The sacred relics of Lord Buddha was received by abbots, monks and nuns of the Tawang Monastery in Arunachal Pradesh located near the Indo-China border in a religious ceremony, amidst the chanting of hymns and traditional sacred music here on Friday.
The monastery, known as Galden Namgyal Lhaste (meaning celestial paradise in a clear night) is one of the largest in Asia. It was built by Merak Lama Lorde Gyatso in 1680-81 in the Tawang-Chu Valley as per the wishes of the fifth Dalai Lama.
This Buddhist town wore a religious look as locals dressed in traditional attire, lined up along both sides of the road with bouquets, khadas and incense sticks, and bowed before the relics as it moved down the main thoroughfare in a motorcade. Prayer flags flapped in the cold breeze. The monastery is located at a height of about 10,000 feet.
The relics were flown in from the National Museum in New Delhi, and arrived via Guwahati by air.
Karmik and Adhyatmik (Chos-Rig) Affairs Chairman T G Rinpoche, who is a spiritual leader of the state, Tourism Minister Pema Khandu, Civil Aviation Parliamentary Secretary Jambey Tashi (all from Tawang district), Arunachal Bhawan additional resident commissioner Jigme Choden, former minister ThuptenTempa and senior monks accompanied the relics. They were joined by planning and karmik and adhyatmik (Chos-Rig) affairs secretary Sonam Chombay at Guwahati before flying here.
Tawang legislator Tsewang Dhondup, monks, senior officers, including District Collector Abhisek Dev andSuperintendent of Police Arbind Arya received the relics at the helipad here.
After the installation of the relics inside a well-protected glass chamber and under CCTV and round-the-clock security surveillance in front of the 27-feet tall Golden Buddha statue, Chombey, on behalf of the GoAP, lauded the officials of National Museum accompanying the relics. "At last Lord Buddha has arrived in leaving the people of Arunachal, Tawang in particular blessed."
These Kapilavastu relics (four out of 22 pieces of the relics), considered to be the most genuine relics of Lord Buddha, brought to the state for the first time at the initiative of Rev. Rinpoche with the patronage of Chief Minister Nabam Tuki, inking a history.
"The main objective behind bringing the sacred relics to the state is to spread peace, harmony and tranquility, and to inculcate the Buddha's teachings among the people," Rev Rinpoche told ANI.
This would be a unique occasion for psychological integration between the peoples of this land-locked region with that of their mainland counterparts, Rev Rinpoche reasoned.
The relics would be kept at Tawang Monastery for exposition till November 23 for the devotees to pay their obeisance, and the next day taken to Bomdila where they would be kept at Bomdila Monastery till December 2, and on December 4 the relics would be taken to Namsai. It would be on exposition at Golden Pagoda in Tengapani at Namsai till December 12 before being taken to Dibrugarh in Assam the next day, and then back to New Delhi.
The devotees with thousand years' old Buddhist tradition have conveyed their gratefulness to the Centre and the Arunachal Pradesh Government for the lifetime opportunity, which would also be availed by devotees from various parts of the world and neighbouring states to pay respect to Lord Buddha. By Pradeep Kumar (ANI)