Gangtok, Nov 25 (UNI) Thirteen relics of Lord Buddha from 13 different countries were handed over for the Sakyamuni project at the new Karma Thekchenling monastery in the sub-divisional town of Rabongla in South Sikkim, this morning by the team of Thai monks, led by the Venerable Jamnian Chonsakhorn Seelasettho.
A procession with traditional Sherbang reception was led from Rabongla bazaar to the Mane Chokerling complex, a distance of two km with devotees, well wishers and large gathering of people.
The Thai team had reached Rabongla late in the evening yesterday with the most precious relics of Lord Buddha to be kept at the Statue of Lord Buddha after its completion sometime next year.
The relics had been offered by Somdet Phra Nyanasaamvara, the 19th Supreme patriarch of the kingdom of Thailand.
Following the request, a high Thai priest Venerable Phra Kristada of Bangkok had agreed to be the representative of the Sakyamuni project for securing the most precious relics from all the neighbouring Buddhist countries.
The relics have been offered from Thailand, Burma, Japan, South Korea, Cambodia, Laos, Taiwan, Vietnam, and Buddhist temples in California, Germany, Lumbini in Nepal and Bodhgaya in India for the Sakyamuni project.
The Thai delegation formally handed over the relics at a solemn ceremony held inside the main shrine hall of the Karma Thekchenling monastery.
State urban development Minister and area MLA of Ralong DD Bhutia, who is also the vice-chairman of the Sakyamuni project and Goshir Gyaltshab Rimpoche, a regent and second in head of the Kagyu sect of Buddhism after the Karmapa, received the relics on behalf of the Sakyamuni project.
''We are very happy and glad recieve the relics collected from the various countries for the proposed 148-feet-high statue of Lord Buddha surrounded by eco-garden in Rabongla for the eternity, prosperity and stability of Buddhism at this place. The Sakyamuni project will bring peace, kindness and generosity for not only Sikkim but the universe and is for the growth and wellbeing of this place,'' the Venerable Seelasettho said in his address while handing over the relic.
The Thai delegation also announced an assistance of 1.5 million Thai Bhat, equivalent to Rs 20 lakh in Indian currency for the Sakyamuni project.
Venerable Seelasettho, who is the chief of the priests of the Thai monastry handed over Rs two lakh in cash to the Mr Bhutia and will transfer the rest of the amount (Rs 18 lakh) into the account of the Sakyamuni project.
Thanking the Thai delegation, M Bhutia said the people of the state were very grateful for having gifted the relics for the Sakyamuni project and this gesture would always remain in not only in the hearts of the people of Rabongla but the entire state.
Goshir Gyaltshab Rimpoche said this event had forged a new relationship between the people of Thailand and Sikkim and for the well being of the entire Buddhist countries. He also invited Venerable Seelasettho and the delegation to visit Rabongla again once the Sakyamuni project was completed.
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