On June 13, a special delegation of 25 Indian officials, led by Justice Minister Kiren Rijiju, arrived in the Mongolian capital Ulaanbaatar, carrying four sacred Buddha relics. sacred.
This relic originated in Kapilavastu in present-day Nepal, where the Buddha was born. This is an act of goodwill by the Government of India towards Mongolia. The relics will be displayed for 11 days to celebrate and honor the Buddha’s birth, which takes place on June 14 in Mongolia.
Mongolian Minister of Culture Nomin Saranchimeg, as well as Khamba Nomun Khan – Advisor to the President of Mongolia, Government officials and Buddhist monks came to receive the relics at Ulaanbaatar International Airport.
The relics were transported on an Indian Air Force plane. Along the way, the relics of the Buddha were preserved in suitable conditions, similar to those in the National Museum of New Delhi.
These relics were carried in procession to the Batsagaan temple of Ganda monastery in the capital of Mongolia. Here, these precious spiritual treasures will be on display until the end of June 24. “The historical relationship between India and Mongolia will be further strengthened after the event of receiving the relics of the Buddha from India to Mongolia,” Mr. Rijiju said.
Here, Minister Rijiju also recalled that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi made an offering to the main Buddha image in the main hall of Ganda Monastery during his visit in 2015. On that occasion, Mr. Modi also presented a tree branch from the sacred bodhi tree, where the Buddha attained enlightenment, for Lama Hamba, the abbot of the monastery.
Mr. Modi is the first Indian prime minister to visit Mongolia. The presence of the Buddha’s relics in Mongolia this time represents “the prime minister’s broad vision to restore and develop relations with the countries with which India has had cultural and spiritual ties since then.” many centuries ago”. In addition, India printed 75 copies of the 108 volumes of the Mongolian Kanjur, a Buddhist text, as offerings to all monasteries across Mongolia, and subsequently proceeded to digitize the Kanjur.
Thousands of Mongolian Buddhists have lined up at Ganda Monastery since early morning to be able to sequentially admire the relics of the Buddha. A female Buddhist in the line shared her feelings: “I am extremely happy when the sacred relics of the Buddha have been brought here from India. I am a Buddhist who came here to pay my respects and pay my respects to the relics.”
The relics of the Buddha had previously been welcomed to many places for similar spiritual, cultural and diplomatic purposes. In 2012, the Buddhist island nation of Sri Lanka presented this treasure in procession and displayed it at various locations across the country for Buddhists to admire.
The Archaeological Survey of India classifies the relics of the Buddha as “AA”, which stipulates that the relics must not be brought out of India because of their unique and rare nature. Therefore, these relics have been preserved in India until now. However, recently, at the request of the Government of Mongolia, Indian Culture and Tourism Minister G.Kishan Reddy made a special exception and allowed the Mongolian Government to bring the relics back to the country in within 11 days.
According to 2020 census data, 51.7% of Mongolians are Buddhist, but most of them are Vajrayana practitioners; about 40.6% do not follow any religion; while 3.2% are Muslim; 2.5% according to the Mongolian Shaman tradition; 1.3% follow Christianity and 0.7% belong to other religions.