The Relic Tour has found it's way to my little town here in South Africa and I had the opportunity to view them and meet the Venerable Lhundrup Nyingje (Paula Chichester), which was a wonderful experience.
The venue was beautifully decorated and the display truly exquisite, complete with water, flower, light and music offerings. Truly a display to behold, and wonderful to see.
As you probably know the relics have been split into different tours and according to Ven. Paula, some of the relics on display here are relics from Shakyamuni Buddha himself, Lama Tsongkama, Atisha, Milarepa and more recent teacher such as Lama Yeshe. All perfectly wonderful and beautiful to behold.
However, I have questions (and not to cause debate, just to see other's views on the subject):
What are your thoughts of the relics? Do you believe that they hold any 'real' powers? (Not just a warm and fuzzy feeling - or emotional/sentimental power). Is it all a little superstition? How likely do you believe it is that relics from Shakyamuni Buddha, Atisha, Milarepa and many other have actually survived this long?
Again, it was wonderful to see the relics and statues and displays and I love the idea of the Maitreya Project - I'm just curious as to what other's think.
Also wonderful to get an update on Lama Zopa from one of his close students. Let's continue to do prayers and mantras for his recovery and long life.