Archaeological excavation of the so-called “true body relic” (zhenshen sheli), i.e., sarira of the mummified Sengqie, in Jianyin, Jiangsu, in November of 2003, has rekindled scholars’ interest in the study of the cult of Senqie in Chinese history. While the topic drew little attention to Chinese historians previously, it was studied in much detail by the renowned Japanese Buddhist scholar, Makita Tairy?. Western understanding of Sengqie, as demonstrated by Professor Chun-fang Yu’s recent book on Guanyin, has benefited greatly from Makita’s books, which argue that the Sengqie cult was a “popular cult” or the commoners' cult (shomin). This paper argues against the notion of the Sengqie cult being solely a “popular cult,” which is a term Makita seems to have adopted by following convention without making any qualification. Since the definition suggests separate and mutually exclusive cult patterns in two different camps, that of commoners and that of elites, the use of the term naturally excludes elites from being active participants of the Sengqie cult, even though Makita might not have that intent. In an attempt to clarify Makita’s points, this paper shows that lay Buddhists, often ranking officials in both regional and central governments, participated in the retelling and rewriting of the Sengqie legend and dedicated themselves to the worship of Sengqie. They constituted a substantial portion of the elite population under Song emperors who promoted the Sengqie cult as devout or pragmatic patrons. The Sengqie cult began as a cult to both commoners and elites, causing little tension and conflict between them yet continuing its spread after the name of Sengqie had undergone a process similar to the so-called “standardization” or “superscription” that is said to have transformed many local cults into national cults. The paper’s delineation of Jiang Zhiqi, Li Gang, and Li Xiang, as well as of their accounts of Sengqie, indicates that the cult of Sengqie gained its currency rapidly enough to turn itself from a local cult into a longstanding national cult. Contrary to what has been suggested, the cult never declined in the latter Song because of the rise of Chan Buddhism. Nor did it suffer a setback because of Neo-Confucians’ attack. Last but not least, the accounts of the death of Sengqie and the constructions of the Sengqie Pagoda in Sizhou from the Tang to the Song prove to us that Sengqie was never cremated and thus never left any ?ar?ra to be distributed in different locales. Although some legendary Buddha’s relics were enshrined under the Pagoda after its construction under the auspices of Emperor Taizong of the Song, no any account has detailed their whereabouts and the distribution of Sengqie’s sarira since the Jurchen burnt the Sizhou Temple and rounded up the treasures of the temple, including the mummified body of Senqie. These facts render archaeologists’ designation of the unearthed sarira as the “true body relic”of Sengqie invalid.