Bodhi Tree — image of ‘awakening’ for Buddhists


The Bodhi Tree, also called the Tree of Enlightenment, is a sacred image of religion for the followers of Buddhism.

The historic and non secular significance of the Bodhi Tree dates again to 2,500 years in the past, when the eventual founding father of Buddhism left a lifetime of luxurious behind to hunt enlightenment, or the last word objective of life.

It is alleged that Siddhartha Gautama, later often known as the Buddha, sat underneath a sacred fig tree in Bodh Gaya, related to the Mahabodhi Temple Complex in Gaya district within the Indian state of Bihar, and entered an entire meditative trance.

After the passage of seven weeks, the Buddha is alleged to have achieved the state of ‘awakening’, and the tree that supplied shade and shelter to him got here to be often known as the Bodhi Tree.

According to historic texts, devotees of Buddhism carried branches of the unique Bodhi Tree to nice distances and planted them in varied areas. It is believed that any Bodhi Tree in existence around the globe is a direct descendant of the one underneath which the Buddha had meditated.

Conversely, the Taxila Museum can be home to one in every of these sacred bushes.

Sanghmitra, the daughter of the famed King Ashoka—a religious follower and proponent of Buddishm within the sub-continent— is alleged to have travelled with a department from the unique Bodhi Tree to Anuradhapura in Sri Lanka, the place it’s nonetheless flourishing as an imposing tree.

A department of this Bodhi Tree was introduced to President Ayub Khan when he visited Sri Lanka in December 1963. Former Foreign Minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto planted the identical department within the Taxila Museum Park on January 23, 1964.

Although the department grew as much as change into a sturdy specimen, most people in Pakistan stay woefully unaware of the wealthy and awe-inspiring historical past and significance of the existence of the tree.

Read More: Gandhara Festival at Taxila Museum ends

Even amongst those that are conscious of or have studied the Gandhara Civilisation in some capability, solely a small variety of historical past lovers know that the Bodhi Tree in Taxila is alleged to be a progeny of the identical tree underneath which the Buddha meditated for seven weeks, attained enlightenment and gazed at with gratitude for so long as seven days.

For Buddhists, the Bodhi Trees are revered as sacred living beings with a direct connection to their beloved religious trainer and chief.

Renowned historian and Gandhara Civilisation skilled Dr Nadeem Omar Tarar instructed The Express Tribune that regardless of the wealthy historical past hooked up with the Bodhi Tree at Taxila, the historic specimen has not been accorded the significance it deserves.

Far from receiving particular consideration, the Tree is almost misplaced from view attributable to its shut proximity to a thicket of different massive bushes, which is affecting its development and total well being.

The historian has termed the Bodhi Tree a nationwide treasure that may play an important function in encouraging and selling spiritual tourism.

Dr Tarar urged the federal government to have interaction the companies of archaeologists and arboriculturalists to protect the sacred tree.

The followers of Buddha have a good time December Eight as Bodhi Day, which is believed to be the day when the Buddha had ‘awakened’. Special meals corresponding to Kheer and cookies shapes like hearts—reflecting the heart-shaped leaves of the Bodhi Tree— are ready on the day.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 8th, 2021.

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