Thousands of Buddhists thronged Karuna Buddha Vihar in Bhopal to have a glimpse of the sacred relics which were on display till 5 pm on Monday evening.
Buddhists and Buddha lovers from various parts of Madhya Pradesh came to see the relics, with organizers putting the number to over 30,000.
Rajesh Bansode from New Bhopal said, “I feel blessed and privileged that today I had the darshan of the Buddha relics. What else can we wish for as a Buddhist.”
Many non-Buddhists also witnessed the relics. “I love Buddha for his scientific approach, his non-dogmatic practical teachings and his rebellion against orthodox Vedic Hinduism. When I heard Buddha’s relics were in Bhopal for a day, I had to come,” said NS Khare from Arera Colony.
Chandra Bodhi Patil, national president of the Buddhist Society of India, who accompanied the relics to Nagpur on Monday, said the relics would be displayed at the first International Buddhists Conference on October 20-21 in Nagpur, where BR Ambedkar embraced Buddhism, and would be taken back to Sri Lanka on October 24.
“This is for the first time that Lord Buddha’s relics blessed the people of Bhopal,” he said. “Since morning, over 30,000 people have come here to have a glimpse of the sacred relic. There were instructions that a devout should come clad in white. We are happy that most of the people came dressed in white,” said working president of the Buddhist Society of India, MP unit, BT Gajbiye.
Ambedkar’s memorial at Mhow being built
After offering flowers to the relics of Lord Buddha at Karuna Buddha Vihar, chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan expressed gratitude to BR Ambedkar, saying he gave the right to equality in the Constitution, for which a person of the lowest echelon of the society can reach the top.
“A grand memorial of framer of the Indian Constitution, Baba Saheb Ambedkar, is being constructed at his birthplace Mhow,” he said. Chouhan also informed about facilities being given to Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.