About 2500 years ago, a young prince set outside his palace on an adventure in order to find the truth and solution to universal realms. These realms are death, pain, suffering, birth, etc. In his adventure, he finds out that the solutions can be found through meditation. He practiced all kind of meditation that heard, saw without any hesitation, without eating anything, but those practices were for nothing. Then one day he saw a beautiful grave, a clear flowing river, a village and sat under a beautiful tree with spreading branches and started his meditation. Then a young woman appeared in front of him offering him a bowl of milk rice and sweet honey noticing his thin and weak body. Then he started to meditate under the branch tree and eventually saw the truth and found peace within himself and his cloud of ignorance slowly disappeared and attained “ Enlightenment ” and became Lord Buddha . The village, where he meditated to attain nirvana is now known as the Bodh Gaya .
“ Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without. ” – Buddha
Bodh Gaya is one of the most sacred places in Buddhist tradition . Bodh Gaya is a religious site of pilgrimage which is associated with Mahabodhi temple and is located in Indian state of Bihar. There are four most important pilgrimage sites for Buddhists and Bodhgaya is the most important among them too. Bodh Gaya is the starting point of Buddhism and is famous all over the world since Gautama Buddha attained Nirvana in this sacred place. The other three most important pilgrimage of Buddhism are Kushinagar, Lumbini, and Sarnath .
Bodhgaya is famous for two important aspects which are:
1. Mahabodhi Temple
2. Bodhi Tree
The Bodhi Tree, at Bodhgaya, is one of the most sacred places, as it is the starting point of Buddhism. The Bodhi tree is recognizable for its heart-shaped leaves. For seven years, after Lord Buddha attained Enlightenment, he continued his meditation under this very tree with moving a muscle. On the back of Mahabodhi temple , there is an ancient and sacred Pipal tree and this pipal tree is Bodhi tree. This tree has been frequently visited by Buddhist pilgrims . We can find Bodhi tree planted in every Buddhist monastery in respect to Lord Buddha.
Mahabodhi Temple, also known as Great Awakening Temple, is one of the sacred sites which is listed on UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its historical importance related with Gautama Buddha Enligtenment. Mahabodhi Temple is a Buddhist temple which is located in Bodhgaya and is one of the most sacred temples in Buddhist Tradition.
According to some legend, Buddhist emperor Ashoka is the founder and built Mahabodhi temple in Bodh Gaya . The architecture of the Mahabodhi temple is quite spectacular. You see The Mahabodhi temple is erected with diamond shaped throne / shrine with canopy supported by four pillars. The Mahabodhi temple is one of the oldest brick structures found in India. We can find a colossal image of Lord Buddha which is believed to be around 1700 years old and was built in Gupta Period. The image of Lord Buddha is in Bhumisparsha Mudra “touching the ground pose”. This colossal image of Buddha faces east exactly at the position where Buddha attained his Nirvana.
Serial Bomb Blasts in Mahabodhi Temple
On 7 July 2013, The Mahabodhi Temple in Bodh Gaya experienced serial bomb attacks in its perimeter and nearly injured 5 people. According to the report, one exploded near the Buddha statue and other exploded near The Mahabodhi temple. The other three were detected and defused before it exploded. Even with these attacks, the temple remains showing the world, this sacred place Bodh Gaya won’t be disturbed or damaged by such ill attacks.