Bodhi Tree Patna – The Tale of Spirituality
The days in Patna were getting a lot more exciting. My kids were thrilled experiencing new culture, people and places around, I too… Most of the people who reach our age try to indulge self within the spirituality. I also tried to do the same, but with a little bit of distinction. We were into our third day, and I made every possible effort to cover as much place I could with the two juniors. I had heard a lot about the Bodhi tree in Patna whose leaves resemble the shape of a heart. The Buddhist pilgrimage in Patna is said to have started from this. Therefore, this time as I was there, I left no scope for missing out the place.
Bodhi trees are planted close proximity of every Buddhist monastery in order to pay homage to Buddha. It is believed that Gautama Buddha attained his spirituality and supreme knowledge under the same Bodhi tree. Bihar is the place where most of the life events of Gautama were spent as Sakya, Prince of Kapilvastu, which is now in Nepal. The religion Buddhism is also believed to have taken birth in Bihar with the inception of Lord Buddha in the state. The term ‘Bihar’ was also taken from the term ‘Vihara’, which means monasteries that abounded all over the state during that period. Through the preaching of Gautama Buddha and through the messages he tried to spread about simple living, empathy and renunciation, the place became an abode for Buddhists and people who followed Buddhism.
In the temple premises, there stands a Mahabodhi temple and one of the trees from the original saplings still stand in the entrance of the temple premises. The architecture of the temple is distinct and unique in its own way, which is known to have been derived from the Gupta era. I could also see inscriptions on the walls that described visits of pilgrims from Sri Lanka, China and Myanmar between the 7th century and 10th century A.D.
All in all, the entire day’s experience was much educational. My kids learnt a lot about the ancient Buddhist lifestyle and the preaching of Lord Buddha.