One of world's oldest Buddha statue in India for display

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New Delhi, Nov 10 (UNI) One of the oldest statues of Buddha, that had been taken from Vaishali in Bihar to a temple in Japan in 552 AD, has been brought to India for an exhibition.

The statue of the Amitabha Buddha or Ikko Amida Triad that has been in the Zenkokji temple since sixth century, will be kept on display at the National Museum for three weeks from tomorrow for the Zenkoji Shonin Exhibition.

The exhibition will also showcase 160 articles which include among other priceless relics, articles belonging to the TokuGawa Shoguns who patronised the temple and became the most powerful warlords in Japan.

As per the Zenko-ji Engi (the origin of Zenko-ji temple), the principal image, the Ikko Amida Triad, is said to be the oldest Buddha statue to have been brought to Japan in the year 552 AD during the introduction of Buddhism. Therefore, this Buddha is said to represent the introduction of Buddhism in Japan. Since then, it has been kept in the Zenko-ji temple, which has received visitors from far and wide.

The Zenko-ji Shonin Exhibition will be the first exhibition in India of treasures from a Japanese temple, saud Vikas Bakshi, one of the organisers of the exhibition.

"Holding this exhibition represents the symbolic return of the statue of the Amitabha Buddha in the Zenko-ji temple for the first time since its arrival in Japan in the sixth century to the birth place of Shakyamuni and Buddhism 2500 years ago,'' he said.

Mr Hiroshima Makashuto, the Exhibition Committee said India where Budha was born is considered as ''a pure land'' and people believe that having faith in Zenko-jo is equivalent to going to India.

He said 121st Takatsukasa Seigyoku Shonin(the Shonin have been caretakers of the statue) will be coming to India for the exhibition. She will also be visiting Bodh Gaya, where Buddha attained enlightenment.

UNI MMG AKJ AS1554

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