PMF IAS Current Affairs
PMF IAS Current Affairs
  • Context (PIB): India will display four holy relics of Lord Buddha and relics of two disciples to Thailand.
  • The relics are believed to contain Gautam Buddha’s remains and hold immense spiritual significance.
  • This initiative is part of India’s efforts to develop and promote the Buddhist circuit and strengthen cultural ties with Thailand.
  • The ‘AA’ category denotes a special classification assigned to certain artefacts or relics based on their rarity and delicate nature.
  • This initiative is part of India’s efforts to develop and promote the Buddhist circuit and strengthen cultural ties with Thailand.
  • Portions of this sacred collection have been previously exhibited in countries such as Sri Lanka, Mongolia, Singapore, South Korea, and Thailand.

Buddha’s Life and Enlightenment

  • Lord Buddha, born as Siddhartha, renounced worldly pleasures at the age of 29 to seek salvation.
  • Under the Bodhi tree, he attained enlightenment and became known as Gautama Buddha.
  • For forty-five years, he travelled, taught his doctrine (Saddharma), and organised communities (Sangha).

Distribution of the Sacred Relics

  • When Buddha achieved Mahaparinirvana (passed away) at the age of 80 in Kushinagar, his body was cremated.
  • Brahmin priest Dhona of Kushinagar collected the holy relics from the funeral pyre.
  • These sacred relics were commemorated in eight different stupas.
  • Two additional stupas containing the relics and the embers were built over the urn.
  • These stupas, known as Saririka-stupas, are the earliest surviving Buddhist shrines.
  • Emperor Ashoka (circa 272–232 BCE), a devoted Buddhist, opened seven of the eight stupas.

What is the Buddhist Circuit?

  • It is a route that follows in the footsteps of the Buddha from Lumbini in Nepal, where he was born, through Bihar in India, where he attained enlightenment, to Sarnath and Kushinagar in Uttar Pradesh in India, where he gave his first teachings and died.
  • The Buddhist Circuit project was announced by the central government in 2016.
  • Under the Ministry of Tourism’s flagship Swadesh Darshan scheme, multiple projects have been undertaken in 21 states to make it India’s first trans-national tourist circuit.

Swadesh Darshan Scheme

  • Launched by the Ministry of Tourism in 2014-15 to develop theme-based tourist circuits in the country.
  • It is a 100% centrally funded scheme.
  • It has provisions for leveraging voluntary funding under Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives.
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