Skull Bone Relic of Gautama Buddha Discovered in Ancient Chinese Shrine Built By Indian King Ashoka
A piece of Buddha’s skull bone might have been found in a gold casket in 2022. According to those who found it, the skull was kept in a silver casket inside a model of a stupa that was found in a crypt under a Buddhist temple. Whether the skull is an authentic relic from the body of the Buddha or not, read on to know more about what the researchers have to say about it.
10 The skull bone may belong to Siddhartha Gautama
Archaeologists may have found a bone from the skull of Siddhartha Gautama, who is popularly known as the Buddha. The bone was hidden in a model of a stupa, a Buddhist place of worship where people go to meditate.
The research team found the model in a stone chest in a crypt below a Buddhist temple built nearly 1,000 years ago, in Nanjing, China. Archaeologists found the bones of Buddhist saints inside the model stupa, including a parietal (skull) bone with inscriptions on it. The inscribed text revealed that the skull bone belongs to the Buddha himself.
9 The stupa model was made of precious metals and covered in gemstones
Archaeologists wrote in the journal Chinese Cultural Relics that the model is made of sandalwood, silver, and gold. It also has gemstones made of crystal, glass, agate, and lapis lazuli covering it.
The model was found in a stone chest with writing on it that said it was made during the reign of Emperor Zhenzong (997-1022 A.D.) during the Song Dynasty. On the stupa are also the names of some of the people who built the model and some who gave money or materials to make it.
8 Whether the skull bone belongs to the Buddha is yet to be confirmed
Even though the inscriptions say that the skull bone is Buddha’s, no one knows for sure if it really is the real deal. Archaeologists didn’t try to guess how likely it is in the journal article. Buddhist monks have treated the bone with great care and put it to rest in the modern Qixia Temple.
7 Inscription on the stone chest
The 117-centimeter-tall and 45-centimeter-wide (almost 4 feet by 1.5 feet) stupa model was found under the Grand Bao’en Temple. It was kept in an iron box, which in turn was stored in a stone chest. A person named Deming left an inscription with his name in the stone chest, declaring that he owned the treasure. The inscription read- “the Master of Perfect Enlightenment, Abbot of Chengtian Monastery and the Holder of the Purple Robe,” as translated by researchers in the journal article. He explains how the Buddha’s parietal bone ended up in China. The other Buddhist sculptures found in a shrine are about 1,700 years old.