The Bodhi Tree in Bodhgaya

The Bodhi Tree was a large and very old sacred fig tree located in Bodh Gaya, under which Siddhartha Gautama, the spiritual teacher who later became known as the Buddha, is said to have attained enlightenment . According to Buddhist texts the Buddha, meditated without moving from his seat for seven days under this tree. A shrine, called Animisalocana cetiya, was later erected on the spot where he sat. In religious iconography, the Bodhi Tree is recognizable by its heart-shaped leaves, which are usually prominently displayed. This tree is a frequent destination for pilgrims, being the most important of the four main Buddhist pilgrimage sites.

The tree has been destroyed several times by now, first on queen’s Tissarakkhā command, as she was jelaous of it. The tree, however, grew again, and a great monastery was attached to the Bodhimanda called the Bodhimanda Vihara. Last time it has been replanted was in 1881 by British archeologist Alexander Cunningham, when a storm has completly destoyed it.

 

Gyalwa Karmapa, Rinpoches, monks, nuns and lay practitioners from all over the world recitating aspiration prayers during Kagyu Monlam under the Bodhi Tree