After the Buddha had paranirvana, the body relics from his cremation were divided amongst various clans of the time. The relics ended up in many countries around the world, mostly in Stupas, where they are honoured by circumambulation. Others are encased in shrines, sometimes portable, so that they can be honored by Buddhists in various temples. Other relics, from the 16 Arhats, likewise became celebrated Holy objects of veneration.
In New York state, at the Thekchen Choling (USA) Syracuse, the sangha will celebrate the Holy relics with an exhibition of relics from Shakyamuni Buddha and the 16 Arhats. According to the temple:
“The holy relics on display are miraculous manifestations of the Buddha’s actions to benefit sentient beings. In the presence of the relics many people feel blessed with a profound sense of peace and calm, and an enhanced feeling of well-being. Some people have even reported various healings after a visit to the Buddha relics.”
Viewing the relics of the Buddha, Arhats and great Yogis is a sacred experience. There are countless inspiring stories of honoring relics. The temple explains (on their website):
“It is said that merely seeing the relics of Lord Shakyamuni Buddha is the same as seeing the Buddha himself. Buddha relics are the crystallized remains that formed after the Buddha’s holy body was cremated in India over 2500 years ago. These relics are known to have tremendous power and can bring great blessings to individuals and the surroundings. Offered to Thekchen Choling Syracuse by Lama Namdrol Rinpoche in 2014, the temple houses a small collection of Buddha relics on its altar for public viewing. Visitors to the temple are welcome and encouraged to sit, meditate and feel the Buddha’s blessings in the presence of these precious relics. (In special circumstances and upon request, these relics can be taken out into the community to hospitals, nursing homes and animal shelters to give blessings to those beings who are sick, dying or suffering in other ways.)” 
More information from the event organizers:
“There are over 20 holy relics on display, which are considered to be miraculous manifestations of the Buddha’s actions to benefit sentient beings. In the presence of the relics many people feel blessed with a profound sense of peace and calm, and an enhanced feeling of well being. Some people have even reported various healings after a visit to the relics. This exhibit is free and open to all. No need to be a Buddhist to attend.
In addition to viewing the various relics, visitors may take part in certain contemplative activities like silent sitting meditation, reading the Golden Light Sutra, “Inviting the Bell”, tsa-tsa painting, participating in the Buddha Bath Ceremony and copying the Heart Sutra in gold ink, all of which create merit and help manifest good karma. To create even more merit, visitors will also have the opportunity to make light offering and say prayers in Ksitigarbha Hall. Visitors can also relax in the main temple and enjoy tea while viewing a short video of the ceremony where Singha Rinpoche was offered the relics by the Buddha Dharma Temple and Relic Museum in Bangkok, Thailand.”
Thekchen Choling Temple will exhibit the relics — no entrance fee, and open to all on these dates and times:
- Saturday, June 15, 2019: 9am to 4pm — with a special opening ceremony at 9:30am
- Sunday, June 16, 2019: 10am to 4pm
- Monday, June 17, 2019: 4pm to 8pm
The Thekchen Choling Temple is located at 109 East Avenue, Minoa, NY 13116 (phone 315-480-1088.) Website here>>
 Normal disclaimer regarding healing and health matters. Often, this is a matter of faith. Always seek the advice of your medical professionasl (and, or course, your Buddhist teachers.)
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Author | Buddha Weekly
Lee Kane is the editor of Buddha Weekly, since 2007. His main focuses as a writer are mindfulness techniques, meditation, Dharma and Sutra commentaries, Buddhist practices, international perspectives and traditions, Vajrayana, Mahayana, Zen. He also covers various events.
Lee also contributes as a writer to various other online magazines and blogs.