Demand to establish stupa over Lord Buddha's mortal remains

TNN, 13 January 2010

VADODARA, India -- The forthcoming international seminar on Buddhist heritage has brought with it new found interest among various groups in mortal remains of Lord Buddha which have been in the possession of MS University (MSU).

On Wednesday, some groups led by Jan Jagruti Abhiyan demanded that the state government should construct a stupa in Vadodara where the relic casket that contains the ashes of Lord Buddha will be displayed for public view to convert Vadodara into a tourism hub.

"We have submitted a memorandum to Chief Minister Narendra Modi demanding that a huge stupa be constructed and the mortal remains of Lord Buddha shifted there so that Vadodara can attract domestic and international tourists. We have requested the CM that on the inauguration of the seminar he should make an announcement to this effect so that both the Vadodara Municipal Corporation (VMC) and MSU take up a joint project for the benefit of Vadodara and establish a huge ornate stupa in Gujarat's golden jubilee year," said Manhar Shah of Jan Jagruti Abhiyan, adding that the memorandum has been signed by 1,500 citizens apart from 20 state-level associations including the Buddhist Society of India

Quoting texts, Shah added that even scholars have written that Lord Buddha himself wanted that stupas should be created over his mortal remains and hence there is no meaning of keeping the relics in close cupboards. Ever since they were unearthed by MSU's department of archaeology and ancient history in 1963, the mortal remains are preserved in the department under lock and key. The department had unearthed the relic casket from Devni Mori near Shamlaji in north Gujarat.