At the heart of many Buddhist practices today is the cultivation of positive qualities that is often referred to as merit making. Buddhist practitioners seek to generate merit and thereby provide the basis for a more favorable rebirth and eventual nirvana.
A number of years ago when visiting the national museum in Delhi I had a profound experience of faith and meditative absorbtion in the presence of the exhibit displaying the Buddha's relics from an archeological find at Piraprawa India. This experience naturally led me to wish to investigate further for myself and document for western students of Buddhism the active sites of
Buddhist relic veneration extant today. This film includes images of the tooth relic at
Kandy Sri Lanka and other prominent monuments built to enshrine important Buddha relics such as the Shwedagon pagoda in Myanmar and Wat Suan Dok at Chiang Mai Thailand among many others.
The Festival Cut of the film is a self contained introduction to the topic of the Buddha relics and the stupas built to enshrine them around the Buddhist world. It was designed to provide an overview and a philosophical examination of the relic tradition and its overall significance within Buddhism as a living tradition of practice(s).
The Directors Cut of the film includes more in depth examinations of specific relic sites in Sri Lanka, Nepal, Myanmar and South East Asia (predominantly focussing on Thailand but also including brief looks at relic sites in Laos and Cambodia). These segments were produced to augment the Introduction to the Relics by providing a level of detail in the treatment of the subject designed to appeal to both casual and more serious students of Buddhism, Buddhist history and the sacred archeological traditions associated with it.
The interview participants that kindly agreed to participate in this project include some of world's most prominent authorities on Buddhist relics and their role in the spread of Buddhism throughout the world.
Ku Dung Barwa: The Blazing Buddhas Relics ( Blue-ray), Brian Melvin, James Zito.