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Shameless Self-Promotion ^^
It's really difficult to upload a lot of pictures of wikipedia, so I made a separate site that contains a side by side comparison of Ringsels vs. Gallstones/kidneystones/bladder stones... if anyone's got a problem just delete the link :) Philosophy.dude 20:41, 27 August 2007 (UTC)
Thanks for the contribution. This article definitely needs a more scientific perspective. monroe transfer surprise delight 05:16, 28 November 2009 (UTC)
About this article
One problem with this article is that it conflates "Ringsel" with Buddhist relics in general, which is what sarira and the equivalent Chinese and Japanese terms mean. (By the way, 舍利子 means "Sariputra", which is not at all the same as sarira). Another thing is that the article says very little about who believes in ringsel; the article mentions Tibetans and one Theravadin. Is this an idea that crops up in all strands of Buddhism?—Nat Krause(Talk!·What have I done?) 04:56, 28 August 2007 (UTC)
i am pretty sure that 舍利子 does not refer to Sariputra, Sariputra is translated into chinese as 舍利弗,
i think technically 舍利 can refer to pretty much any buddhist relic, spoken words, sutras, statues, the pearl like thingy, mummified remains and bones, pieces of ash, all kind of things like that... even one's idea of buddha is not at all different from the buddha himself... hence your thought of the buddha is, in some sense a buddha's sarira.
for example quoting http://baike.baidu.com/view/897835.htm 法身舍利: 《 丁福保佛学大辞典 》术语）与法身偈同。又佛所说之经卷，谓之法身舍利。如来所说实相中道之理，不改不变，性相常尔，故云法身舍利。法华经法师品曰：‘经卷所住处，皆应起七宝塔，极令高广严饰，不须复安舍利，所以者何？此中已有如来全身，此塔应以一切华香璎珞缯幢幡伎乐歌颂供养恭敬尊重赞叹。’西域记九曰：‘印度之法，香末为泥，作小窣堵波，高五六寸，书写经文以置其中，谓之法舍利也。数渐盈精建大窣堵波，总聚于内常修供养。’ (basically: that which is unchanging within the speech of the buddha (in modern logical terms, the proposition), is of the same property as the essence of buddha himself, hence it is called the 法身舍利.... blah blah blah.... )
...but when used in common speech 舍利 is generally used as a synonymn to 舍利子, which generally refers to the supposedly supernatural pearl like substance... which is what most of the article is aimed at...
one problem probably comes from the fact that both the guy who started the article and myself are both native chinese speakers and hence our understanding of sarira starts with the chinese word "舍利"... which has probably acquired a somewhat different meaning from the original sanskrit word
in fact most native chinese speakers don't agree between themselves what exactly 舍利 can mean, for example in one of the forum posts, http://tw.netsh.com/eden/bbs/705389/html/table_5344074.html you can see someone posted a bunch of pictures of charred bones, saying that is 舍利子 (which is technically correct), but other folks flamed him for it... because in common conception 舍利子 refers to only the pretty, supposedly supernatural substance.
Philosophy.dude 20:24, 28 August 2007 (UTC)
- Hmmm, apparently 舍利子 has two meanings. Here's my source: , although apparently it is short for 舍利弗子. I'm familiar with 舍利子 meaning Śariputra from the Heart Sutra. Two different senses of 子, I guess.—Nat Krause(Talk!·What have I done?) 06:02, 29 August 2007 (UTC)
- the link you cited is password protected :( but after some googling i am pretty sure you're right, still, that particular use of 舍利子 is about as obvious as when one use the English word "flag" out of context to refer the stuff you pave walkways with. 舍利子 is (almost) always interpreted as to mean Sarira. Philosophy.dude 23:57, 30 August 2007 (UTC)
should we add sarira (new age)?
seems that there are quite a few crank sites that refers to sarira in a New Agey, astral projection, what-you-see-when-you-smoke-too-much-DMT kind of way. Anyone thinks that should be included here? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Philosophy.dude (talk • contribs) 23:57, 30 August 2007 (UTC)
Ringsel, being the Tibetan name, I believe Chinese and Japanese both use a loanword from Indic Sarira. It's true that the entry conflates ringsel with the more general category of 'relic', but there are good historical reasons this did happen, and continues to happen, with the words shifting usages over the centuries.
Ringsels have been found in numerous excavations in Mahayana countries (Korea, Japan, China), often in sacral deposit boxes inside pagodas. So by no means should ringsels be relegated to any "New Age" category IMO.
I recommend reading Pearls from Bones: Relics, Chortens, Tertons and the Signs of Saintly Death in Tibet. Numen, vol. 41 (1994), pp. 273-324. This was written by yours truly.
Fair use rationale for Image:Relics of Shakyamuni.jpg
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Material Properties problems
The list included in the material properties section is poorly written and filled with unsourced information and personal opinions. Many of the numbered list items are actually subordinate points to the other items, making the reading of the list very confusing. I've tagged it both for citations and general clean up. Ig8887 (talk) 16:19, 8 January 2008 (UTC)
The section beginning "The term sarira (शरीर) is a loanword from Sanskrit. The term "Sarira" originally means "body" in Sanskrit" is true as far as it goes,it is musleading in this context. When "śarīraḥ" is used in the sense of "relics", it is always used in the plural in Sanskrit: "śarīrāḥ". I can give a reference if wanted. --Anam Gumnam (talk) 01:33, 12 October 2008 (UTC)
Image copyright problem with Image:Thich quang duc heart.gif
The image Image:Thich quang duc heart.gif is used in this article under a claim of fair use, but it does not have an adequate explanation for why it meets the requirements for such images when used here. In particular, for each page the image is used on, it must have an explanation linking to that page which explains why it needs to be used on that page. Please check
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Directions for this article
I've been watching this article for a while, and have been reading this discussion page quite a lot as well. I have come to the conclusion that the future of this article, if it is to be spared deletion or being stripped down to almost nothing, can only be in a significant cleaning up of several problems:
1. POV: much of this article is written from the perspective of somebody obviously very deep into the buddhist dogma. The best use of this article would be to inform soberly and rationally from a more anthropological perspective, not simply to rattle of a list of various unsourced claims about "people from all different faiths feeling joy, enlightenment, inspiration, and spiritual change when they see the marvelous sarira of ancient masters."
2. Grammar: The above mock-quotation touched on this. Somebody editing this page obviously is not very proficient in english, yet for some reason they think it wise to make significant contributions to the english-language section of wikipedia.
3. Sources: Many of the sources for this english-language section page are not only in foreign script, but are blogs as well. Translating one of them through google, despite the butchered grammar and syntax, the impression was of complete unprofessional slavish devotion to the buddhist mythology.
This is not what wikipedia is about. This is a sloppy article, but inside it there is a more elegent, thoughtful, informative one trying to get out. To examine this phenomenon for what it is, a cultural quirk-belief, is far more valuable and interesting than to merely dedicate this page as a shrine to "the great ancient master who can make sarira appear by their thought." The article for the christian religious object "eucharist" provides a very good template. The sections include "etymology", "history", biblical origins, and different church's views on the ritual. The article calmly explains to the uninitiated what all the fuss is about.
As a very young child, I was very interested in all this crazy shit. UFOs, bigfoot, area 51, loch ness, spontaneous combustion, the bermuda triangle, and yes I even read about sarira in one of these books I collected. I'm familiar with the usual claims. I read them obsessively cover to cover. One particular book enthralled me: "Mysteries of the Unexplained". The title and content of the book was not a stone wall - I did not surrender to the inscrutable, unsolvable, intractable mystery - rather the title was a challenge. These phenomena, which at first appear to be something mystical and otherworldly... these tantalizingly unexplained phenomena were something to be explained. As time has gone on, I have seen that they can all be explained more rationally in one way or another than merely accepting them at face value.
Truly searching for understanding and knowledge is what this website is about - not the mindless acceptance of prefabricated answers to questions which were once too difficult to answer.
-- by me.
You are trying to explain something you rarely see or hear in your environment. It can easily make mistakes. There are little English books about Buddhism. But you may ask any buddhist master about sarira. They will tell you more. Most buddhists took the Five Precepts and they do not lie.
1. Religious prespective as a cultural phenomenon should be written.
3. Please see ALL links, not one. Some are in scientific perspective. Some are reliable sources.
Marpa Lotsawa, Byayulba (嘉裕哇), Drikhung Kyopa Jigten Sumgyi Gönpo(止貢覺巴吉登松吉昆波), Rog Bande Shes rab 'od (若．喜饒峨(智光)), Kun-mkhyen dol-po-pa ses-rab-rgyal-mtshan (更欽．篤布巴), Jamgon Ju Mipham Gyatso's sariras show buddha 居士念佛终往生惊现佛像舍利花 or bodhisatta statues 花果山海寧寺驚現稀世觀音像舍利Yew bo (talk) 18:41, 25 September 2009 (UTC)