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Buddhist relics tour comes to NO area

Sacred relics stop at Buddhist temple in Gretna

Staff Writer

Published: Thursday, November 8, 2012

Updated: Friday, November 9, 2012 18:11

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NHI TIEU/The Maroon

Buddhist monks place sacred relics on Vietnamese community members’ heads as part of a blessing ceremony. Community members visited Lien Hoa Temple to pray to the Buddhist relics and request blessings from Nov. 2-4.

buddhist

NHI TIEU/The Maroon

A Buddhist nun prays to the relics and reads a prayer book. Lien Hoa Temple visitors were free to walk about and observe the sacred relics as monks and nuns observed daily prayers.

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Video: Buddhist relics on display at Lien Hoa Temple in Gretna

More than 1,700 people ventured to Lien Hoa Temple in Gretna to observe sacred Buddhist relics.

Lien Hoa Temple hosted the Maitreya Heart Shrine Relic Tour Exhibit from Nov. 2 to Nov. 4, and many community members came to observe the relics and pay homage to the Buddha.

According to Amanda Russel, The Maitreya Heart Shrine Relic Tour Manager, relics are pearl-like crystals that are said to hold the enlightened qualities of the mind of a great master or meditator that has spent numerous hours meditating, and they reflect and mirror what is innately inside love and compassion.

“This tour is a promotion of world peace,” Russel said.

There were more than 30 relics on display at Lien Hoa Temple, and many of the relics date back to 2,500 years ago. One of the relics is from the cremation of Shakyamuni Buddha.

The monks and nuns recited their daily ritual prayers for wisdom, inner peace and world peace. Monks and community members believe these relics have the power to help believers overcome challenges.

“The relics have been touring for 11 years, and we have been all over the US and to 67 countries,” Russell said.

Lama Zopa Rinpoche, the religious founder of the relics tour, collected the relics over the years. Eventually the relics will be returned to northern India where they will be enshrined.

“We create a nice altar and a center for peace so people are able to come and pray and let go of their negativity, worries and fear,” Russell added.

Nhi Tieu can be reached at untieu@loyno.edu 

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