Enshrining a Relic

Enshrining a relic In India, the possession of sacred Buddhist relics was connected with divine Ity, and Sui and Tang dynasty China also saw imperial rituals surrounding Buddhist relics. Compare the attitudes in Wang Shaos “Enshrining a Relic” and Han Yu, “Memorial Discussing the Buddhas Bone” to such rituals, and describe what they thought were the positive and negative effects of this practice. Han Yu thought that Buddha was repulsive. Buddha did not respect royal and citizen rights. Yu thought that Buddha’s principles that would have had him incarcerated in modern days. Yu having found Buddha dirty and unclean felt that a reputed bone from Buddha was a bad sign. Since the royal courts were in themselves divine to bring an unclean relic in them was sacrilege. The reputed Buddha bone was also considered dirty due to the fact it was part of a dead man. The dead had no part in the royal residences or around the king. Great care was taken when discarding a dead body, so disease and uncleanness would not spread. Yu went on to defend this view by asserting that even if Buddha came back and struck him down, his duty was to the king first. Religion and relics came second, Yu’s loyalty was to the king.

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