Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Bodhi Tree to be planted in India for 2600th

Janaka Alahapperuma (Onlanka News) translated from "English" by Wisdom Quarterly
Siddhartha culminated six years of rigorous striving by letting go and was thereby able to gain supreme enlightenment when he resolved to simply sit under the Bodhi tree. The straining had prevented him, and slacking off would have ruined him. But in between, the heart/mind was freed. What was his practice? He became tranquil through the jhanas gained through breathing meditation then practiced the Foundations of Mindfulness and Dependent Origination (Wisdom Quarterly).

Honored Tree involved in the Great Enlightenment to be taken to Bodh Gaya, India to mark 2600th anniversary of the Supremely Enlightened Buddha Festival

SRI LANKA - A sapling from the Bodhi tree in Anuradhapura was brought to Temple Trees (the official residence or Sri Lankan "White House"), which is ready to be sent to India as of February 14.

Prime Minister and senior monks with Bodhi tree sapling (Sudath Silva/Onlanka News)

The sapling to be taken to India for planting at Bodh Gaya, where Siddhartha became a supremely enlightened teacher (sam-buddha), will mark the 2600th anniversary celebrating that event: Sambuddha Jayanti (festival).

Bo trees send runners and saplings making them easy to transplant.

The Bodhi or Bo tree (Ficus religiosa) the Buddha sat under to become enlightened is the "world's oldest documented living tree." There are of course much older undocumented trees. It is a kind of fig or pipal tree, whose wonderful but small fruit is only eaten as starvation rations during famine. The original tree in India was intentionally destroyed by Muslim marauders incensed to see a "tree" being "worshipped." Of course, people were honoring the living tree as a way of honoring the Buddha's accomplishment by proxy. Those who destroyed it were apparently not aware that a branch had been taken and planted in Sri Lanka in ancient times, where it has survived, prospered, and grown to enormous size.

The tree sapling was recently taken from the Uda Maluwa at Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi (where the offspring of the original Bodhi tree is kept and honored in Sri Lanka) in a colorful ceremony.

(Sudath Silva/Onlanka News)

This special religious ceremony was attended by the Maha Sangha (Greater Order, comprised of representatives from the various monastic groups or nikayas in Sri Lanka) led by the chief incumbent senior monk (Atamasthana Adhipati), Ven. Pallegama Siriniwasa, and a large number of devotees including North Central Province Governor, Karunaratne Divulgane, Chief Minister Berty Premalal Dissanayake, and members of parliament and provincial councilors.

The sapling was placed in a gilded pot by Chief Minister Dissanayake. After a parade in honor of the Bo-sapling, it was taken in a special motorcade to Anuradhapura city then airlifted to Dambakolapatuna on the Jaffna peninsula on the north coast of the island escorted by Dr. Palitha Mahanthegama. Other politicians and officials from the Ministry of Buddhist Affairs as well as Naval personnel were also present. Source

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