BHAIRAHAWA, May 2: The asthidhatu (sacred relic) of Lord Buddha kept in Lumbini that could be only viewed on Buddha Jayanti now can be viewed on any regular day.
The bone fragment, considered to be one of the sacred relics of Lord Buddha in his birthplace, has been made public since last Monday.
The asthidhatu is kept on display five days in advance of Buddha Purnima, the day that celebrates the birth of Lord Buddha, to facilitate the pilgrims eager to catch a glimpse of the sacred relics.
This year Buddha Purnima is on May 5.
Devotees and visitors could visit the Nawa Maitri Mahabir Bihar where a stupa is built to keep the asthidhatu and view it from 8AM to 5PM, said monk Mahasthabir, president of the International Buddhist Society.
According to Mahasthabir, he was only aware about asthidhatu being kept at Aanandakuti in Nepal where it was open for public only on Buddha Purnima.
He shared that the asthidhatu was made public on the premises of the Mayadevi Temple in Lumbini on the Buddha Purnima. "This time we have opened it forever," he said.
Ten sets of astidhatu, two gifted from Sri Lanka and eight others from Dhammakaya Foundation have been kept for the public to offer obeisance, added Mahasthabir.
The highly secured astidhatu are decorated as a golden flower and kept for the display.
Buddhist Guru Buddha Ratna from Maharashtra State of India, who is currently in Lumbini, is one of the first visitors to observe the astidhatu.
He shared that he felt "hugely" grateful to view the sacred relics of Lord Buddha which, according to him, serve as a testimony to the existence of Lord Buddha.
According to him, Buddhist devotees used to travel to other countries to see asthidhatu. With asthidhatu kept for public view for all days now onwards, it will further attract Buddhist devotees like him in the coming days, he opined.