A few meters away from the Mahaparinirvana Temple in Kushinagar lies a simple structure called 'Matha Kuar Shrine'. This small building is so unimposing that it hardly conveys the importance of this Shrine in the discovery of Kushinagar as the actual place where Lord Buddha attained Mahaparinirvana. There is a Buddha image inside this Shrine carved in blue stone depicting Buddha under the Bodhi Tree in the 'Bhumisparsha Mudra' (Earth Touching Attitude). An inscription on the pedestal of this image dated the construction of this Shrine by a local Kalachuri Chieftain during the 10-11th century. Over time, the shrine was subjected to vandalism and plunder. The Buddha image was broken and its upper part was thrown out of the temple and later supported against the trunk of a mango tree nearby. This Buddha image gave the name of 'Matha Kuar' to this place that was later deduced by historians to be 'Mrit Kumar' or 'Dead Prince'. Thus came the suspicion that this place was perhaps 'Kushinara' where Lord Buddha had attained Mahaparinirvana. Keep reading...
|Matha Kuar Shrine Kushinagar|
The Buddha Image in Matha Kuar Shrine Kushinagar
|Buddha Image in Matha Kuar Shrine Kushinagar|
The restored Buddha image, 3.05 meter in height is enshrined here but the original inscription on its pedestal is now lost. The inner door of the Shrine remains locked but the Buddha image can be seen through the door.
|Matha Kuar Shrine in Kushinagar|
Excavations by archaeologist A.C.L. Carlleyle in 1876 and later by others discovered the Matha Kuar Temple and established Kushinagar to be the place of Lord Buddha's Mahaparinirvana. However, until 1926 the Buddha image discovered here was left in the open. The present structure of Matha Kuar Shrine was constructed between November 1926 and April 1927 by U Po Hlaing with permission from the British authorities. The area around the Shrine is yet to be fully excavated.
|Posted by Narinder Singh|