Colombo, Aug 19 President of Sri Lanka H.E. President Mahinda Rajapaksa received the Sacred Kapilavastu Relics from Minister of Culture, Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation, Kumari Seija, brought the Sacred Kapilavastu Relics today in a special Indian Air Force aircraft. The exposition of the Kapilavastu Relics will take place in Sri Lanka from 19 August 2012 to 4 September 2012.
President of Sri Lanka, Mahinda Rajapaksa received the Sacred Kapilavastu Relics in a colourful ceremony at the Bandaranaike airport in Katunayake. A large number of Buddhist monks in a religious ceremony chanted the Pirith.
The Sacred Relics were then taken in a procession to the first venue of exposition at the Manelwatta Maha Viharaya, Kelaniya. Earlier in the morning, a special religious ceremony was organized at the Delhi airport before the Sacred Relics left for Sri Lanka. It was attended by the Buddhist Monks, Senior officials from the Ministry of External Affairs and the High Commissioner of Sri Lanka in India.
Minister Kumari Selja, accompanied by the High Commissioner of India and senior officials of the delegation, called on President of Sri Lanka following the arrival of the Sacred Kapilavastu Relics.
It is for the second time since their discovery, that the Sacred Kapilavastu Relics have travelled to Sri Lanka from India’s National Museum situated in New Delhi. The first Exposition of the Sacred Relics in Sri Lanka was in 1978.
The exposition of the Sacred Relics in Sri Lanka has been organized at the request made by President of Sri Lanka to the Prime Minister of India as this would provide an opportunity to the followers of Buddhism in Sri Lanka to pay homage to the Sacred Kapilavastu Relics.
|The schedule of the exposition of the Sacred Kapilavastu Relics in Sri Lanka is as follows:
The exposition of the Sacred Kapilavastu Relics is a grand finale to the joint activities undertaken by India and Sri Lanka to commemorate the 2600th anniversary of the Enlightenment of Lord Buddha – Sambuddhatava Jayanthi.
India has taken a number of other initiatives to jointly celebrate the 2600th anniversary of the Attainment of Enlightenment by Lord Buddha – Sambuddhatva Jayanti – with Sri Lanka, which, inter alia, include:
- Organisation of an International Buddhist Conference in Kandy ;
- Installation of a 16-foot high statue of Lord Buddha in the Sarnath style from Gupta period at the entrance of International Buddhist Museum in Sri Dalada Maligawa complex in Kandy;
- Launch of a new Buddhist pilgrimage circuit train “Damba Diva Vandana” originating from Chennai and touching key Buddhist sites in the Northern India;
- Organisation of dance-dramas, photographic exhibitions and screening of documentaries on Buddhism.
A Publication containing the proceedings of the International Buddhist Conference “Cultural Interface between India and Sri Lanka- Based on Buddhist History, Art, Literature and Philosophy”, which was inaugurated by the President of Sri Lanka on 20 March 2011 in Kandy, will also be released during the exposition of the Sacred Kapilvastu Relics. Coinciding with the exposition, a set of books on Buddhism would be gifted to the Pali and Buddhist Studies Unit, University of Colombo.
On the occasion of the exposition of the Sacred Kapilavastu Relics in Sri Lanka, Centre for Contemporary Indian Studies (CCIS), Pali and Buddhist Studies Unit, University of Colombo in association with the Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute for International Relations and Strategic Studies (LKIIRSS) are organizing a half- day Symposium on “Relic Worship: History, Archaeology and Religion” at LKIIRSS Auditorium on 20 August 2012.
The relationship between India and Sri Lanka is more than 2500 years old and is built upon a legacy of intellectual, cultural, religious and linguistic ties. Since Prince Arhat Mahinda’s arrival in Anuradhapura in the 3rd century BC which heralded the arrival of Buddhism in Sri Lanka, Buddhism continues to be one of the common threads that bind India and Sri Lanka together. The Exposition of the Sacred Kapilavastu Relics in Sri Lanka will reinforce the common cultural heritage shared between India and Sri Lanka and will further strengthen the multi-faceted relationship that both countries share.