For the first time since their discovery, relics of Lord Buddha, which are in the pride possession of M S University’s Department of Archaeology and Ancient History in southern Tamil Nadu, will travel to Sri Lanka Indian Newspaper Kaplan Herald reported yesterday.
According to the report MSU’s syndicate members on Friday cleared a proposal which the university had received from the National Museum, a part of the Ministry of Culture, Government of India. The museum had in turn received a request from the Government of Sri Lanka which has sought the relics that will be kept in display for people to pay veneration on the occasion of Buddha Purnima on April 30 and a few days later.
The letter from the museum’s director general Dr B R Mani had stated that the request by Sri Lanka was discussed in the union ministry of culture and it had requested the university to reply to the letter on urgent basis. As per the letter from the ministry, the relics will be sent with full security and care as per the procedure and will remain in Sri Lanka for a few days after which they will be returned to the university.
The relics were found after a team of archaeologists from MSU had guessed that a ‘stupa’ and a ‘vihara’ were lying beneath two mounds in Dev Ni Mori, a village in North Gujarat that was going to be submerged in 1957 for construction of a dam.
It was on January 14, 1963, that the relic casket containing bodily remains of ‘Dashabala’ (Buddha) was discovered. A line on the inscription on the casket identified the relics within: Dashabala Sharira Nilayaha – This is the abode of the relics of Dashabala.