Sakyamuni Buddha

In 1011, during the Song Dynasty of China, a monk from India, Master Danapala, had offered the sacred relic of the skull of Sakyamuni Buddha to Emperor Zhen.  This relic was housed in the underground palace of the Sacred Relic Pagoda inside Changgan Temple.

The Sacred Relic Pagoda was destroyed later due to war and the relic was disappeared for over 1000 years.

In 2008, during an archeological excavation of the Great Baoen Temple, the original underground palace housing the relic was discovered.  The sacred relic of the skull of Sakyamuni Buddha has “reappeared“.

Relics of Sakyamuni Buddha are not rare because there were over 80,000 pieces of Buddha’s relics collected when he was cremated.  But a large chunk of his skull like the rediscovered one is very rare and considered “national treasure” and the ultimate holy relic of the Buddhist world.

From April 25 to 30th (2012), this sacred relic is transported to Hong Kong to celebrate the birthday of Buddha and the 15th anniversary of the return of Hong Kong to China.  The public is invited to see and pay homage to the relic in a coliseum.  Over 300,000 people have attended this event.

The skull or usnisa of Sakyamuni Buddha
Worshipers walking past the golden pagoda housing the relic

The weather was strange during the relic exhibition. The city here had unusually big rain and thunderstorms during mid-nights and sunshine or hazy sky during the days.  The rainfall had cleansed and purified the qi or energy of the city.  Some Buddhists said that beings other than human also wanted to pay their homage to the Buddha relic– hence bringing the big thunderstorms at night.

I was fortunate to be in Hong Kong doing research when the exhibition was on. This is probably my affinity with Buddha.

Majority of the relic worshipers are from the older generations– most are over 50 years old.  Older folks are probably thinking more about what will happen after death. I saw many old, sick, infirm and people on wheelchairs coming to “meet” Buddha– similar to people in the western world flocking to holy sites with relics for inspirations and faith-healing.

I had seen other Buddhist relics, including Sakyamuni Buddha’s crystallized relics in small bead form in 2005 when there was a relic exhibition in Minnesota.  I remember the indescribable pleasant and calm energies near the relics even the exhibition room was crowded with sweating people.

I felt the same jubilant and peaceful energies in the coliseum. Some people were in states of euphoria.

I like the feeling of this holy energy and seized the opportunities to stick around the coliseum.  I ended up attended Dharma Services three times and absorbed a few hours of Buddha energies.

The opportunity to see the sacred relic is as good as meeting Buddha” (得見舍利,如見佛陀). Now I can die a happy man.

Ken Lai