Gift of Barry Fernando, M.D. and Coleene Fernando, M.D., 2010
Not on view
Miniature stupas were used in Sri Lankan Buddhism as relic containers. A hierarchy of relics, ranked by their closeness, both physically and in time, to the person of the Buddha himself, was acknowledged in early Buddhism. The Buddha's corporeal remains were the highest form of relic, and over time, those associated with revered teachers assumed a similar, if lesser, status. Stupa reliquaries of this type were used to house the ashes of revered monks.