sri Subuthi Viharaya which houses Lord Buddha’s relics from Piprahwa in India. He paid tribute to the memory of Most Venerable Rajaguru Waskaduwe Sri Subhuthi Nayaka Thero who brought to Sri Lanka the venerated Piprahwa relics of Lord Buddha, discovered in late 19th century in India.
The High Commissioner and Venerable Mahindawansa Thera discussed the ancient bilateral Buddhist ties between India and Sri Lanka and ways to further strengthen cooperation between the two countries.
The High Commissioner noted that the USD 15 million grant announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to protect and promote Buddhist heritage ties between India and Sri Lanka will also be utilised for the exhibition of Lord Buddha’s relics as well as to develop Viharayas, the education of young monks and the development of Buddhist heritage museums.
The other venerated relics of Lord Buddha from Kapilavasthu discovered in 1970 in India have been exhibited six times out of India, including twice in Sri Lanka. The first time was in 1978 when they were brought to Sri Lanka and drew 10 million people. In 2012, at the request of the then Sri Lankan President, Mahinda Rajapaksa, the relics once again travelled from India to Sri Lanka to commemorate the 2600th anniversary of the Enlightenment of the Buddha.
The venerated relics from the Waskaduwe Vihara had also been exhibited in India in October 2015 to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Dr B.R.Ambedkar, the architect of the Indian Constitution, embracing Buddhism along with 500,00 followers. Over 8 million people came to see the relics and pay homage.