Op-Ed: Venerable Luon Sovath
Buddha's relic is very important and sacred treasure for Cambodian Buddhists while it was stolen on December 10, 2013 at the Udong Sakyamuni Buddha stupa in Kandal province about 20 km. from Phnom Penh. The loss of this treasure has triggered sadness for all Cambodians. The relic has symbolized the national holiness, the faith, the pride and the soul of this nation. To be known as Buddhism institution in this nation, the strong pillars comprise of:
- Buddha or the Founder refers to Buddha statue (imitating the actual Buddha image in shape of iconic statue or painting. Buddha said Yo Mam Passati So Dhammam Passati means one who see him see his teaching) and the actual relic of the Buddha. Relic was spared to different locations by the Tona Brahma after the cremation of the Lord Buddha and Cambodia is believed to receive on piece of hair offered by Sri Lanka government during the reign of King Norodom Sihanouk and Supreme Patriarch Chuon Nath.
- Dhamma or the Teaching refers to the Tipitaka, Pariyati and Pali language school, Samadhi practice and Buddhist learning.
- Sangha or the Community refers to four disciples such as Bhikkhu, Bhikkhuni, Upasaka and Upaseka
- Rituals or Sasanapithi refers to both disciplinary rituals such as ordination, pavarana-kamma and Kathina etc.; and ordinary rituals such as Visakha Bochea, Pchum Ben etc.
- Sacred Place/Worshiping Place or Sasanasthan refers to Bodhi tree, Temple, Buddha Statue and Relic