Presentation of Holy Buddha Relic: A Timeline
Generously endowed with nature’s treasures, Arunachal Pradesh attracts tourists from across the world.
The state has scores of charming destinations on its map, and Namsai is one amongst it. Its pleasant climate, and the warm hospitality of its people, makes Namsai a home-away-from home for tourists. It has a rich vegetation cover that maintains its greenery throughout the year.
Rich in traditions, cultures and rituals, Namsai offers a lot for those seeking knowledge and awareness. In fact, it has become an ideal destination for those seeking spiritual retreat in its magnificent Golden Pagoda.
Of late, the Golden Pagoda has been attracting plenty of spiritual tourists, offering as it does a nourishing atmosphere to revitalize the mind, body, and spirit. A visit to this sacred destination is certain to maximize one’s spiritual experience in Arunachal Pradesh.
The year 2017 has turned out to be an auspicious year for Namsai district as Somdet Phra Mahamuniwong, the Sangharaja of Thailand, presented the Holy Relic of Lord Buddha to the people of Namsai district in general and Arunachal Pradesh as a whole. The relic was received by the Abbot of Kongmu Kham, Venerable Vimalatissa Mahathero, in Thailand on October 19, and was later brought to India by a 13-member Thai delegation, on October 30.
The Deputy Chief Minister, Chowna Mein, received the Holy Relic of Lord Buddha at the airport in Mohanbari, Dibrugarh, Assam. The relic is now kept for permanent exposition at the Golden Pagoda monastery. Sponsored by Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh, Pema Khandu, and patronized by the Deputy Chief Minister, the permanent enshrining of the Holy Relic at Kongmu Kham opens doors for a spiritual relationship between the people of the two countries.
One of the auspicious festival, Kathina Civara Dana-the ceremony of offering robes to monks, along with many other religious events, was celebrated at Kongmu Kham with great devotion and grandeur.
Earlier, in 2013, the sacred relics of the Buddha, housed at the National Museum in New Delhi, had been temporarily moved out to Arunachal Pradesh for display at Kongmu Kham and other Buddhist monasteries in Tawang and Bomdila. The treasure trove was displayed for a week each at the three remote monasteries, marking the importance of Kongmu Kham in the spiritual map of the region. This led to a regular flow of tourists, as the destination in eastern Arunachal became one of the highly regarded devotional venues for Buddhists from various countries.
Here is the complete list of events celebrated and observed with great devotion and exuberance at Kongmu Kham, Tengapani (Noy Chenam) from October 19th to November 3rd, 2017.
19th October 2017:
The Abbot of Kongmukham, Venerable Vimalatissa Mahathero, leads a delegation from Namsai district to receive the Holy Relic of Lord Buddha from the Sangharaja in Bangkok, in Thailand. The Buddha relic is presented to the Kongmu Kham (Golden Pagoda) in Namsai by Somdet Phra Mahamuniwong, the Sangharaja of Thailand. Deputy Chief Minister Chowna Mein and the Abbot of Golden Pagoda, Venerable Vimalatissa Mahathero, had earlier written to the Sangharaja for blessing the region with the holy relics. The Sangharaja of Thailand takes the decision to donate the precious Buddha relic, and the decision to grant one to Kongmu Kham in Namsai is seen as a great step forward for the people of the region.
30th October 2017:
Deputy Chief Minister Chowna Mein receives the Holy Buddha Relic at the airport in Mohanbari, Dibrugarh, Assam. The Abbot of Kongmukham, Venerable Vimalatissa Mahathero, along with 13 delegates from Thailand, brought the relic to Arunachal Pradesh. Thousands of people from different walks of life assembled at Dirak, in Namsai district, to pay obeisance and have a glimpse of the holy relic.
1st November 2017:
Amidst jubilation, one part of the Holy Relics of Lord Buddha is installed and enshrined in the main dome of the Golden Pagoda. The other part is permanently kept at the Golden Pagoda Monastery for permanent exposition.
The auspicious occasion of Khamsang- the higher ordination ceremony of four monks was also held on the day. The four monks have been ordained in a grand and sacred ceremony in the premises of the Golden Pagoda. Ordination or Khamsang in Buddhism is believed to accrue merit of the highest order for the novices who undergoes through monastic life after the ceremony.
Earlier in the day, the heads of the novices were tonsured and dressed in princely attires signifying the attire of Prune Siddharth who later was known as Gautam Buddha prior to his leaving his worldly life and turning ascetic. Later after religious rituals were performed the novices were dressed in saffron robes which signifies the start of formal monastic life.
A large number of lay devotees thronged the Golden Pagoda to witness the sacred ordination ceremony.
3rd November 2017:
The two most-popular Thai meditation masters, Venerable Dhammadipo and Saddhadhiko, arrives at airport in Mohanbari, Dibrugarh, Assam. Venerable Vimalatissa Mahathero accords warm reception to the two monks at the airport.
Deputy Chief Minister Chowna Mein extended warm reception to the monks at Kongmu Kham who are from Ban Wang Muang, the privately owned Dhamma and mind training development centre in Thailand.
Later during the day, the Thai meditation monks who arrived with seventeen delegates, observed the auspicious ritual of offering robes to monks, popularly known as the Kathina Civara Dana.
As part of the Kathina Civara Dana, the holy relics of Lord Buddha which arrived earlier on Monday, Patesas (money trees) and an image of the Buddha were taken out in a procession in the pagoda premises. The Buddha image had been consecrated by Laong Boonprasert from Thailand.
Later, the devotees assembled at the Ho-Maan Taap (Cultural Hall) and paid their veneration to the venerable monks and consecrated the Civaras (monk robes).
The Tai Khamti Heritage and Literature Society also performed traditional dances during the evening, followed by release of wish balloons.