A ceramic box containing 2,000 pieces of cremated bones have been discovered in Jingchuan County, China, which archaeologists say belonged to Lord Buddha, the founder of Buddhism.
The relics of Buddha has been found by archaeologists who discovered a skeleton several millenniums old. Siddhartha Gautama, who died about 2,500 years ago, laid the foundations of the Buddhism with teachings in Eastern India throughout his 80-year life.
Gautama is the primary figure in Buddhism. He is recognized by Buddhists as an enlightened teacher who attained full Buddhahood, and shared his insights to help sentient beings end rebirth and suffering. Accounts of his life, discourses, and monastic rules are believed by Buddhists to have been summarized after his death and memorized by his followers.
Various collections of teachings attributed to him were passed down by oral tradition and first committed to writing about 400 years later.
The ceramic box had inscriptions on the side which said the bones belonged to Buddha and there were more than 260 Buddha statues found near to the discovery.
A translated inscription – dated to the year 1013 AD – on the side of the casket reads: “The monks Yunjiang and Zhiming of the Lotus School, who belonged to the Mañjuśrī Temple of the Longxing Monastery in Jingzhou Prefecture, gathered more than 2,000 pieces of śarīra (the cremated remains of the Buddha) as well as the Buddha’s teeth and bones, and buried them in the Mañjuśrī Hall of this temple.”
Some of the statues are at least two metres tall and have been discovered by monks from the Manjursi Temple of the Longxing Monastery in China’s Jingzhou Prefecture, named Yunjiang and Zhiming, over the course of two decades.
The discovery of the box was made by locals conducting roadworks in 2012, but it has only just been reported in English by the journal Chinese Cultural Relics.
The statues depict Buddha and his followers and were carved in China during the Wei dynasty (386 to 534 AD) and the Song dynasty (960 to 1279 AD). Siddhartha Gautama, is believed to have been born some time between 563 BCE or 480 BCE.
After his death, Buddha’s cremation relics were divided amongst 8 royal families and his disciples, centuries later they would be enshrined by King Ashoka into 84,000 stupas. Many supernatural legends surround the history of alleged relics as they accompanied the spread of Buddhism and gave legitimacy to rulers.
It is said all the Buddha’s relics will one day gather at the Bodhi tree where he attained enlightenment and will then form his body sitting cross legged and performing the twin miracle.The relics are not destroyed by fire in this version but placed in a final reliquary deep within the earth, perhaps to appear again.