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Buddha's tooth relic stupa celebrates 60th anniversary in Beijing

By CUI JIA | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2024-06-21 17:38

The Buddhist Association of China held an event at the Lingguang Temple in Beijing to solemnly commemorate the 60th anniversary of the completion of the Buddha's tooth relic stupa on Thursday.

More than 100 people including representatives of the communities of Chinese Buddhism, Tibetan Buddhism and Theravada Buddhism as well as foreign diplomats took part in the event.

Around 9am, Buddhist representatives from seven countries including Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam, gathered with representatives from China's three major Buddhist traditions in front of the Buddha's tooth relic stupa to hold a ceremony, praying together for world peace, prosperity and the well-being of all people.

Master Yan Jue, head of the association, said in a speech at the event that the Buddha's tooth relic is the physical relic of the Buddha himself, revered by followers worldwide as the supreme treasure of Buddhism and an important link between the Chinese and international Buddhist communities.

Since the founding of the People's Republic of China, the Buddha's tooth relic has been invited multiple times to overseas for reverence and worship, deepening the friendship between China and Buddhist communities worldwide and actively contributing to the peace in Asia and the world, he added.

Yan Jue said over the past sixty years since the reconstruction of the Buddha's tooth relic stupa, people from various countries and regions visit annually to pay their respects and offer prayers, presenting a beautiful scene of harmonious coexistence.

The Chinese Buddhist community is willing to work together with peace-loving people around the world to practice the spirit of Buddhism — compassion, peace, wisdom, the Middle Way, inclusiveness and equality, playing the role of a cultural bridge in communicating the minds of people, he said.

He added that by promoting friendship between China and other countries, upholding world peace, enhancing the well-being of all beings, promoting cultural exchanges and mutual learning, the Buddhism community in China will contribute to the construction of a community with a shared future for humanity.

The Buddha's tooth relic kept at the Lingguang Temple is believed to be one of the only two tooth relics of Buddha in the world. It was brought by a monk from Xinjiang in the mid 5th century AD, and later kept at the temple in Beijing.

The original stupa to keep the Buddha's tooth relic was destroyed in the war in 1900. Fortunately, the Buddha's tooth relic was found by monks clearing up the ruins of the stupa the following year.

In 1957, with the support from the central government, the Buddhism community in China started to build a new stupa about 100 meters away from one that was destroyed. The construction was completed on June 26, 1964 and the Buddha's tooth relic has been well kept and worshipped there ever since.

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