The Buddha's Holy Relic donated Srilakan Government Leading by His Holiness Sangharaja Dharmasen Mahathero
The Handing over ceremony of adorable Hair Relics of Goutama Buddha now a days it is the talk of Bangladesh. The news has surpassed all the previous news on Buddhism as the media and newspaper authorities have publicised the news throughout the world. Only to receive this adorable gift on religious merit a group of high official from Govt. of the Socialist Republic of Sri-Lanka, led by their Foreign Minister came to Bangladesh. The adorable and ever-sacred Hair Relics has been preserving at Chittagong Buddhist Monastery and worshipping with profound respect and religious rites and rituals by the devotees but did not draw the attention of the mass media before the programmes held at Chittagong Buddhist Monastery premise on 17th July, 2007. To make the real history of the adorable Hair Relics clear it is necessary to go back to the ancient history of the life sketch of the Buddha Gautama. The family name of the Buddha was Siddhartha. He was born 2630 years ago in Kapilabattu in a feudal king of that area Suddhadanas's house. He married off when he was born 16 he became depressed to see the suffering of the people and decided to leave family to find out the way to Caucasian of the suffering (Dukka) and for eternal salvation. After 6 years of deep meditation he got Enlightenment and became the Buddha at Buddha Gaya in India in the year of 588 BC. After preaching the merit of the Dhamma for the betterment of many and happiness of many for long 45 years He attained Nibbana at the age of 80 in the year of 543 BC (2551 Year ago) at Khushinara in India. Since then the adorable and sacred Hair Relics of the Buddha, the Goutama has been preserved with profound religious respect and sacredness at the Chittagong Buddhist Monastery. To strengthen the friendship and relationship with various Buddhist countries of the world with Bangladesh this adorable Hair Relic was donated to Sri-Lanka in 1958, Japan in 1964, and Thailand in 1979 and again in Sri-Lanka in 2007.
How the Hair Relics came to the Bangladesh:
The adorable Hair Relics are the burning question now a day. Some people are in confusion about how this Hair Relics hasbeen preserved at Chittagong Buddhist Monastery. Some even asks question whether the Hair Relic is authentic or not. Some comment that it is not the Hair Relics of Goutama Buddha rather it is of other. Everybody becomes interested to know the real fact of the matter. Even the people of other community are interested to know the matter. For the betterment of knowledge it is necessary to inform the history of the adorable Hair Relics and preserving it at Chittagong Buddhist Monastery. On the third decade of twentieth century a Tibetian Monk (Lama) cum wandering religious mendicant named Sakya Lama came to Chittagong and stayed at Chittagong Buddhist Monastery. He kept a bunch of Hair Relics of Goutama Buddha with him. During the Liberation movement in Tibet the Buddhist monks had to leave their own land. They carried some most adorable things of Buddhism with them. Their leader His Holiness Dalai Lama took political asylum in India. The Tibetan worshiped His Holiness Dalai Lama as the Bodhisatva. All the Tibetan obeyed his order without any question. In that sense, according to the order of His Holiness Dalai Lama, the Buddhist monks crossed many hills, caves icy regions and even the seas. Possibly at that time sakaya Bhikkhu came to Chittagong along with the adorable Hair Relics. He visited many Buddhist Monasteries in different places but the monasteries here in Chittagong were decrepit and they were not safe. So he did not see any safe place to donate the adorable Hair Relics for preservation perfectly. At last he came to Chittagong Buddhist Monastery and met with Most Venerable Aggamahapandita Dharmavangsha Mahathero, the then president of Chittagong Buddhist Association (Now Bangladesh Buddhist Association). It was during the British Rule. Rev. Sakya Lama donated the adorable Hair Relics of Goutama Buddha to Venerable Dharmavangsha and left the country.
The Countries in where some parts
of the Hair Relics donated and worshipped:
Venerable Aggamahapandita Dharmavangsha Mahathero did not disclose the presentation of the Hair Relics to the people and for that the devotees were fully unconscious about the matter. It was concealed only for it's safely. Later on his only disciple ven. Dipankar Sreejan Mahathero became the chief Abbot of Chittagong Buddhist Monastery and the President of Pakistan Buddhist Association (Present Bangladesh Buddhist Association) and supervisor of the Hair Relics. He also concealed the matter. Even he did not organized any programme to worship the Hair Relics. Later on Sri-Lankan Government came to know about the Hair Relics and requested Chittagong Buddhist Monastery and Pakistan Buddhist Association Authority to donate some portion of the Hair Relics for worshipping it by the Sri-Lankan people and devotees thought proper Government channel. In response to their request in 1958 some parts of the Hair Relics were donated to Sri-Lankan Government collaboration with the Pakistan Government. In 1964 one of the Buddha devotees and the owner of the Famous Japanese news paper Yumuri Shimbum and renowned politician of Japan Mr. Matsutara Suraki requested to Pakistan Buddhist Asociation though Japan and Pakistan Government to donated some portion of the Hair Relics to Japan. On 25 September 1964, Friday Pakistan Central Education Ministry organized a Hair Relics Donation Ceremony at Chittagong Buddhist Monastery Premise. Pakistan Government Minister Mr. Sultan Ahmed was present in that Programme. Ven. Dipankar Sreejan Mahathero handed over the Hair Relics to the Japanese delegates and later on a delegation from Bangladesh headed by the then Pakistani Education Minister Mr. A.T.M. Mustafa visited Japan and attended the Enshrinment Ceremony of the Hair Relics at Sumburi Simbum Buddhist Monastery near Tokyo. Since then there existed a nice friendship relation between Japan and Pakistan (Present Bangladesh). In 1979 on behalf of the Thai Government Phra Gyanabiriyo made an earnest appeal to Bangladesh Buddhist Association to donate another portion of the Hair Relics to Thailand and her people. On 22nd February 1979 a. Thai delegations headed by Phara Ganavriyo a visited Chittagong Buddhist Monastery. The next day on 23rd February 1979 a colorful and auspicious programme was organized to make the donation ceremony a successful one. The Supreme Patriarch of Bangladeshi Buddhists Sangharaja Shilalankar Mahathero handed the Hair Relics Casket to the Thai Delegates and later on a delegation from Bangladesh headed by Most Ven. Shilalankar Mahathero visited Thailand and enshrined the Hair Relics at wat Dhammamakol for worshiping by the Thai people. After a long time on 18 July 2007 some portion of the Hair Relics was donated to Srilanka Government in a colorful and auspicious programme. The Hair Relics was handed over by The Supreme Patriarch of Bangladeshi Buddhists His Holiness Dharmasen Mahathero and assisted by the President of Bangladesh Buddhist Association Mr. Ajit Ranjan Barua and Secretary Ln. Adarsha Kumar Barua.
Invitation given to Srilankan Government:
It is noteworthy that Buddha Goutama was a great personality who introduced a new teaching for the betterment of many and happiness of many. The Adorable Hair Relics of this great teacher has been preserving in Chittaong Buddhist Monastery for a long time. According to the earnest appeal of the Srilankan Government. It was decided to hand over a part of the Hair Relics to the Srilankan Government to strengthen the existing relationship between Bangladesh and Sri-Lanka. On 18th July 2007 a high officials of the Sri-Lankan Government headed by the Srilankan Supreme Patriarch Sangharaja Udayagama Buddharakhita Mahathero, Honourable Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr. Rohita Bogalagama, Honourable Minister of Religious and Moral Upliftment Affairs Mr. Pundu Bandaranayaka, Honourable Minister of Commerce Mr. Bandula Gana Wadena, Son of the His Excellency President Mahinda Rajapakshe Mr. Chandana Pakshe an M.P Ven. Buddha Ratanan Bhikkhu and others.
Srilankan Governments Presentation:
Srilanka Government officials came to Bangladesh with view to receiving the Adorable Hair Relics but they in exchanged brought a replica of the FootPrint of the Goutama Buddha. It is historically true that the Buddha's Foot Prints are preserved in three holy palaces and they are in the bank of a river named Narmada, another on Sumana Hill of Sacchbabdagiri which is at present in Srilanka and another in the Jonaka Pura. Srilankan honorable President donated a replica of the Buddha's FootPrint for worshipping by Buddhists and devotees of Bangladesh.
The vivid description of the Handing over Ceremony
Of Adorable Hair Relics of Buddha Goutama:
On 18th July 2007, Tuesday the whole complex of the Chittagong Buddhist Monastery was decorated for the auspicious ceremony. Just at 2.PM the auspicious programme was started with due solemnity and religious atmosphere. The Adorable sacred Hair Relics was kept in a beautiful casket. The Supreme Patriarch of Bangladeshi Buddhists Sangharaja Dharmasen Mahathero brought the casket on the stage. Deputy Sangharaja Ven. Dr. Gyanasree Mahathero assisted him. When the official of both the Governments arrived and seated on the stage the handing over ceremony began. Sangharaja Dharmasen Mahathero on behalf of the Buddhists of Bangladesh and Bangladesh Buddhist Association first handed over the Hair Relics to the Honorable adviser of the Caretaker Government of Bangladesh Dr. Iftekar Ahamed Chowdhury and Honorable Religious Adviser of the Caretaker Government of Bangladesh Major General (Rtd.) Dr. A. S. M. Matiur Rahman and they then handed over the adorable Hair Relics to the Srilankan Foreign Minister and to other Ministers. The Srilankan Ministers then handed over the Adorable Hair Relics to their His Holiness Sangharaja Udayagama Buddharakhita Mahathero and to other monks. On last 19th July, 2007 the officials returned back to Srilanka with the Hair Relics and then all the people along with the President and His cabinet and other officials at the Airport to show due solemnity to the Adorable Hair Relics. It is also declared that a temple with Stupa is supposed to be constructed to preserve the Adorable Hair Relics in Srilanka by the Government.
Although there is confusion about the authenticity of the Hair Relics, it is true that the Monk who carried the Hair Relics might to know the real matter. We should not have the confusion as it was taken by Aggamahapandita Ven. Dharmavangsha Mahathero with due solemnity, sacredness, honesty and firm belief and has been preserving for a long time with due sacredness and worshipping by the devotees and general mass. Every year Bangladesh Buddhist Association organized an auspicious programme to display it to the general mass. Bangladesh Government has declared the Hair Relics as the sacred procession of Bangladesh and any part of it will not be given to any other country. Next it must be a parts of world heritage and a highly sacred thing for the Buddhists. So Bangladesh Government has taken decision to do everything for the proper preservation of this adorable sacred thing.