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Origin of Buddha Museum

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The Buddha Museum was built to enshrine the Buddha's tooth relic, symbolizing the everlasting presence of the Buddhadharma.

  The Buddha Museum was constructed with the intention of enshrining the Buddha’s relic. The construction lasted for ten years, and the museum was officially opened on the 25th December 2011.

  The Sanskrit word “sarira” refers to the relics of a sage, which usually appear in crystalized form. The relic is perceived as a sign of the sage’s spiritual cultivation over a lifetime.

  According to the Biography of Sakyamuni Buddha, when the Buddha reached the age of 80, he announced the day that he will enter parinirvana . Fearing that the disciples will lose the guidance of their teacher, Ananda asked the Buddha what they should do after he entered parinirvana. After pondering over the matter, Buddha gave his final teaching, “After I enter parinirvana, and have been cremated, gather up my relic and build a stupa at the crossroads, so that those who see it can develop faith.”

  Originally, this particular Buddha’s tooth relic was carefully hidden in India for more than one thousand years. In the 13th century, during the Muslim invasion to India, the relic was secretly taken from the great Buddhist college of Nalanda in India and brought to Tibet. It was enshrined in the Sakya Namgyal Monastery, which was destroyed in 1968 during the Cultural Revolution. A Tibetan lama, Kunga Dorje Rinpoche obtained the relic and then took it back to India, where he kept and protected the relic in secret for thirty years. With his advancing age, Kunga Dorje Rinpoche acknowledged the fact that he will not be able to build a temple to enshrine the relic in his lifetime. When Venerable Master Hsing Yun went to India to officiate the Triple Platform Full Ordination Ceremony in February 1998, Kunga Dorje Rinpoche entrusted Master Hsing Yun the Buddha’s tooth relic, together with a certificate authenticated by twelve other Rinpoches to authenticate the relic. Two months later, the relic was brought to Taiwan.

  According to Master Hsing Yun, the Buddha Museum serves to acquaint the public with the Buddha’s quantities, through which the Buddhist practice can be inspired. The Buddha Museum was thus built not only to venerate the Buddha, but more importantly with the interests of sentient beings kept in mind.”

Spirit and Philosophy of Buddha Museum

A. Origin of Buddha Museum

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B. Philosophy Behind the Construction of Buddha Museum

Venerable Master Hsing Yun says, “The Buddha Museum is a historic construction that resides in the minds of all beings. The Museum belongs to everyone and anybody can come to the Museum. It is also a place of culture and education. Visitors ranging from individuals to families, schools, and organizations, are free to gather and learn here.”

C. Development Goals of Buddha Museum

Future Directions:
To present the Buddha Museum through the arts and movies, on the humanistic and international dimensions.

D. Missions of Buddha Museum

  1. 48 underground palaces - as reserves of human wisdom and history.
  2. Life education - through the promotion of cultural arts and environmental protection.
  3. Cross-straits cultural exchange - for the revival of Chinese culture.
  4. Buddhist arts - preserving and re-creating through exhibitions and academic conferences.
  5. Serving the public - with respect and tolerance, through sharing resources, and with warm hospitality.

E. Core Values of Buddha Museum

  1. Three Acts of Goodness: Doing Good Deeds, Speaking Good Words, Having Good Intentions
  2. Four Givings: Giving Others Confidence, Giving Others Joy, Giving Others Hope, Giving Others Convenience

Key Events of Buddha Museum

A welcoming delegation consisted of over 200 Buddhists and distinguished celebrities, led by Wu Po-Hsiung, took flight CI-195 of China airlines to welcome the Buddha's tooth relic from Thailand.
The relic returned to Taiwan after Kunga Dorje Rinpoche bequeathed it to Venerable Master Hsing Yun in person. President Lian Zhan appealed all citizens to participate in doing the Three Acts of Goodness: Do good deeds, Speak good words, Have good intentions. The tooth relic was brought back to Fo Guang Shan.
Venerable Master Hsing Yun held a Foundation Settlement Ceremony attended by over fifty thousand people. The ceremony was explained by Venerable Master as an event held in hope for stability within an unrested world.
In 2008, the Venerable Master Hsing Yun Public Trust Fund for Education was set up to promote compassion and truthfulness in the society. Using revenues from published books, the fund has been used over the years for several awards and educational projects such as the construction of Fo Guang Building and the establishment of Chinese culture research center at Nanjing University.
The Buddha's Birthday is jointly celebrated with Mothers' day. The celebration was held by Fo Guang Shan, Chinese branch of BLIA and the Bureau for Environmental Protection, took place on the Ketagalan Boulevard in front of the Presidental Building. It was attended annually by President Ma Yingjiu and many world and religious representatives, as well as ten thousand Buddhists.
In February, a ceremony was held to welcome the first load of treasures settling into the underground cage. In May, an exhibition of Venerable Master Hsing Yun's one stroke calligraphy was held at the National Art Museum of China in Beijing. More than 140 pieces were displayed.
The Buddha Museum was completed and was put into use after ten years of construction. President Ma Yingjiu attended the opening ceremony, during which he made the comment that: "The Buddha Museum belongs to the whole world. It is a remarkable architecture symbolizing the spiritual life of human beings. Paying homage to the relic of the Buddha enables everyone to "keep Buddha in their hearts." The purifying of minds will bring social harmony and peace to the world."