11th Panchen Lama attends Sakyamuni’s relic worshiping ceremony in Hong Kong

Hong Kong, April 25 (Xinhua-ANI): The 11th Panchen Lama Bainqen Erdini Qoigyijabu attended the Grand Blessing Ceremony for worshiping Sakyamuni’s parietal-bone relic held in the Hong Kong Coliseum on Wednesday afternoon.

This is the first time that the 11th Panchen Lama makes a public appearance outside the Chinese mainland.

Earlier, the parietal bone of Sakyamuni, the founder of Buddhism, arrived in Hong Kong Wednesday afternoon for its first public worship outside the Chinese mainland.

A grand and solemn ceremony was held at the airport to welcome the shrine. Wang Zuo’an, director of the State Administration for Religious Affairs and Secretary for Home Affairs of the city’s government Tsang Tak-sing presented flowers to the relic.

The Buddha’s remains, or sarira, will be enshrined in the Hong Kong Coliseum for public worship from April 25 to 30.

Organizers expected some 300,000 people would come for worshipping, making the event the most spectacular Buddhist ritual ceremony ever held in Hong Kong with a total population of 7.1 million. Buddhism is said to be the largest religion in Hong Kong which has an estimate of 1 million followers, though there is no official figure.

The parietal bone of Sakyamuni was allegedly remained after the Buddha’s nirvana. It had been unearthed in 2008 when archaeologists discovered unexpectedly a crypt in the ruins of the Changgan Temple, which was built in Song Dynasty during the excavation works at the Nanjing Grand Bao’en Temple.

Buddha’s relics are usually well hidden in ancient temples and away from public. Buddha’s remains are being highly venerated by Buddhist devotees as national treasure in many historically Buddhist countries and regions.

Sakyamuni Buddha relics have been venerated twice in Hong Kong: Buddha’s tooth relic in 1999 and finger relic in 2004 respectively. (Xinhua-ANI)