Ananda's Bodhi Tree


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Ananda's Bodhi Tree

Ananda was the first who searched for a symbol to represent the Buddha.

During the 45 years after his enlightenment, Buddha often travelled to preach in areas faraway and was not always present at Jetavana. Many followers came to Jetavana wishing to meet him, to pray to him, and felt great loss not seeing him. So one day Ananada asked Buddha what to do in that situation.

Buddha said: "Ananda, that bodhi tree, at the root of which I sat in meditation to reach enlightenment, appeared at the same time as Siddhartha, same age as Ananda. Under that very tree Tathagata had become Sammasambuddha, and since had been known as Tathagata, Lord Buddha, Teacher of the World. Therefore, that bodhi tree is an important symbol, even when I am alive, followers can come and pray to the tree as if they could see me there."

Ananda said : "If so, we will grow a bodhi tree at Jetavana."

Ananda then approached Mahamoggallana: "I already asked Lord Buddha about the tree, can you help?"

Mahamoggallana then travelled to the bodhi tree, waited for a strong wind to blow by and used his rope of collect a perfect seed falling from the tree before it touched the ground. He took it back, cultivated it and gave it to Ananda. The king and followers took care of the young tree and after a while the tree grew big and full of leaves.

We now know many people extracted from the original bodhi trees.

But we have only 2 main bodhi trees. One where Buddha sat in meditation and after 49 days had reached enlightenment. The other was grown at Jetavana during the lifetime of Buddha, with the help of 2 most venerables disciples, Mahamoggallana and Ananda. The second was then known as Ananda's bodhi tree.


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