Sacred Kapilawastu relics are brought to Sri Lanka
The sacred Kapilawastu relics have been brought to Sri Lanka to the joy of the devout Buddhists in the country.
The Kapilawastu relics were brought to Sri Lanka as a result of a personal request made by President Mahinda Rajapaksa to Indian Premier Dr. Manmohan Singh. After holding a religious ceremony with the participation of the members of Maha Sangha from Sri Lanka at Indian Air Force base in New Delhi, the relics were brought in a special Air Force aircraft. President Mahinda Rajapaksa received the relics at the Katunayake airport amidst the blessings of senior members of the Maha Sangha. The relics accompanied by Indian Cultural Minister Kumari Selja and Director General of National Museums in India were warmly received by the President and brought in a procession to the VIP lounge on a red carpet. Mahanayaka of the Asgiriya Chapter Most Ven. Udugama Sri Buddharakkhitha Thera administered Pansil while the members of the Maha Sangha chanted Seth Pirith. First Lady Shiranthi Rajapaksa, Ministers, Parliamentarians and other distinguished guests graced the occasion.
These relics that were discovered in 1898 from Kapilawastu are believed to be the relics handed over to the relatives of the Buddha of the Shakya clan. The relics were discovered in the excavations carried out in the ancient site of Kapilawastu. They were flown out of India for the first time in 1978 to be brought to Sri Lanka. The relics that are on display at the national museum in New Delhi under high security were brought to Sri Lanka marking a special occasion. The Indian High Commission in Colombo, the Ministries of Buddhasasana and religious affairs, as well as defence and urban development have jointly organized the event. The public will have the opportunity of paying homage to the relics at four centres in the island until 4th September. The relics were brought in a motorcade to the Manelwatta Viharaya in Bollegala, Kelaniya where an exposition will be held for three days. The relics will be taken to other selected centres thereafter.