Friday, April 28, 2017
The Myanmar Times
The Myanmar Times

Yangon welcomes Buddha tooth relic for 16-day visit

A convoy takes the tooth relic to Maha Pasana Cave in Mayangone township on November 22. Kaung Htet / The Myanmar TimesA convoy takes the tooth relic to Maha Pasana Cave in Mayangone township on November 22. Kaung Htet / The Myanmar Times

A sacred tooth relic of Guatama Buddha arrived in Yangon on November 22 on the second leg of its Myanmar tour. The relic will spend 48 days in Myanmar altogether, an official from the Department of Religious Affairs said last week, and will be on show in Yangon until December 7

“The relic is being kept at Maha Pasana Cave at Kabar Aye [Pagoda] for 16 days and pilgrims are welcome to visit the cave. We will have security on the campus for the safety of both the relic and pilgrims,” U Aung Kyi said on November 22.

The relic was kept at Uppatasanti Pagoda in Nay Pyi Taw from November 6 to 21 before arriving in Yangon and will next travel to Maha Atula Waiyan Monastery in Mandalay, where it will be held from December 8 to 23.

The tooth relic is in Myanmar for the fourth time, having first arrived in 1955, when it was displayed at Maha Pasana Cave, in Mayangone township, for eight months.

In 1994 it spent 45 days at Maha Pasana Cave and Maha Atula Waiyan Monastery, while in 1996-97 the relic was exhibited in Yangon and Mandalay for 90 days.

The relic is kept at Lingguang temple in Beijing and was reputedly brought to China by a famous monk from Quetta about 1500 years ago.

One resident of Mayangone township told The Myanmar Times her family would visit the cave to make an offering to the tooth relic “without fail”.

Teachers, students and civil servants from across Yangon were tasked with welcoming the relic convoy near Yangon International Airport last week. A member of the group, teacher Daw Myo Zin, said she was happy to pay homage to the tooth relic.

But it is not clear which government body was responsible for the welcome convoy. When The Myanmar Times contacted the district education department last week, a spokesperson said it had received the instructions to organise teachers and students “from a higher authority”.