Blessings of the Buddhas

Since it began in March 2001, more than two million people has seen the Relic Tour. This collection of historical Buddhist artifacts comes to Winnipeg on October 27 & 28 at the Hai Hoi Temple at 650 Burrows Avenue. Admission is free.

The exhibition contains more than 500 tiny pieces from at least seven collections of supposed remains of the historical Buddha, as well as another 500 pieces from 29 famous Buddhist saints and disciples ranging from ancient times to the present.

Relics of Shakyamuni, the historical Buddha who lived 2,500 years ago

The tour, organized by a Santa Cruz-based Tibetan monk, Lama Zopa Rimpoche, began in 2001 and was intended to end with the relics being enshrined in the heart portion of a huge, 500-foot-tall statue of Maitreya Buddha devoted to "loving kindness" in Kushinagar, India, where Buddha discarded the last of his earthly coils. This collection of holy relics will tour the world for public display until construction of the Maitreya Buddha statue has been completed. Until then, it is Rinpoche's wish that as many people as possible around the world be given the chance to receive the blessings of Maitreya Buddha and the holy relics.

The Maitreya Project has been controversial. Villagers and farmers are worried about being displaced by the giant statue. The project has also been accused of being materialistic.

Maitreya is the name of the expected next Buddha, and the tour and yet-to-be funded, $200-million statue are part of the Maitreya Project.