Bodhi Tree

The Bodhi Tree (Sanskrit: बोधिवृक्ष), also known as Bo (from Sinhalese: Bo), "peepal tree", "Araḷi mara" (Kannada:ಅರಳಿ ಮರ) or "arasa maram" (Tamil:அரசமரம்)(Devanagari: पीपल का पेड़),[1] is a large and ancient sacred fig tree (Ficus religiosa[1][2]) located in Bodh Gaya, Bihar, India, under which Siddhartha Gautama, the spiritual teacher who became known as the Buddha, is said to have attained enlightenment or Bodhi.[3] In religious iconography, the Bodhi Tree is recognizable by its heart-shaped leaves, which are usually prominently displayed.

The term "Bodhi Tree" is also widely applied to existing trees, particularly the sacred fig (Ficus religiosa) growing at the Mahabodhi Temple in Bodh Gaya, which is often cited as a direct descendant of the original specimen planted in 288 BCE. This tree is a frequent destination for pilgrims, being the most important of the four main Buddhist pilgrimage sites.

Other holy bodhi trees which have a great significance in the history of Buddhism are the Anandabodhi tree in Sravasti and the Bodhi tree in Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka. Both are believed to have been propagated from the original Bodhi Tree.

Bodhgaya 3639641913 f4c5f73689 t
The Mahabodhi Tree at the Sri Mahabodhi Temple in Bodh Gaya
Buddha Meditating Under the Bodhi Tree, 800 C.E
Sculpture of the Buddha meditating under the Mahabodhi tree
Bodhgaya 3640455476 ece9eaf386 t
The Diamond throne or Vajrashila, where the Buddha sat under the Bodhi Tree in Bodh Gaya

Coordinates: 24°41′45.29″N 84°59′29.29″E / 24.6959139°N 84.9914694°E

Celebrations

Bodhi Day

On December 8, Bodhi Day celebrates Buddha's enlightenment underneath the Bodhi Tree. Those who follow the Dharma greet each other by saying, “Budu saranai!” which translates to "may the peace of the Buddha be yours.”[4] It is also generally seen as a religious holiday, much like Christmas in the Christian west, in which special meals are served, especially Cookies shaped like hearts (referencing the Heart-shaped leaves of the Bodhi) and a meal of Rice and Milk, the Buddha's first meal after enlightenment[5], which can be seen as luxury in poor rural areas that celebrate the event.

Origin and descendants

Bodh Gaya

A small temple beneath the Bodhi tree, Bodh Gaya, c. 1810
1810 picture of a small temple beneath the Bodhi tree, Bodh Gaya.[6]
Maha Bodhi tree 2
The Mahabodhi tree in Bodhgaya today
Pipal tree temple of Bodh Gaya depicted in Sanchi Stupa 1 Eastern Gateway
Illustration of the temple built by Asoka at Bodh-Gaya around the Bodhi tree. Sculpture of the Satavahana period at Sanchi, 1st century CE.

The Bodhi tree at the Mahabodhi Temple is called the Sri Maha Bodhi. Gautama Buddha attained enlightenment (bodhi) while meditating underneath a Ficus religiosa. According to Buddhist texts, the Buddha meditated without moving from his seat for seven weeks (49 days) under this tree. A shrine called Animisalocana cetiya, was later erected on the spot where he sat.[7]

The spot was used as a shrine even in the lifetime of the Buddha. King Ashoka was most diligent in paying homage to the Bodhi tree, and held a festival every year in its honour in the month of Kattika.[8] His queen, Tissarakkhā, was jealous of the Tree, and three years after she became queen (i.e., in the nineteenth year of Asoka's reign), she caused the tree to be killed by means of mandu thorns.[9] The tree, however, grew again, and a great monastery was attached to the Bodhimanda called the Bodhimanda Vihara. Among those present at the foundation of the Mahā Thūpa are mentioned thirty thousand monks from the Bodhimanda Vihara, led by Cittagutta.[10]

The tree was again cut down by King Pushyamitra Shunga in the 2nd century BC, and by King Shashanka in 600 AD. In the 7th century AD, Chinese traveler Xuanzang wrote of the tree in detail.

Bodhi Tree Marking - panoramio
Bodhi Tree sign, 2013

Every time the tree was destroyed, a new tree was planted in the same place.[11]

In 1862 British archaeologist Alexander Cunningham wrote of the site as the first entry in the first volume of the Archaeological Survey of India:

The celebrated Bodhi tree still exists, but is very much decayed; one large stem, with three branches to the westward, is still green, but the other branches are barkless and rotten. The green branch perhaps belongs to some younger tree, as there are numerous stems of apparently different trees clustered together. The tree must have been renewed frequently, as the present Pipal is standing on a terrace at least 30 feet above the level of the surrounding country. It was in full vigour in 1811, when seen by Dr. Buchanan (Hamilton), who describes it as in all probability not exceeding 100 years of age.[12]

However, the tree decayed further and in 1876 the remaining tree was destroyed in a storm. In 1881, Cunningham planted a new Bodhi tree on the same site.[13][14]

To Jetavana, Sravasti

Adoration of the Diamond Throne and the Bodhi Tree Bharhut relief
Ashoka's Mahabodhi Temple and Diamond throne in Bodh Gaya, built circa 250 BCE. The inscription between the Chaitya arches reads: "Bhagavato Sakamunino/ bodho" i.e. "The building round the Bodhi tree of the Holy Sakamuni (Shakyamuni)".[15] Bharhut frieze (circa 100 BCE).

Buddhism recounts that while the Buddha was still alive, in order that people might make their offerings in the name of the Buddha when he was away on pilgrimage, he sanctioned the planting of a seed from the Bodhi tree in Bodhgaya in front of the gateway of Jetavana Monastery near Sravasti. For this purpose Moggallana took a fruit from the tree as it dropped from its stalk before it reached the ground. It was planted in a golden jar by Anathapindika with great pomp and ceremony. A sapling immediately sprouted forth, fifty cubits high, and in order to consecrate it, the Buddha spent one night under it, rapt in meditation. This tree, because it was planted under the direction of Ananda, came to be known as the Ananda Bodhi.

To Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka

King Asoka's daughter, Sanghamittra, brought a piece of the tree with her to Sri Lanka where it is continuously growing to this day in the island's ancient capital, Anuradhapura.[13] This Bodhi tree was originally named Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi, and was a piece of another Bodhi tree planted in the year 245 B.C.[16] Although the original Bodhi tree deteriorated and died of old age, the descendants of the branch that was brought by Emperor Ashoka's son, Mahindra, and his daughter, Sanghmittra, can still be found on the island.[17]

According to the Mahavamsa, the Sri Maha Bodhi in Sri Lanka was planted in 288 BC, making it the oldest verified specimen of any angiosperm. In this year (the twelfth year of King Asoka's reign) the right branch of the Bodhi tree was brought by Sanghamittā to Anurādhapura and placed by Devānāmpiyatissa his left foot in the Mahāmeghavana. The Buddha, on his death bed, had resolved five things, one being that the branch which should be taken to Ceylon should detach itself.[8] From Gayā, the branch was taken to Pātaliputta, thence to Tāmalittī, where it was placed in a ship and taken to Jambukola, across the sea; finally it arrived at Anuradhapura, staying on the way at Tivakka. Those who assisted the king at the ceremony of the planting of the Tree were the nobles of Kājaragāma and of Candanagāma and of Tivakka.

The Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi is also known to be the most sacred Bodhi tree. This came upon the Buddhists who performed rites and rituals near the Bodhi tree. The Bodhi tree was known to cause rain and heal the ill. When an individual became ill, one of his or her relatives would visit the Bodhi tree to water it seven times for seven days and to vow on behalf of the sick for a speedy recovery.[18]

To Honolulu, Hawaii

In 1913, Anagarika Dharmapala took a sapling of the Sri Maha Bodhi to Hawaii, where he presented it to his benefactor, Mary Foster, who had funded much Buddhist missionary work. She planted it in the grounds of her house in Honolulu, by the Nuʻuanu stream. On her death, she left her house and its grounds to the people of Honolulu, and it became the Foster Botanical Garden.

To Chennai, India

Bodhi tree in Theosophical Society
Sapling of the Maha bodhi tree planted in the year 1950 at Theosophical society

In 1950, Jinarajadasa took three saplings of the Sri Maha Bodhi to plant two saplings in Chennai, one was planted near the Buddha temple at the Theosophical Society another at the riverside of Adyar Estuary. The third was planted near a meditation center in Sri Lanka.[19]

To Thousand Oaks, California, USA

In 2012, Brahmanda Pratap Barua, Ripon, Dhaka, Bangladesh, took a sapling of Bodhi tree from Buddha Gaya, Maha Bodhi to Thousand Oaks, California, where he presented it to his benefactor, Anagarika Glenn Hughes, who had funded much Buddhist work and teaches Buddhism in the USA. He and his students received the sapling with a great thanks, later they planted the sapling in the ground in a nearby park.

The trees of the previous Buddhas

According to the Mahavamsa,[20] branches from the Bodhi trees of all the Buddhas born during this kalpa were planted in Ceylon (Sri Lanka) on the spot where the sacred Bodhi tree stands today in Anurādhapura. The branch of Kakusandha's tree was brought by Rucānandā, Konagamana's by Kantakānandā (or Kanakadattā), and Kassapa's by Sudhammā.

Uses

Prayer beads are made from the seeds of Ficus religiosa, considered sacred because of the closeness to Buddha himself and his enlightenment. The Bodhi tree also shows significant medicinal capabilities. It has been proven to significantly aid diarrhoea, constipation and dysentery, as well as various urinary diseases.[21] Farmers in North India also cultivate it for its fig fruit.

See also

National Museum Vietnamese History 1 (cropped)
Terracotta Bodhi leaf with dragon decoration, 13th-14th century, Vietnam

References

  1. ^ a b Gethin, Rupert (1998). The Foundations of Buddhism. Oxford University Press. p. 22. ISBN 9780192892232.
  2. ^ Simon Gardner, Pindar Sidisunthorn and Lai Ee May, 2011. Heritage Trees of Penang. Penang: Areca Books. ISBN 978-967-57190-6-6
  3. ^ Gopal, Madan (1990). K.S. Gautam (ed.). India through the ages. Publication Division, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India. p. 176.
  4. ^ "University of Hawaii".
  5. ^ LeDuc, Sara. www.doityourself.com https://www.doityourself.com/stry/bodhi-day. Retrieved 2019-05-27. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  6. ^ Bodhi Tree British Library.
  7. ^ Animisalocana cetiya
  8. ^ a b "CHAPTER XVII_The Arrival Of The Relics". Mahavamsa, chap. 17, 17.
  9. ^ "CHAPTER XX_The Nibbana Of The Thera". Mahavamsa, chap. 20, 4f.
  10. ^ "CHAPTER XXIX_The Beginning Of The Great Thupa". Mahavamsa, chap. 29, 41.
  11. ^ J. Gordon, Melton; Martin, Baumann (2010). Religions of the World: A Comprehensive Encyclopedia of Beliefs and Practices, Second edition. ABC-CLIO, Santa Barbara. p. 358. ISBN 1598842048.
  12. ^ Archaeological Survey of India, Volume 1, Four Reports Made During the Years 1862-63-64-66
  13. ^ a b "Buddhist Studies: Bodhi Tree". Buddhanet.net. Retrieved 2013-08-01.
  14. ^ Mahâbodhi, or the great Buddhist temple under the Bodhi tree at Buddha-Gaya, Alexander Cunningham, 1892: "I next saw the tree in 1871 and again in 1875, when it had become completely decayed, and shortly afterwards in 1876 the only remaining portion of the tree fell over the west wall during a storm, and the old pipal tree was gone. Many seeds, however, had been collected and the young scion of the parent tree were already in existence to take its place."
  15. ^ Luders, Heinrich (1963). Corpus Inscriptionum Indicarum Vol.2 Pt.2 Bharhut Inscriptions. p. 95.
  16. ^ K.H.J. Wijayadasa. "Śrī Maha Bodhi". Srimahabodhi.org. Retrieved 2013-08-01.
  17. ^ George Boeree. "History of Buddhism". Webspace.ship.edu. Retrieved 2013-08-01.
  18. ^ "Rain-makers: The Sacred Bodhi Tree Part 2". Srimahabodhi.org. 2003-04-24. Retrieved 2013-08-01.
  19. ^ Madhavan, Chitra. "Buddhist shrine in Adyar". Madras Musings. Madras Musings. Retrieved 14 November 2015.
  20. ^ "CHAPTER XV_The Acceptance Of The Mahavihara". For example, chap 15.
  21. ^ "Health Benefits of Peepal Tree". Onlymyhealth. 2014-07-17. Retrieved 2019-05-27.
Aap Ke Aa Jane Se

Aap Ke Aa Jane Se (After Your Arrival) is an Indian soap opera which aired on Zee TV from 15 January 2018 to 31 May 2019. Produced by Bodhi Tree Multimedia, it starred Suhasi Dhami and Karan Jotwani as Vedika Mathur and Sahil Agarwal. The show marked the comeback of Dhami after a three year break from television.

Ashvattha

According to Hindu mythology, asvattha (Sanskrit: अश्वत्थ, IAST: aśvattha) (or Assattha) that is, the Sacred Fig, is a sacred tree for the Hindus and has been extensively mentioned in texts pertaining to Hinduism, mentioned as 'peepul' (Ficus religiosa) in Rig Veda mantra I.164.20 . Buddhist texts term the tree as Bodhi tree, a tree under which Gautam Buddha meditated and gained enlightenment.

Ashvattha is a name of Shiva and Vishnu; according to Sankara this name is derived from the terms, shva (tomorrow) and stha (that which remains). The Atharvan were the recipients of gifts (given to Payu) in the Danastuti from Prince Ashvattha’s generosity (Rig Veda mantra IV.47.24); the prince identified with Divodasa by Griffith.Yama while instructing Naciketa describes the eternal Asvattha tree with its root upwards and branches downwards, which is the pure immortal Brahman, in which all these worlds are situated, and beyond which there is nothing else (Katha Upanishad Verse II.vi.1). But Krishna tells us that the Asvattha tree having neither end nor beginning nor stationariness whatsoever has its roots upwards and branches downwards whose branches are nourished by the Gunas and whose infinite roots spread in the form of action in the human world which though strong are to be cut off by the forceful weapon of detachment to seek the celestial abode from which there is no return (Bhagavata Gita Chapter XV Verses 1-4). The former teaches that the Asvattha tree is real being identical with Brahman and therefore impossible to cut-off; the latter insists that the Asvattha tree must be regarded as unreal being identical with existence which needs to be cut-off. The Puranas such as the Padma Purana and the Skanda Purana enumerate the very many advantages to be secured from reverentially approaching and worshipping the Ashvattha (Peepul) tree.The first historical person named in connection with the worship of the Bodhi tree in Bodhgaya is Asoka whose Buddhist name was Piyadasi.The fire sticks used in Hindu sacrificial fire like agnihotra also contain dried wood of ashvatha tree.

Bodh Gaya

Bodh Gaya is a religious site and place of pilgrimage associated with the Mahabodhi Temple Complex in Gaya district in the Indian state of Bihar. It is famous as it is the place where Gautama Buddha is said to have obtained Enlightenment (Pali: bodhi) under what became known as the Bodhi Tree. Since antiquity, Bodh Gaya has remained the object of pilgrimage and veneration for both Hindus and Buddhists.For Buddhists, Bodh Gaya is the most important of the main four pilgrimage sites related to the life of Gautama Buddha, the other three being Kushinagar, Lumbini, and Sarnath. In 2002, Mahabodhi Temple, located in Bodh Gaya, became a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Bodhi Vamsa

The Bodhi-Vamsa, or Mahabodhivamsa, is a prose poem in elaborate Sanskritized Pali that recounts the story of the Bodhi tree of Anuradhapura. It is attributed to a monk called Upatissa who lived during the reign of Mahinda IV of Sri Lanka, and believed to have been composed in the 10th Century AD. It is written in the kavya style.

Buddhist symbolism

Buddhist symbolism is the method of Buddhist art to represent certain aspects of dharma, which began in the fourth century BCE. Anthropomorphic symbolism appeared from around the first century CE with the arts of Mathura the Greco-Buddhist art of Gandhara, and were combined with the previous symbols. Various symbolic innovations were later introduced, especially through [Tibetan Buddhism]

Deekshabhoomi

Deekshabhoomi is a sacred monument of Navayana Buddhism located where the architect of the Indian Constitution, B. R. Ambedkar, converted to Buddhism with approximately 600,000 followers on Ashok Vijaya Dashami on 14 October 1956. Ambedkar's conversion to Buddhism is deeply significant for millions of people in India.Deekshabhoomi is in Nagpur, Maharashtra, a location regarded as a pilgrimage center of Buddhism in India. Millions of pilgrims visit Deekshabhoomi every year, especially on Dhamma Chakra Pravartan Din ("Mass Conversion Ceremony Day") and 14 October, the memorial day when Ambedkar converted to Buddhism here. His final religious act was to embrace Buddhism. Today, the largest stupa in Asia is erected in his memory at the site.Deeksha literally means 'act of ordaining' and bhoomi means the 'ground'. Deekshabhoomi means the ground where people got ordained as Buddhist. This religious mass conversion at one place was the first ever of its kind in history. Deekshabhoomi is one of two places of considered to be of great importance in the life of Ambedkar, the other being Chaitya Bhoomi in Mumbai.

Ficus religiosa

Ficus religiosa or sacred fig is a species of fig native to the Indian subcontinent and Indochina that belongs to Moraceae, the fig or mulberry family. It is also known as the bodhi tree, pippala tree, peepul tree, peepal tree or ashwattha tree (in India and Nepal). The sacred fig is considered to have a religious significance in three major religions that originated on the Indian subcontinent, Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism. Hindu and Jain ascetics consider the tree to be sacred and often meditate under them and this is the tree under which Gautama Buddha is believed to have attained enlightenment.

Foo Hai Ch'an Monastery

Foo Hai Ch'an Monastery (Chinese: 福海禅寺), is a Buddhist monastery in Singapore. The foundation was originally set up by Venerable Hong Zong of Taiwan. The present premises are located, adjacent to Sri Sivan Temple, in front of Paya Lebar MRT Station, exit C at Geylang East Avenue 2, Singapore.

Foster Botanical Garden

Foster Botanical Garden, measuring 13.5 acres (5.5 ha), is one of five public botanical gardens on Oahu. It is located at 50 North Vineyard Boulevard, Honolulu, Hawaii, United States, near Chinatown at the intersection of Nu'uanu Avenue and Vineyard Boulevard. Foster is in a highly urban area with strip malls, schools, and both Buddhist and Methodist religious facilities nearby.

The Garden is the oldest botanical garden in Hawaii, and listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi

Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi (Sinhala: ජය ශ්‍රී මහා බොධිය) is a sacred fig tree in the Mahamewna Gardens, Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka. It is said to be the southern branch from the historical Sri Maha Bodhi at Buddha Gaya in India under which Lord Buddha attained Enlightenment.

It was planted in 288 BC, and is the oldest living human-planted tree in the world with a known planting date. Today it is one of the most sacred relics of the Buddhists in Sri Lanka and respected by Buddhists all over the world.

The other fig trees that surround the sacred tree protect it from storms and animals such as monkeys, bats, etc.In April 2014, the government banned all construction within 500 meters of the tree. Only construction that obviously will not harm the tree will be allowed.

Jin Long Si Temple

Jin Long Si Temple (simplified Chinese: 金龙寺; traditional Chinese: 金龍寺; pinyin: Jīnlóng Sì) is a temple located at 32 Tai Seng Avenue, Singapore.

Mahabodhi Temple

The Mahabodhi Temple (literally: "Great Awakening Temple"), a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is an ancient, but much rebuilt and restored, Buddhist temple in Bodh Gaya, marking the location where the Buddha is said to have attained enlightenment. Bodh Gaya (in Gaya district) is about 96 km (60 mi) from Patna, Bihar state, India.

The site contains a descendant of the Bodhi Tree under which Buddha gained enlightenment, and has been a major pilgrimage destination for Hindus and Buddhists for well over two thousand years, and some elements probably date to the period of Ashoka (died c.232 BCE). What is now visible on the ground essentially dates from the 7th century CE, or perhaps somewhat earlier, as well as several major restorations since the 19th century. But the structure now may well incorporate large parts of earlier work, possibly from the 2nd or 3rd century CE.Many of the oldest sculptural elements have been moved to the museum beside the temple, and some, such as the carved stone railing wall around the main structure, have been replaced by replicas. The main temple's survival is especially impressive, as it was mostly made of brick covered with stucco, materials that are much less durable than stone. But this means that very little of the original sculptural decoration has survived.The temple complex includes two large straight-sided shikhara towers, the largest over 55 metres (180 feet) high. This is a stylistic feature that has continued in Jain and Hindu temples to the present day, and influenced Buddhist architecture in other countries, in forms like the pagoda.

Prachinburi Province

Prachinburi Province (Thai: ปราจีนบุรี, RTGS: Prachin Buri, pronounced [prāː.t͡ɕīːn bū.rīː]) is a province (changwat) of Thailand. Neighboring provinces are (from north clockwise) Nakhon Ratchasima, Sa Kaeo, Chachoengsao, and Nakhon Nayok.

Sanghamitta

Saṅghamittā (Saṅghamitrā in Sanskrit) was the eldest daughter of Emperor Ashoka (304 BC – 232 BC) and his first wife, Devi. Together with her brother Mahinda, she entered an order of Buddhist monks. The two siblings later went to Sri Lanka to spread the teachings of Buddha at the request of King Devanampiya Tissa (250 BC – 210 BC) who was a contemporary of Ashoka. Ashoka was initially reluctant to send his daughter on an overseas mission. However, because of the insistence of Sangamitra herself, he finally agreed. She was sent to Sri Lanka together with several other nuns to start the nun-lineage of Bhikkhunis (a fully ordained female Buddhist monastic) at the request of King Tissa to ordain queen Anulā and other women of Tissa's court at Anuradhapura who desired to be ordained as nuns after Mahindra converted them to Buddhism.After Sanghamittā’s contribution to the propagation of Buddhism in Sri Lanka and her establishing the Bikhhunī Sangha or Meheini Sasna (Order of Nuns) there, her name became synonymous with "Buddhist Female Monastic Order of Theravāda Buddhism" that was established not only in Sri Lanka but also in Burma, China and Thailand, in particular. The day the most revered tree, the Bodhi tree, a sapling of which was brought by her to Sri Lanka and planted in Anuradhapura, and which still survives, is also celebrated every year on the Full Moon day of December as "Uduvapa Poya" or "Uposatha Poya" and "Sanghamittā Day" by Theravāda Buddhists in Sri Lanka.

Sri Lankaramaya Buddhist Temple

The Sri Lankaramaya Buddhist Temple (also known as St Michael Buddhist Temple) is located at St Michael Road in Bendemeer, Singapore. The temple is the primary Sri Lanka Buddhist temple of its kind in Singapore.It is one of the Theravada Buddhist temples in Singapore which is founded years back from Buddhist monks from Sri Lanka.

Sunshine (Aerosmith song)

"Sunshine" is a song by American hard rock band Aerosmith. It was written by Steven Tyler, Joe Perry, and Marti Frederiksen. It was released in mid-2001 as a promotional single from the band's album Just Push Play.

Aerosmith had to cancel a gig in Irvine, California in order to complete the filming of the music video for this song.

The song's lyrics have an Alice in Wonderland feel with such as lyrics "I followed Alice into wonderland", "Took to the hatter like a walk in the park", "I ate the mushroom and I dance with the queen", "I chased that rabbit up her Bodhi Tree" and "That caterpillar's tryin to cop a plea". Also the lyrics "She's finer than a painted rose" possibly referring to Disney's cartoon Alice in Wonderland when the Queen's men try to paint the white roses red.

The cover art was drawn by cartoonist Larry Welz.

"Sunshine" is also a street name for LSD. However, the lyrics "Sunshine, the kind that everybody knows", may suggest that the song does not refer to LSD.

Tedi Medi Family

Tedi Medi Family is an Indian sitcom television series, which premiered on 8 June 2015 and is broadcast on BIG Magic. The series is adaptation of Warner Bros' The Middle.Reliance Broadcast Network had acquired the adaptation rights of the series. The series is produced by Mautik Tulip of Bodhi Tree Productions. The series is about a working-class family. The series is produced as a single-camera comedy and follows the daily commotion of raising a family, in the middle of life.

Vajrasana, Bodh Gaya

The Vajrasana (IAST: vajrāsana; diamond throne) is a throne in the Mahabodhi Temple at Bodh Gaya. It is thought to have been placed by Emperor Ashoka of the Maurya Empire between 250-233 BCE, at the location where the Buddha had reached enlightenment some 200 years earlier.The vajrasana is the bodhimanda (bodhimaṇḍa; seat or platform of enlightenment) of Gautama Buddha. Being the site where Gautama Buddha achieved liberation, Tibetan texts also use the term vajrasana to refer to Bodh Gaya itself.The empty throne, not just at Bodh Gaya, was a focus of devotion in early Buddhism, treated as a cetiya or symbolic relic. It was not intended to be occupied, but operated as a symbol of the missing Buddha. Ancient images show devotees kneeling in prayer before it, as they still do.

Wheel of Time (film)

Wheel of Time is a 2003 documentary film about Tibetan Buddhism by German director Werner Herzog. The title refers to the Kalachakra sand mandala that provides a recurring image for the film.

The film documents the two Kalachakra initiations of 2002, presided over by the fourteenth Dalai Lama. The first, in Bodhgaya India, was disrupted by the Dalai Lama's illness. Later that same year, the event was held again, this time without disruption, in Graz, Austria. The film's first location is the Bodhgaya, the site of the Mahabodhi Temple and the Bodhi tree. Herzog then turns to the pilgrimage at Mount Kailash, after which the film then focuses on the second gathering in Graz.

Herzog includes a personal interview with the Dalai Lama, as well as Tibetan former political prisoner Takna Jigme Zangpo, who served 37 years in a Chinese prison for his support of the International Tibet Independence Movement.

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