Byline: THE WASHINGTON TIMES
This talk was given recently by Venerable Chanhan Ouk, abbot of the Cambodian Buddhist Temple in Silver Spring.
Homage to the Exalted One, the Worthy One, the Fully Enlightened One.
What is the meaning of paying respect to Buddha's relics? In our society, parents who do good deeds deserve gratitude from their sons and daughters. Teachers who try their best for their students are the greatest teachers. Kings or presidents or any leaders who truly love and develop their country deserve respect from their population.
The Buddha possesses the greatest purity, the intellect, power, compassion and wisdom. Those who spread his teachings and loving kindness to all beings, without prejudice to race, national origin or color of skin, deserve profound gratitude from all beings. Buddha's teaching provides training to human beings to do good in their actions, speech and minds for the well-being of all people during this life and their next life.
There are five symbols of Buddhism deserving Buddhists' respect. Those five symbols are: Buddha's statue, the Buddha image, the bodhi tree, a Buddhist book called Tripitaka and Buddha's remains.
To the Buddhists, the remains of their ancestors are precious and inviolable. If they are the relics of their spiritual masters, they are very holy. Furthermore, if they are those of the Buddha or his well-known disciples, they are even more precious, holy and rare.
The Buddhists believe that paying respect to the Buddha's relics is the same as paying respect to the Buddha himself, and in doing so, they can gain the same merits. After his passing, the Buddha left relics, so that we still have the opportunity to receive his blessing today.
The Buddhists believe that the relics provide an opportunity to make a spiritual connection with the Buddha. …