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December 2002-February 2003
Kirti Tsenshab Rinpoche:
The benefits of seeing relics are great. Relics have the nature of primordial awareness comprehending emptiness and the aspect of pills, bones, and so forth. They are established by enlightened beings with great compassion.
It is said that the body of the Buddha is vast like the ocean but that ordinary beings cannot perceive it. For their sake, the buddhas manifest relics. The enlightened beings with high realizations establish relics as a means for passing on blessings of their body, speech and mind. Due to the power of realization and compassion of these beings, anyone who sees, hears of, touches or even thinks of relics receives their blessing. Relics might appear as ordinary bones t those with untrained, ordinary minds but in reality the relics are not ordinary at all. …
Lama Zopa Rinpoche:
In the past, when Buddha was residing in India, many people saw his actual body. Nowadays, due to impure karma and lack of merit, we cannot see the body of Buddha nor hear his speech. We only have the fortune to see Buddha’s relics. Therefore, kind and compassionate Guru Shakyamuni Buddha emanated thousands of relics as an object of devotion for very many sentient beings.
Buddhas appear to arya bodhisattvas in the aspect of the sambhogakaya, to ordinary bodhisattvas in the aspect of emanation bodies, and to those with karmic impurities in the aspect of ordinary beings possessing a body of flesh and blood. Similarly, in the case of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, whom we are able to see directly and who is in fact actual Chenrezig, most ordinary beings can only see him in the aspect of a gelong [fully ordained monk] who is still subject to sickness, who grows old, and so forth. In the same way, those who have reached very high levels of tantric realization – for example, like the late Geshe Lama Konchog who passed away in October 2001 [pictured opposite] – leave behind relics for the sake of sentient beings who are tortured by suffering. This happens because they have developed high realizations within their mental continuum originating from the root of great compassion. Geshe Lama Konchog inspired and introduced so many foreigners to the Dharma and planted the seeds of good imprints in their minds. …
Relics can include bone relics of a holy person or fragments of close physical possessions, such as robes, and can also include certain very blessed mantras found in sutras and tantras, known as dharmakaya relics (the actual presence of the enlightened mind in the world). The most visually unique relics in the Buddhist tradition, however, are the pearl-like crystals found among the cremation ashes of Buddhist masters. The relics are considered a result of the master’s special compassion and wisdom, and are often enshrined in stupas.
“An Essay on Relics,” by Lama Zopa Rinpoche
“The Benefits of Relics,” Advice from Lama Zopa Rinpoche
The Four Dharmakaya Relic Mantras
Leaving a statue empty is like offering nothing to the buddhas and can create obstacles. Therefore, it is important to put something inside the statue, even as little as a few mantras and some incense.
According to Lama Zopa Rinpoche, “The Four Dharmakaya Relic Mantras are the main mantras that give power to holy objects. They are what make holy objects most powerful and beneficial, and make it easy for sentient beings to purify negative karma and collective extensive merit. It is like having thousands of atomic bombs to purify negative karma.”
“The Four Dharmakaya Mantras are a sacred relic. They are the highest relics of Buddha, relics of the dharmakaya. Other relics, the ones that we normally see, such as relics of the robes or parts of Buddha’s holy body, are secondary relics. These four mantras are the highest relics.”
As such, FPMT Education Services has made available for free download the four dharmakaya relic mantras, formatted for rolling.
“The Four Dharmakaya Relic Mantras and Their Benefits,” by Lama Zopa Rinpoche
|When you see holy beings’ relics, think in the following way: ‘At this time, these holy beings are benefiting us by emanating relics that enable us to accumulate merit and purify negativities, thereby leading us to liberation and enlightenment.|
FPMT News Around the World
The Heart Shrine Relic Tour displays dozens of relics from Buddhist masters, from Shakyamuni Buddha and his disciples up to 20th-century accomplished masters familiar to FPMT students. According to the tour’s website, “The purpose of the Relic Tour is to inspire people of all spiritual traditions and paths to come together to experience the blessings of the relics.”
On Friday, October 5, the North American tour visits Plymouth, New Hampshire, for three days while the European Tour is in Manchester, UK, for three days. The relics recently visited Israel for the first time, making stops in three cities. They were also on view earlier this year in Australia and Mexico as well as several other locations in the Western and Midwestern United States.
The relics have been touring the world since 2001 and have been seen by 1.6 million people. You can see photos from recent event’s on the Relic Tour’s Facebook page.
With 158 centers, projects and services around the globe, there is always news on FPMT activities, teachers and events. Mandala hopes to share as many of these timely stories as possible. If you have news you would like to share, please let us know.
If you like what you read on Mandala, please consider becoming a Friend of FPMT, which supports our work.
On September 18, 2011, the cremation site for the recently passed Khensur Rinpoche Lama Lhundrup was dismantled and carefully examined for the presence of relics and indications of the location of Lama Lhundrup’s future reincarnation. In this video, you’ll see Lama Zopa Rinpoche, who is making significant strides in his recovery after manifesting a stroke in April; Khenrinpoche Geshe Thubten Chonyi, Kopan Monastery’s newest abbot; and the young Tenzin Phuntsok Rinpoche, the reincarnation of Geshe Lama Konchog, with attendant Geshe Tenzin Zopa. Tenzin Phuntsok Rinpoche is the first person to open the cremation site and remove the first relic.
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