Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Buddha's Tree

Buddhism was founded in India, 528 BC, by Siddhartha Gautama known as "Buddha" (the enlightened one). His devotees also call him "Bhagara" (Lord), and "Tathagata" (True-Winner).

The Bodhi Tree refers to the tree under which the Buddha achieved enlightenment (See image.).
Tree worship was already part of the existing culture in India, so the development of the bodhi tree and leaf as a devotional symbol was a natural one.

Gautama (563-483), was a Prince born in Lumbini near Nepal, where the legend says he had 40,000 dancing girls at his disposal... but he wander around the palace and he met successfully with "an old man begging for alms, a diseased man, a dead man, and a monk"... he was so impressed that on his 29th birthday he left palace, his wife and child and started to search for the cause of suffering and to find peace and happiness, following two yoga masters, then as a begging monk with severe asceticism... finally, at age 35, he went near Benares and for 7 weeks he meditated under a fig tree, or a pipal tree, until he found "in a flash" his way, and became Buddha, the enlightened one, under the "Bodhi tree", or "Bo tree" (wisdom tree)... and life's problems were no longer an enigma to him!.

He died of dysentery at age 80, upon eating some poisoned mush-rooms at the home of Cunda the smith... he did not blame Cunda for the mush-rooms, but rather his last command was that his companions tell Cunda that all of the meals he had eaten in his life two stood out as exceptional blessings. One was the meal under the Bo tree; the other the mush-rooms which were opening to him the final gates to Nirvana.

-Leo Moses