Nearly 1 lakh people pay obeisance to Lord Buddha’s holy relics flown from India to Thailand

BANGKOK, Feb 26 : Nearly one lakh devotees paid their obeisance on Makha Bucha day to the holy relics of Lord Buddha and his two disciples that were recently enshrined here after being ferried from India to Thailand for a 26-day exposition.

The four Holy Piparahwa Relics of Lord Buddha and his Two Disciples, Arahata Sariputra, and Arahata Maudgalyayana, reached Thailand in a special Indian Air Force plane on Thursday and were enshrined on Friday for public veneration at the specially built mandapam at Sanam Luang pavilion in Bangkok.

On Makha Bucha day on Saturday, almost one lakh devotees paid their obeisance to the relics, revered by Buddhist followers around the world, according to a press release issued by the Ministry of Culture in New Delhi.

Makha Bucha Day is a significant Buddhist holiday commemorating “the fourfold assembly of 1,250 enlightened monks that took place more than 2,500 years ago,” according to the Thai daily ‘The Nation’. The festival, also known as Magha Puja, holds a special place in the hearts of Buddhists, marking a moment of spiritual reflection and worship.

The 26-day exposition of the relics started in Thailand on February 22. This is the first time that the holy relics of Lord Buddha and his disciples have been showcased together.

The relics are dated 4th-5th century BC and were found in an excavation at Piprahwa, considered a part of the site of ancient Kapilavastu, by a team of Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) officials in the 1970s.

The exposition itinerary includes visits to multiple venues across Thailand, allowing devotees and enthusiasts alike to pay homage to the revered artefacts, according to the release.

Bihar Governor Rajendra Vishwanath Arlekar, who is heading a 22-member Indian delegation that has accompanied the holy relics, handed over the Lord Buddha relics to Thai Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin, while those of Arahants Sariputra and Maha Maudgalayana were handed over by Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment Virendra Kumar to Thai Deputy Prime Minister Somsak Thepsutin and Thai Culture Minister.

The Thai Culture Minister expressed gratitude to the Indian government for giving an opportunity to Thailand for the exposition of holy relics and said that his country will make all efforts to spread Lord Buddha’s message to mankind. (PTI )