Colombo, April 29 (newsin.asia): Pakistan has sent the most sacred relics of the Lord Buddha to Sri Lanka for exposition in connection with the annual Buddha Rashmi National Vesak Festival.
Sri Lankan Minister for Buddha Sasana, Gamini Jayawickrema Perera along with Parliamentarians, the High Commissioner of Pakistan Dr. Shahid Ahmad Hashmat as well as senior monks, high ranking government officials, religious scholars, received the holy relics on April 28. The Curator of Taxila Museum, brought the relics.
The exposition of the relics will commence at Gangaramaya Temple and the Temple Trees on April 29. Thereafter, it will be exhibited in leading temples across the country until May 16.
The relics will be in Colombo for a four-day exposition from April 29 to May 2. After that the Relics will be taken to Wellampitiya, Kalutara, Galle, Matara, Kurunegalla, Anuradhapura and Kandy. The relics will be brought back to Colombo on May 16.
These relics are part of a collection in Taxila (Takshila) which is kept at one of the most important archaeological sites in Asia, the Taxila Museum.
The relics were originally discovered near the Dharmarajika Stupa, the earliest and largest Buddhist complex at Taxila, which was built in the 3rd century BCE to enshrine the redistributed holy relics of the Buddha by the famous Mauryan king Asoka who was also known as Dharmaraja for his services to Buddhism.
Dharmarajika was excavated by Ghulam Qadir in 1912-16 under the direction of Sir John Marshall and also A.D. Siddiqui in 1934-36.
Buddhism owes a great deal to the ancient land of Pakistan. It was here that Buddhism reached its climax through well-organized missionaries who ultimately made it a world religion.
(High Commissioner of Pakistan, Dr. Shahid Hashmat handing over the Sacred Relics to Minister for Buddha Sasana Hon. Gamini Jayawickrama Perera)