U Khanti had formerly been a monk in the 19th century when he saw that many Buddhist sites were suffering greatly as a result of the loss of the Burmese king and the rise of the colonial period. Therefore, he disrobed so that he would be allowed so that he would be allowed to handle money (for monastics may not touch money) and led massive restoration projects while collecting smaller donations from thousands, and possibly millions, of Burmese lay people. While in previous generations and centuries, only the Royal Court was able to fund massive Buddhist projects, he showed the way that small donations collected by many could keep the monkhood and the Buddha's teachings alive. It was for this reason that when authentic Buddha relics were recovered in Peshawar, now Pakistan, the British government decreed to gift them to devoutly Buddhist Burma, and it was U Khanti who was chosen to receive this highly auspicious and important object of veneration, actual relics of the founder of the faith itself! Today these very relics are housed in a vault on the way up towards Mandalay Hill, and can be visited by pilgrims and meditators with permission, where one may meditate before them. The dhamma Treasures of the golden land!
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