Buddha Relic's Procession Add Video

Bones of Buddha

One of the most religious shrines in Cambodia can be found at Phnom Oudong, about 40 kms from Phnom Penh. It's also one of the newest, consecrated in 2002 by former King Norodom Sihanouk. The reason why it's one of the most revered is that it houses three small pieces of bone said to belong to Buddha and that it's the centrepiece of Oudong mountain, a former capital and resting-place for many members of the country's royal family. The shrine and other stupas at this site attract hordes of Khmers every weekend and especially on national holidays, such as last week's Visak Bochea day, which fittingly celebrated the birth, death and enlightenment of Buddha. Called Sanchak Mony Chedei(Khmer: Sakyamuni Chedey), this 42-metre tall grey stupa is adorned with elephants, nagas, lions and guardian deities and is the resting place of the Buddha relics, which were donated to Cambodia by Sri Lanka in 1957 and were previously housed in the blue stupa in front of the railway station in the capital. Deemed as insufficiently serene, in 2002, the biggest religious ceremony for over fifty years saw 1 to 2 million people line the route as a procession, led by King Sihanouk, relocated the relics to their new home.

Sanchak Mony Chedi contains the bones of Buddha at Phnom Oudong
As well as the bones of Buddha, a room underneath the chedi contains the Tripitaka - the written canon of Theravada Buddhism - and 3770 different-sized Buddhas donated by visitors from numerous countries. This room is only opened on special occasions. It stayed closed for my visit. I visited the site on a Sunday and there were a large number of people paying their respects and having their photograph taken at the shrine. You also had to take your shoes off to walk near the chedi. The views from the balcony surrounding the stupa are memorable. Below is a photo of a centre of Buddhist meditation that is located at the foot of the mountain and clearly shows that Buddhism in Cambodia is not short of money, with more buildings being erected at the site.

A centre of Buddhist meditation in the lee of Phnom Oudong

This photo of the largest ridge at Phnom Oudong shows the Sanchak Mony Chedi on the left and three other large stupas containing the ashes of former Kings of Cambodia.
Relics claimed to be the remains of Buddha are revered at religious sites around Asia. The Shwedagon Pagoda in Rangoon is said to contain eight hairs of Buddha. Phra That Luang, a giant stupa in Vientiane, Laos, holds a piece of Buddha's breastbone and Wat Phra Mahathat in the town of Nakhon Si Thammarat in Thailand is said to contain a tooth relic of Buddha.

Source: blog.andybrouwer.co.uk

Posted by Saloeurm Savath on August 5, 2010 at 4:16 AM 2837 Views

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