In a Buddhist temple in Singapore, stored inside a solid gold stupa
, lies a tooth. The monks who run the temple claim that it's the Buddha's tooth. But others are not so sure. Apparently, "some experts have reportedly questioned whether the tooth is from the Buddha himself." Wow! It's hard to imagine something like this would be fake.
The problem seems to be that the tooth looks suspiciously like the tooth of a herbivore, such as a horse or a buffalo. Apparently vendors in places such as Myanmar often try to sell similar-looking teeth to tourists. Vets have confirmed that the teeth the vendors sell come from herbivores.
However, the monks in the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple are not about to let scientists do any tests on their Buddha's tooth. They argue that DNA testing is an invasive procedure and is a practical challenge to conduct. Plus, once it's confirmed as a fake, they'd be out of a job.
My favorite line from the Channel NewsAsia article
: Renowned artist Tan Swie Hian says, "I don't mind praying to a buffalo's tooth provided I'm told it is one. Let me get it right before my prayer."