Terms in this set (49)

o After the Buddha's cremation his relics were divided into eight parts and given to eight people, each of whom built a stupa over the relics and instituted a festival in their honor
o The gods insisted that the Buddha's body be carried through the middle of the town near which he died and burnt to the east - the most auspicious direction
♣ The preservation and worship of his physical remains follows the same symbolic pattern
♣ Usually corpse is extremely impure, but the Buddha is pure because he 'sent against the stream'
o The relic could be a piece of scripture inscribed on gold; this reflected the Buddha's dictum that 'he who sees the Dhamma sees me'
o Three kinds: corporeal, objects used by the Buddha, and reminders
♣ Corporeal relics are always bone, teeth or hair
♣ Object used are such things as begging bowls, but also the tree under which the Buddha sat to attain Enlightenment (known as the Bo tree)
♣ First two are venerated from very early times and the third came later
♣ The stupa (originally it was held to be an object of worship only because of the relic it contained) but in due course it became a 'reminder', in particular of the Buddha's death
♣ Statue could be a 'reminder relic'
o The doctrine of relics is fundamental to the practice of Buddhist worship
♣ It is important to understand that in Buddhism such devotional practice is individual, not congregational
♣ The layperson makes his or her way to the shrine and offers flowers or incense before a Buddha image and recites Pali verses, as if in prayer, but it is all an exercise to purify one's mind
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