TAXILA: The most sacred relics of Lord Buddha returned to Taxila Museum at the end of a three-week long exposition at various places in Sri Lanka.

The relics were sent by the Pakistan government on a special request by Sri Lanka in connection with the Annual Buddha Rashmi National Vesak Festival.

“The sacred relics included the holy bone relics of Lord Buddha, a golden casket containing the relics and a stone reliquary in stupa shape,” said Abdul Nasir Khan curator at Taxila Museum, who visited along with the relics to Sri Lanka.

“The relic caskets of steatite with a miniature gold casket containing holy bone relics, which were found near the Dharmarajika stupa, the largest and the oldest Buddhist religious complex at Taxila,” he added.

He said during exhibition at Sri Lanka, the Holy Relics were exhibited in different temples in Colombo, Wellampitiya, Kalutara, Galle, Matara, Kurunegalla, Anuradhapura and Kandy where hundreds of thousands of devotees visited the relics daily and performed religious rituals.

Mr Nasir Khan said the sacred bone relics of Lord Buddha were sent on the special request of the Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe, during the visit of the than Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to Sri Lanka in January last year.

He said exhibition of these Buddhist sacred relics was inaugurated on May 21this year by the Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe in the presence of a large number of senior religious scholars, speaker of parliament, senior government ministers and high level government officials.

He claimed that during the month-long exposition of the sacred relics in Sri Lanka, around 9 million Buddhist devotees paid their respects and homage to the holy bone relics from Taxila.

Published in Dawn, May 20th, 2018