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Relics*

'Relics' is a translation of the Sanskrit Sharira, which literally means 'body', but in Buddhist uSage most often refers to the sacred Relics found in the cremated remains of the Buddha or of a Buddhist monk.

After the cremation of the Buddha's body his Relics were distributed and later redistributed by Emperor Ashoka, who built special Stupas (Chinese ta “paGoda”) to house them for worship.

Often in the cremated remains of monks who have led extremely pure lives are found Sharira of various colors and sizes that look like effulgent Pearls.

Chan Master Hsu Yun related this experience he had with a Relic of the Buddha at Ashoka Monastery:

. . . Everyday when visitors came to have a look at the Sharira, I always followed them. The visitors' opinions about the Relic varied Greatly. I had seen it many times; at first it looked to me as of the size of a green bean and of a dark purple color. In the Middle of the tenth month, after I had paid reverence to the Mahayana and Hinayana Tripitakas, I went again to look and it was the same size as before but like a brilliant red Pearl. As I was impatient to see how it would transform itself, I again prostrated myself and felt pains all over my body; the Sharira was bigger than a yellow bean, half yellow and half white.

I then realized that its size and color varied according to the visitors sense organ and its field. . . . (empty Cloud: the Autobiography of Hsu Yun)


1) Chinese: she li , 2) Sanskrit: Sharira, 3) Pali Sharira, Shariraka-Dhatu, 4) Alternate translations: remains (Holy);

See Also: enlightenment, Moral Precepts, Relic Tour

BTTS References: HS 120.


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relic.txt · Last modified: 2018/02/26 18:13 (external edit)