Division of the Buddha's Relics

Previous | Home | Next

After the Buddha's parinibbana, messengers from seven kingdoms came to Kusinara petitioning their claim to a portion of the remains of the Buddha.

"...But when they heard these words, the Mallas of Kusinara addressed the assembly, saying: "The Blessed One has passed away in our township. We shall not part with any portion of the relics of the Blessed One." Then the brahman Dona spoke to the assembly, saying:

"One word from me, I beg you, sirs, to hear!
Our Buddha taught us ever to forbear;
Unseemly would it be should strife arise
And war and bloodshed, over the custody
Of his remains, who was the best of men!
Let us all, sirs, in friendliness agree
To share eight portions -- so that far and wide
Stupas may rise, and seeing them, mankind
Faith in the All-Enlightened One will find!"

To which the Mallas of Kusinara replied: " So be it, brahman! Divide the relics into eight equal portions yourself."