Sunday, July 22, 2007

Buddha Tooth Relic

Lately, there has been wide controversy centred on this question: whether the Buddha's tooth housed in the newly-opened Buddha Tooth Relic Temple along Sago Street belong to Buddha or even to a human !

The controvery sparked when pictures of the sacred tooth shown to dentists and the relevant authorities revealed that the tooth could not possibly belong to a man but more to an animal.

I myself am a Buddhist and I will not be blasphemous to say the tooth does not belong to Buddha or to a human.

Some Singaporeans demand the temple authorities to verify that the tooth belong to a human and from Buddha himself. This demand was made especially when the public donated a significant amount of money and donated golden necklaces, bracelets to be melted to construct a stupa for the tooth. These Singaporeans want transparency and accountability, two words which are recently popular owing to the saga of some charities like the NKF.

Science vs religion. Certain things, especially religion cannot be verified by science. Religion is a faith: if you think it is a Buddha tooth, it is. If you think it is not, it is not.

For me, whether the tooth is true or not, it does not matter. I believe in the essence of Buddhism and that Buddhism is still relevant and important in the world today.

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