Union minister Kiren Rijiju is set to visit Mongolia in the next week or so with the mission to showcase soft power of India. As such, Rijiju will carry with him several relics of Gautam Buddha and other items representing the faith, which will be displayed at Gandantegchinlen during Mongolia’s celebration of Buddha Purnima, which falls on June 14. Gandantegchinlen is the main Buddhist monastery of the country situated in the capital city of Ulaanbaatar.
This decision was taken after Mongolian government reached out to India in April and requested that India send some Buddha relics to Mongolia for the exhibition. The cultural ministry mulled over the request and approved it. Sources say that the authorities believe this to be a good opportunity to strengthen position as the flagbearer of Buddhism.
This is not the first time that relics related to Buddhism have been loaned and borrowed between countries for one occasion or the other. In fact, this is one of the most important aspects of the religion that promote the teachings. India had sent these relics to Sri Lanka as well in 2013.