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Updated by Joanna James on Jun 23, 2019
Headline for 07 Things to Know About Bodhgaya - Spiritual Centre of Buddhism
Joanna James Joanna James
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07 Things to Know About Bodhgaya - Spiritual Centre of Buddhism

Meditating under a Bo tree, Buddha is believed to have obtained enlightenment in the sacred city of Bodhgaya. Here are a few facts about the most sacred place on the planet for Buddhist pilgrims.


The Mahabodhi Temple

The sacred Mahabodhi Temple of Bodhgaya was built by King Asoka in 250 BC, and every year, thousands of pilgrims visit the place to pay homage to the iconic location. There are many ancient legends and miracles associated with this holy place that is truly fascinating; as you will see in the following list. The Mahabodhi Temple located just 5 minutes from places similar to Oaks Bodhgaya and is not the only prominent temple in the area. You may explore the Royal Bhutan Temple, Thai Temple, Indosan Nippon Japanese Temple and Vishnupad Temple quite easily, from well-located Bodhgaya hotels. Following is a list of miraculous myths associated with Bodhgaya and the Mahabodhi Temple.


The Bodhimanda

This is the seat that is located under the sacred Bo Tree where Lord Buddha attained enlightenment many hundreds of years ago. Traditional Buddhists share a belief that this seat will be the last to disappear as the world comes to an end. It is believed that the seat will also be the first to re-appear as the world starts from scratch again.


Prostrating Monks are a Constant Feature around the Bo Tree

At any given time there are a number of prostrating monks in front of the sacred Bo tree. This act is believed to bring purification, with monks dedicating as many as 100,000 prostrations in one go.


The Mahabodhi Was Bombed

On July 7th, 2013, the Mahabodhi was bombed by the Islamist Jihadi Indian Mujahideen group, as retaliation for Muslims that were killed in Burma. The low-intensity bombs exploded at 5.15 am, injuring around 5 people. There were no fatalities.


This is a Place Worth Visiting as Mentioned By Buddha

The Buddha visited Bodhgaya 2,500 years ago, and at that time, this huge Bo tree was surrounded by sandy ridges that formed what is called a Mandala. There was a lush forest of creepers and tall grass growing around the tree, and this foliage, Buddha observed, was bent towards the tree as if paying homage to a sacred deity. Nearby, the legendary Niranjana River flowed, and as Buddha sat down to meditate, a crop of 'Sala' trees parted to reveal stunning vistas of the river. Buddha, who never returned to the place, often spoke of it during his preachings, recommending the place as an ideal destination for rejuvenating the mind, body, and soul.


The Bo Tree of Today is a Sapling of the Original

The sacred Bo tree that sits within the grounds of the Mahabodhi is a sapling or descendant of the original tree, under which Gautama Buddha received enlightenment.


The Sacred Statue within the Shrine was Built by a God

Once the Mahabodhi Temple was constructed, the people debated about the type of statue to place within its holy body. It is during this period that a man approached the masses and offered to build a statue; he requested for scented clay and a lit lamp to be placed within the inner chamber of the temple and specified that the doors should be locked and not opened for six months. The anxious people, however, opened the door just four days before the time was up. Inside was a Buddha statue of immense beauty, complete except for a small part near the breast. Later, a monk sleeping within the sanctuary claimed to have had a dream, in which the God Maitreya appeared, and claimed responsibility for building the statue.

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