Exhibit of Sacred Relics


The Liu Institute for Global Issues, UBC
6476 North West Marine Drive, Vancouver, BC

Open hours:
Friday 2:00 - 5:00 pm.
Saturday 4:00 - 8:00 pm.
Sunday 9:30 - 6:00 pm.

This year marks the hundredth anniversary of the birth of His Holiness Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche (1910 - 1991), one of the most remarkable spiritual teachers of our time. To mark this special occasion ongoing activities celebrating his life and paying tribute to the benefits and activities he accomplished are being held around the world. As part of this, Dilgo Khyentse Yangsi Rinpoche (Yangsi means tulku or reincarnation) will give teachings and empowerments and preside over the ceremonies and offerings in Asia, Europe and North America. As well, Shechen Rabjam Rinpoche, the grandson of Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, will also be giving teachings. In addition to these ceremonies and empowerments at each location Khyentse Yangsi Rinpoche visits there will be a screening of a new film on the life of Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche and a display of sacred relics.

Please join us for a rare glimpse of this collection of sacred relics of masters of Tibetan Buddhism. Coming from the treasury of Shechen Tennyi Dargyeling Monastery in Nepal, the relics will be on display at the Liu Institute for Global Issues at UBC from August 20 to 22, 2010. This extraordinary travelling collection includes the personal belongings, sacred and everyday objects of Buddha Shakyamuni, His Holiness Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche and other important teachers who attained the highest stages of realization. These include Naropa, Mipham Rinpoche, Milarepa, Marpa, Jigme Lingpa, Jamgon Kongtrul Lodro Thaye, Longchenpa and many others.

Relics can be understood as the material remains of a holy person or a sacred object. In Buddhism there are three types of relics. Shairiraka, physical relics, are actual body relics of a Buddha or a great teacher. Paribhogika, known as "places of pleasure," are the places where the Buddha performed an action or teaching. For example, Bodhgaya commemorates Buddha’s enlightenment and Lumbini commemorates Buddha’s birthplace. Uddeshaka are the reminders or remembrances of a Buddha. These can be anything and are usually objects of value. The eight auspicious symbols are a remembrance of Buddha’s teachings. A teacher’s pen or robe is an example of this kind of sacred relic.

Sacred relics embody the wisdom and blessings of the teacher and help to ensure the living continuity of the priceless teachings and the dharma legacy of lineage. Sacred relics of past enlightened masters remind us of our inherent wakeful state of mind. Through viewing the relics we can develop respect and admiration for the lineage of great teachers and their enlightened body, speech, mind, quality and action.

Though we may not have had the good fortune to meet these teachers in person we can nevertheless be inspired by their example and teachings. The stream of their wisdom and compassion can flow powerfully into our heart of the present moment.

The Sacred Relics Exhibition is part of Celebrating a Century of Blessings, a weekend teaching program at UBC’s First Nations Longhouse from August 20 to 22. The program features teachings by Khyentse Yangsi Rinpoche and Shechen Rabjam Rinpoche as well as presentation of the film Brilliant Moon on the life of His Holiness Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche.

Click here to view a UBC Campus map. An arrow points to the Liu Institute (upper lefthand section of map).