In the footsteps of Buddha: MahaBodhi tree

 

on the way to the Bhodi tree around the MahaBhodi temple

The MahaBhodi tree at Bodha Gaya

The would-be Buddha reached the MahaBodhi tree on the evening of the Wednesday, Kasone Full Moon day of the Maha ThetKaRit / year 103 after meeting Sujata / Thu.zarTar and the grass cutter Ponnar (who really was a divine power in disguise_ an old poor Brahman, appeared and presented 8 handfuls of Kusa grass which Buddha took along to Bodhagaya). There, He spread the grass down and sat on it, vowed not to get up unless He attained Enlightenment and contemplated. At the following dawn Enlightenment occurred (a day in India and Myanmar calendars is from sunrise to the next sunrise; not midnight to midnight as in the Western calendar).

Mahabodhi Tree
Location: West of Mahabodhi Temple in Mahabodhi Temple Complex in Bodh Gaya.
Importance: Sakya Prince Siddhartha attained the Supreme Enlightenment & became Lord Buddha – the enlightened one, at the age of 35 under this tree after sitting here for 49 days at this Holy place. After enlightenment, Lord Buddha spent the ‘1st Week’ continuously sitting under this tree. For the tourists, this place is the most important historical & religious spot in the temple complex.
The present tree is the 4th generation offspring of the original. 1st in 239 BC – 237 BC (3rd Century BC), the queen of King Ashoka tried to harm this tree. 2nd time in 7th Century AD, in 601 AD, King, Sashank Verman of Gaurh state, Central Bengal, India tried to harm this tree. In 620 AD, Magadh King Purna Verma restored this place. 3rd time in 1870 AD the tree was damaged due to a heavy storm and was saved again. 4th time in 1881 AD, famous British general ‘Cunningham’ brought an ancestor plant of this ancient tree from Anuradhpur, Sri Lanka & planted here.

Preparing to offer robe / Thingann at the MahaBhodi

In the Account of Chinese monk Fa-Hien’s travels in India and Ceylon A.D. 399-414 in search of the Buddhist Books of Discipline, Fa-Hien wrote in Chapter XXXI

GAYA, SAKYAMUNI’S ATTAINING TO THE BUDDHASHIP; AND OTHER LEGENDS:

The Bodhisattva went forward to the patra tree, placed the kusa grass at the foot of it, and sat down with his face to the east. Then king Mara sent 3 beautiful young ladies, who came from the north to tempt him, while he himself came from the south to do the same. The Bodhisattva put his toes on the ground, and the demon soldiers retired and dispered, and the 3 young ladies were changed into old grand-mothers.

In the next dawn following the Wednesday, Kasone Full Moon day of the year 103, Enlightenment occured.

The place of Enlightenment

We went to the MahaBhodi tree and temple the afternoon we arrived Gaya, 11-December 2010. I was overwhelmed by the many different pilgrims: Tibetans, Thais, Indians of various nationalities_India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Sikkim, Bangladesh, Malaysia, and others too.

Most came for their religious beliefs, Buddhist and Hindu (Buddha is one of their many deities), but a few are tourists.

There was a International Tipitaka 6th Annual Chanting Ceremony 2-12th December and we were lucky to witness it. There was continuous chanting of PaHtan by the monks from the 6 countries.

We offered robe / Thingann and assembled and went inside holding it. However, as I was taking photos, I hold the robe on and off as the situation arises.

We went around the Mahabodhi Mahavihara in the right turn circle and reached the Sacred Bhodi Tree at the other side, the northwest corner of the Mahabodhi temple.

This is the place where Enlightenment occurred and Buddha became into being. The Beginning of Buddhism, the path to escape from all sufferings_ the way to Nirvana, which Buddha has found. The path which practiced properly according to Buddha’s teachings, will lead all from the sufferings we endure in the conundrum of 31 levels of existence , in vicious cycles of birth – living – death; many times the mirage of happiness and richness which hides the underlying suffering.

we offered dawn / ArYone biscuits and oranges 25-Dec, our last day of pilgrimage

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2 Responses to “In the footsteps of Buddha: MahaBodhi tree”

  1. john Says:

    Hey..
    I am John from India. Actually I am a student but my Hobby is Tour Guide work and all management for tourist in Bodh Gaya. My only Hobby is this if u needs any kind of help in Bodh Gaya Bihar or India. u please mail me at bodhgaya4india@gmail.com or visit https://www.facebook.com/bodhgaya.india and send me message in Face Book. Your Private tour guide in India …….

    Bye and Tack care.
    You’re John.

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