Saturday, June 22, 2013

Sharira - What is that?

A friend asked if I could approach some of my wealthier contacts to see if any of them was interested to acquire a collection of 舍利子.There were seven of them and he was convinced that the relics were genuine. The figure mentioned was mind-boggling – in hundreds of million RMB. He even sent me an article about an auction do for such a relic to support his claim.

That was the first time I heard about this stuff. I turned to my good friend KM Chee, whom I can always count on for advice for such matters, to enlighten me.

"舍利子”is called "Sharira" in Buddhism or in the Sanskrit language. Apparently, they are crystals that remain behind after a body has been cremated. Most monks and even those who are strictly on a vegetarian diet and pursuing spiritual development would also leave behind crystals when their bodies are cremated. The collection of 舍利子 that my contact was referring to is said to be from the cremation of Sakyamuni Buddha after his passing to Nirvana!

Out of curiosity, I wrote to another friend in China. She said these relics could not be sold or bought; they had to be “song” () or gifted. I also surfed the net for more of it. I was surprised that there were so many websites talking about it.

I always thought simplicity is the hallmark of this religion. How wrong I have been! I sure have learned a great deal from all these.

1 comment:

  1. There is no mentioned of Sharira in the entire canon on Buddhist teaching. Sakyumuni in his discourse in the Diamond sutra state that all with form are false and just mere illusion. Can we deny that Sharira has a form. The Diamond sutra assert that all with from including the sutra itself [being in the form of language]must be discarded, not to mentioned the non dharma such as Sharira. Your earlier perception that Buddhism is simple and direct is the proper view.