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Thursday, November 28, 2013

Mahabodhi Temple At Bodh Gaya

The Mahabodhi Temple , a UNESCO World Heritage Site(in 2002) is a Buddhist Temple in Bodh Gaya marking the location where Siddhartha Gautama,the Buddha, is said to have attained enlightment.

Bodh Gaya is located in Gaya District about 96 km (60 miles) from Patna,Bihar,India

Around 530 BC, Siddhartha Gautama, a young prince who saw the suffering of the world and wanted to end it, reached the forested banks of Falgu River near the city of Gaya, India. There he sat in meditation under a peepul tree which later became known as the Bodhi tree.
According to Buddhist scriptures, after three days and three nights, Siddharta attained enlightment and the answers that he had sought.
The Buddha then spent the succeeding seven weeks at seven different spots in the vicinity meditating and considering his experience. Several specific places at the current Mahabodhi Temple relate to the traditions surrounding these seven weeks:
  • The first week was spent under the Bodhi tree.
  • During the second week, the Buddha remained standing and stared, uninterrupted, at the Bodhi tree. This spot is marked by the Animeshlocha Stupa, that is, the unblinking stupa or shrine, which is located on the north-east of the Mahabodhi Temple complex. There stands a statue of Buddha with his eyes fixed towards the Bodhi tree.
  • The Buddha is said to have walked back and forth between the location of the Animeshlocha Stupa and the Bodhi tree. According to legend, lotus flowers sprung up along this route, it is now called Ratnachakarma or the jewel walk.
  • He spent the fourth week near Ratnagar Chaitya, located near north - east side.
  • During the fifth week, Buddha answered in details to the queries of Brahmins under Ajapala Nigodh tree, now marked by a pillar.
  • He spent the sixth week next to Lotus pond.
  • He spent the seventh week under Rajyatna tree
 The Bodhi tree at Bodhgaya is directly connected to the life of the historical Buddha, Siddhartha Gautama (566—486 BCE), who attained enlightenment or perfect insight when he was meditating under an ancestor of this Pipal tree.

The temple was built directly to the east of the Bodhi tree under which the Buddha spent his first week after attaining enlightenment (or its direct descendant in a line that continues to this day)

 In that location, Mahabodhi Temple was built by Emperor Ashoka in around 260 BC

 Holy Bodhi Tree Scam

The temple's head monk, Bhikkhu Bodhipala, resigned in 2007 after he was charged with cutting the branches of Holy Bodhi Tree on regular basis and selling them to foreigners for significant amounts of money. A newspaper alleged that wealthy Thai buyers bought a branch with the cooperation of senior members of the temple's management committee.While the temple's spokesman stated that botanists had pruned the tree, the Bihar home secretary ordered the tree examined. A criminal charge was filed against Bodhipala. If convicted, Bodhipala would be subject to at least 10 years' imprisonment.

 2013 Bodh Gaya Blasts

On  July 07, 2013, ten low-intensity bombs exploded in the temple complex, injuring 5 people. One bomb was near the statue of Buddha and another was near the Mahabodhi tree. Three unexploded bombs were also found and defused. The blasts took place between 5.30 a.m. and 6.00 a.m
The main temple is intact and sanitized

The Bodh Gaya temple complex in Bihar was rocked by a series of explosions on Sunday morning. Over a hundred worshippers had just finished 30 minutes of chanting and a few were entering the temple complex  when the first blast occurred at 5:45 a.m. Nine explosions followed in the next hour — four at temple sites and five in a 500-meter radius.
The Special Task Force (STF) of the Kolkata Police is looking into whether a man held here late on Saturday evening and suspected to have links with the banned terrorist outfit, the Indian Mujahideen, is involved in the Bodh Gaya serial blasts. Anwar Hussain Mullick (42) was arrested from a bus stop in the heart of the city with explosives and fake Indian currency notes, senior officials of the STF said on Sunday. He is a resident of Chapra in West Bengal’s Nadia district bordering Bangladesh. He has been remanded in police custody till July 20
Chief Minister Nitish Kumar reached Bodh Gaya from Patna at 10:45 am in the morning and visited the temple complex as well as the injured being treated in Gaya

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