The Online Encyclopedia and Dictionary






Bodhi tree

The Bodhi tree is a large and very old specimen of Sacred Fig, located at the Mahabodhi Temple at Bodh Gaya, about 100 km (60 miles) from Patna in the Indian state of Bihar, under which Gautama Buddha, spiritual teacher and founder of Buddhism, arrived at Bodhi (lit. supreme knowledge, enlightenment). It is a sacred tree for Buddhists. It was while meditating under this tree (mentioned as Assattha in the Tipitaka) that Siddhartha Gautama achieved Nirvana. Therefore, the Bodhi tree or tree of wisdom is considered sacred and symbolic to Buddhists.

The tree is a frequent destination for pilgrims, being the most important of the four holy sites for Buddhists. It also has considerable significance in Hindu religion and has been worshipped by Hindus for centuries.

Another sacred specimen, propagated from the original Bodhi tree in 288 BC, is the Sri Maha Bodhi in Sri Lanka.

See also: List of Buddhist topics

Last updated: 08-27-2005 07:16:05