Ulaanbaatar: The Ganden Tegchenling Monastery, the centre of Mongolian Buddhists in Ulaanbaatar city is gearing up to display the relics or bone fragments of Lord Buddha to be brought from India by a delegation headed by Union Law and Justice Minister Kiren Rijiju on Monday.

These bone fragments which are considered one of the most sacred relics of Buddhism are currently placed in a pavilion built on gold at the National Museum in Delhi.

The Holy relics of Lord Buddha which are returning to Mongolia after 29 years will be made available for devotees to pay respects and seek blessings starting Vesak Day on June 14 until June 24.

The Buddhists in Mongolia are thankful to the Indian government for allowing the sacred relics of Lord Buddha and call the event rare and precious.

Munkhbaatar Batchuluun, administrative board member at Ganden Tegchenling Monastery said, "It is the rarest event in history, the most precious opportunity for Mongolians to witness, to get boundless blessings from it".

He believes Buddhism brings both India and Mongolia together. "Over 2000 years ago Buddhism was adopted by our ancestors directly from India through the Silk Route. Even today, there are certain ecological findings claiming that ancient Buddhism spread to our ancestors' territories. So, Buddhism brought us together," he said.

Batchuluun added that maybe India and Mongolia are geographically distant but in terms of spirituality and shared heritage both countries are close. "In our thinking, India is regarded as the sacred land of Buddha and Buddhism first," he said.

In Mahavamsa, a chronicle of Sri Lankan history, it is mentioned that "when the relics are seen, the Buddha is seen" while in Buddhist text Salistamba Sutra (Rice Seedling Sutra), the Buddha Shakyamuni say "one who sees the dharma sees the Buddha" stressing the importance of the body relics and dharma relics.

Indian ambassador to Mongolia M P Singh told ANI, "The shared heritage of Buddhism has connected us and this connection has actually now become a connection of hearts. For an average, India looks Mongolia as its spiritual neighbor and that spiritual connection translates into his goodwill for India and in recent times, especially in the last 7 years, since the historic visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Mongolia this relationship with Mongolia has traversed much beyond cultural realms".

Ambassador M P Singh said that besides political and economic relations with Mongolia, India emphasized on strengthening connections related to Buddhism.

"This heritage is not only connected at leadership level but on average Mongolian looks upon India as a country of what we call as "Vishwa Guru" or a world leader", he said.

The Indian Ambassador added, "Relics coming here after 29 years will not only reinforce that shared heritage but is bound to expand India's image and goodwill as a spiritual neighbour in Mongolia."

"Bringing these relics here I think is the single most important diplomatic triumph for us in reinforcing the cultural, civilizational and heritage connect with Mongolia. The impact of this is not only for today but years to come," said the ambassador.

According to Buddhist texts, after Buddha's Mahaparinirvana, his cremated remains were divided and distributed among the princes of eight of the sixteen Mahajanapadas. Each of the princes constructed a stupa at or near his capital city, within which the respective portion of the ashes was enshrined. These eight stupas were located at Allakappa, Kapilavastu, Kusinara, Pava, Rajagaha (Rajgir), Ramagrama, Vesali and Vethadipa.

Some 300 years later, Emperor Ashoka opened seven of these stupas and removed the Buddha relics (his goal was to distribute the relics into 84,000 stupas which he planned to construct throughout the Maurya Empire).

According to legend, the serpent king was guarding the Ramagrama stupa and prevented Ashoka from unearthing the relic, making it one of the eight undisturbed stupas.