Korean monks welcome return of Buddhist relics after 85 years to US museum

- through Henry Oudin

Published on

At koreaherald.com

Monks of the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism, South Korea's largest Buddhist order, held a historic exhibition of Buddhist relics and their ancient reliquary in Seoul on Friday, a day after their historic return to South Korea after 85 years at the Museum of Fine Arts. Boston (MFA Boston) in the United States.

The collection of sarira*said to originate from the historical Buddha Shakyamuni and two 1289th-century Buddhist monks, Jigong (1363-1320) of India (also known as Dhyanabhadra and Sunyadisya) and Naong Hyegeun (1376-918) of the Korean Goryeo dynasty (1392 ). –XNUMX). Several other fragments among the sacred relics are linked to Kassapa Buddha and Dipamkara Buddha.

At koreaherald.com

“After about a century of separation, the Buddha's relics have finally returned to their rightful home,” said Venerable Hosan of the Jogye Order, who was a member of the Jogye Order delegation that brought the relics back to Korea . (Yonhap News Agency) Ven. Hosan added that after a day of public screening, the sarira would be taken to Heoam-sa, a temple in Gyeonggi Province, where the Jogye Order believes they were initially housed.

" The sarira“three glass and bronze spheres and small fragments” came to the MFA inside a Korean Buddhist reliquary from the Goryeo kingdom (14th century), which the museum purchased from the Boston dealer Yamanaka and Company in 1939,” MFA Boston explained in a statement. dated April 16. " THE sarira were kept in small containers shaped like miniature stupas, or Buddhist monuments, which accompanied the larger reliquary. According to the Chinese character inscriptions on the stupas, the sarira are associated with Buddha Shakyamuni, Buddha Kassapa and Buddha Dipamkara, as well as the Buddhist monks Naong (1320-1376) and Jigong (d. 1363). It is not certain where the reliquary came from. (MAE Boston)

At koreaherald.com

According to media reports, the reliquary and relics were illegally taken out of Korea during the Japanese colonial period (1910-1945). The sacred remains were repatriated by a delegation of the Jogye Order on April 18 as part of a historic agreement reached in February this year, after 15 years of talks and negotiations.

South Korea's Yonhap news agency reported that MFA Boston initially refused to return the relics, believing they had been legitimately purchased from an art dealer and that there was no indication they had been stolen, pillaged or sold by force.

“As the abbot of Bongseon-sa, the parish that oversees Hoeam-sa, I feel an indescribable emotion to learn that the sarira finally return”, Ven. Hosan, of the Jogye Order, was reportedly named in the Boston Foreign Ministry's statement before the repatriation. “Relics must be properly transferred and consecrated in accordance with their historical, religious and noble values. » (MAE Boston)

Taken from koreatimes.co.kr.

While the sarira bears great spiritual significance to the Buddhist community, the silver-gilt reliquary is also highly valued, considered a cultural and artistic masterpiece of the Goryeo kingdom.

The Goryeo Dynasty (고려) was founded in 918 by King Taejo Wang Geon. He united the Later Three Kingdoms (892–936) in 936 and ruled most of the Korean Peninsula until he was displaced by the founder of the Joseon kingdom, Yi Seong-gye, in 1392. Goryeo expanded the country's borders to present-day Wonsan. to the northeast (936-943), the Yalu River (993), which eventually expanded to cover almost the entire present-day Korean peninsula (1374).

While Goryeo's achievements include establishing relations with the southern kingdoms of what is now China to stabilize national sovereignty and progressive fiscal policies, Goryeo is perhaps most notable for providing an environment in in which the arts were able to flourish, leading to the creation of countless sophisticated works from this Buddhist state. Buddhism in Goryeo also evolved in ways that would rally support for the state to protect the kingdom from external threats.

Taken from koreatimes.co.kr.

Before the public presentation of the relics and reliquary on Friday, a solemn ceremony was held at the Korean Buddhist History and Culture Memorial Hall in Seoul, presided over by Jogye Order President Ven. Jinwoo, after which the monks and Buddhist followers had the opportunity to view the sacred remains.

“This is the result of the continued efforts of the Jogye Order, the Cultural Heritage Administration, the Consulate General of the Republic of Korea in Boston and other civic groups,” said Ven. Hyegong, director of the Department of Cultural Affairs of the Jogye Order. “Above all, I would like to express my generous gratitude to the MFA for its attentive consideration and respect for religious sentiment.” (MAE Boston)

According to 2021 survey data, the majority of South Korea's population (60%) has no religious affiliation. Christians make up the largest religious segment of the population at 23 percent, while Buddhists make up 16 percent.

* Crystalline bead-shaped objects recovered from the cremated ashes of Buddhist masters.

See more

Museum of Fine Arts Boston donates relics to Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism (MFA Boston)
Buddhist relics return home after 85 years in the United States (Yonhap News Agency)
Boston museum returns Buddhist relics to South Korea (Yonhap News Agency)
(From the scene) Monks and Buddhists welcome the return of the Buddhas' remains (The Korean Herald)
Buddhist relics return home after 85 years in the United States (Korea time)

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The article Korea monks welcome return of Buddhist relics after 85 years in US museum appeared first on Buddhadoor Global.

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Henry Oudin

Henry Oudin is a Buddhist scholar, spiritual adventurer and journalist. He is a passionate seeker of the depths of Buddhist wisdom, and travels regularly to learn more about Buddhism and spiritual cultures. By sharing his knowledge and life experiences on Buddhist News, Henry hopes to inspire others to embrace more spiritual and mindful ways of living.

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