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Cambodia-India Arrange Plans for a Procession of Buddhist Relics

PHNOM PENH: Minister of Religion Chay Borin met with the President of India’s Tibetan Buddhist Institute to discuss the upcoming procession of Buddhist relics from India through Thailand and on to Cambodia.

Relics of the Buddha can be found all over Asia and are similar in content and function to saints’ relics in Catholicism. Buddhist relics are often comprised of teeth, bone, ashes and blood that are said to have belonged to the Buddha. The relics are often interred at stupas and available for public worship. Buddhists may also make long pilgrimages to relic sites.

On December 27, Niraj Kumar informed the Minister Religions about the study and planning for the procession of relics in the near future. He said that meetings with professional leaders of the Ministry of Cults and Religions had produced positive results regarding the protocol and preparation of the relics’ pilgrimage. He also attended a meeting to determine the destination of the relics and security measures for their journey and permanent exhibition at a shrine where the public will be able to worship. They also discussed matters of insurance and a handover ceremony. Security is a top priority for relics stored in Cambodia as they are known to be stolen and often not recovered, even as recently as 2014.

Chay Borin warmly welcomed the plans and requested the Indian delegation to issue a clear statement for him to review and report to the head of the Cambodian government to ensure a smooth procession.

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