In the footsteps of Buddha: Sujata / Thu.ZarTar Places and the Grass temple

at the Sujata / Thu.zarTar milk rice offering pagoda

After the would be Buddha practiced the DukKhaSaRiYa way for 6 years and did not get any improvement, He meditated in moderation and began to eat properly. On the Kasone Full moon day early morning under a Bo tree, Thu.ZarTar, mistakenly offered milk porridge in a gold bowl that is worth 100,000 to the Buddha to be , thinking Him to be the deity which helped her.

The Pathamasambodhi states that Sujata had made a prayer to the deity of a certain banyan tree for a husband of equal status and for a son by him. When she had obtained what she wished for, she cooked the milk rice as an offering in thanks. Before the day she was to cook the rice, Sujata had some of her servants lead the herd of 1,000 cows to a forest of licorice grass so that the cows could eat their fill. Then she divided them into two herds of 500 head each, and milked the 500 cows of one herd and fed that milk to the 500 cows of the other herd. She then continued to divide that herd and feed half on the milk of the other half until there were only eight cows left. She then took the milk from those eight cows to make her milk rice.

When the rice was cooked, Sujata sent a servant girl to clean up the area around the banyan tree. The servant girl came back to Sujata with a report that the deity [deva] who was to receive the offerings had materialized, and was already sitting at the foot of the banyan tree. Excited, Sujata lifted the tray of milk rice to her head and carried it to the banyan tree, together with her servant girl. Seeing that it was as her servant had told her, she came forward and proffered the tray of milk rice. The Great Being received it and looked at Sujata. She understood from his look that he had no bowl or any other dish with which to eat the food, and so she made an offering of both the rice and the dish.

Having offered the rice, she walked back to her house, full of happiness, believing that she had made offerings to a deva.

A SECOND VERSION:

Early on the full moon day of Kason (April) in the year 103 of the Great Era, i.e. 2551 years ago, counting back from the year 1324 of the Burmese Era, the now emaciated prince sat down under the Bo Tree near the big village of Senanigãma awaiting the hour of going for alms food. At that time, Sujãtã, the daughter of a rich man from the village, was making preparations to give an offering to the tree-spirit of the Bo tree. She sent her maid ahead to tidy up the area under the spread of the holy tree. At the sight of the starving man seated under the tree, the maid thought the deity had made himself visible to receive their offering in person. She ran back in great excitement to inform her mistress.

Sujãtã put the milk rice which she had cooked early in the morning in a golden bowl worth a hundred thousand pieces of money. She covered the same with another golden bowl. She then proceeded with the bowls to the foot of the banyan tree where the prince remained seated and put the bowls in the hand of the soon to be Great Bodhisattva, saying, “May your wishes prosper like mine have.” So saying, she departed.

Sujãtã, on becoming a maiden, had made a prayer at the banyan tree: “If I get a husband of equal rank and same caste with myself and my first born is a son, I will make an offering.” Her prayer had been fulfilled and her offering of milk rice that day was intended for the tree deity in fulfillment of her pledge. However, later when she learned that the Bodhisattva had overcome the powers of Mara and gained Enlightenment after taking the milk rice offered by her, she was overjoyed with the thought that she had made a noble deed to the greatest merit.

Sujata Place (Garh)
Location: 4 Km east of Bodh Gaya Temple Complex, on the other side of Falgu River at Bakraur Village, in Bodh Gaya.
Importance: Gautam Buddha came & first stayed at this place while coming from Gaya Pragbodhi Mountain (Present Durgeshwari Place). Here he learnt & understood the importance of Middle Path in human life. After this incident he understood about the right place to get enlightenment. He knew the right place & got enlightenment under the Bodhi Tree.
In the memory of this great incident, a Stupa was built here in the ancient period, which is now known as Sujata Garh. In 1974, archeological excavation proved that this Stupa was developed in three different time periods, Near this place, a Temple Complex can also be seen. In this complex, an ancient tree & a unique statue of Lord Buddha is situated in a small temple which was developed in modern period.

Sujata / ThuZi.Tar Place (Garh)

The Thu.zarTar / Sujata place is on the other side of the Narinjara nadi / Falgu River in Bodh Gaya; the bridge is near the Burmese Vihar where we stayed.

the place where the future Buddha placed the gold bowl into the Narinjara nadi

After the Buddha to be finished the milk rice, He made an oath that if He were to become Buddha that day, the gold bowl should go upriver, and placed the gold bowl in the Narinjara nadi, and it went upriver!

The Buddha to be stayed the whole day in the Ingyin garden on the bank of the Narinjara nadi. In the evening, on the way to the Bodi tree, the grasscutter Ponna offered 8 handfuls of Kusa grass, which the soon to be Buddha took along!

Buddha Kusa Grass Temple

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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One Response to “In the footsteps of Buddha: Sujata / Thu.ZarTar Places and the Grass temple”

  1. Phillipp Says:

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