Which Tree is Known as Bodhi Tree?

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Which Tree is Known as Bodhi Tree?

The Bodhi Tree holds immense significance in several religions and cultures, particularly Buddhism. It is widely revered due to its association with the spiritual awakening of Siddhartha Gautama, who later became known as the Buddha. This ancient and sacred tree has roots deeply embedded in history, mythology, and religious beliefs. In this blog post, we will explore the origins, symbolism, and legends surrounding the renowned Bodhi Tree.

The Origins of the Bodhi Tree

The Bodhi Tree, scientifically named Ficus religiosa, belongs to the Moraceae family of trees. Native to the Indian subcontinent, it is a deciduous tree known for its distinctive heart-shaped leaves. The name “Bodhi” itself is derived from the Sanskrit term meaning “awakening” or “enlightenment.”

Historical records suggest that the original Bodhi Tree was located in Bodh Gaya, a town in the present-day Indian state of Bihar. It was under this tree that Prince Siddhartha Gautama, the founder of Buddhism, attained enlightenment approximately 2,500 years ago. The Bodhi Tree became an embodiment of the Buddha’s enlightenment and subsequently played a central role in the development and spread of Buddhism.

Spiritual Symbolism of the Bodhi Tree

The Bodhi Tree embodies various layers of spiritual symbolism, deeply ingrained in Buddhist beliefs. To begin with, the tree represents the potential for enlightenment that lies within all sentient beings. Just as the Buddha awakened beneath its protective shade, so too can individuals attain liberation from suffering and gain wisdom.

Additionally, the Bodhi Tree symbolizes the interconnectedness of all living beings. Its sprawling branches and extensive root system signify the vast network of relationships and interdependencies that form the fabric of existence. Through its symbolism, the tree serves as a reminder to cultivate loving-kindness, compassion, and unity among all beings.

Legends and Mythology

Over centuries, numerous legends and stories have emerged, capturing the essence and importance of the Bodhi Tree. One popular legend tells of the demon Mara’s attempts to disturb the Buddha during his meditation and enlightenment. Mara, representing illusions and distractions, unleashed a torrent of temptations and armies to sway Siddhartha Gautama from his path. However, the Buddha remained steadfast, and as the morning star rose in the sky, he triumphed over Mara’s challenges and attained enlightenment beneath the Bodhi Tree.

Another captivating story tells of the Buddha’s return to the Bodhi Tree several weeks after his awakening. Filled with gratitude, the Buddha stood and gazed at the tree with overwhelming joy and appreciation. As a testament to his gratitude, it is believed that two streams of water emanated from the Buddha’s feet and hands, bathing the roots of the Bodhi Tree. This mythological event became known as the Anotatta (“Unadulterated”) River, symbolizing purity and the Buddha’s deep appreciation for the tree that had provided him refuge and enlightenment.

Devotional Practices and Pilgrimages

The reverence for the Bodhi Tree has inspired various devotional practices and attracted countless pilgrims throughout history. Bodh Gaya, the holy town where the original tree once stood, remains an important pilgrimage site even today. Visitors from around the world come to pay homage, offer prayers, meditate, and seek spiritual enlightenment in the presence of the descendant of the original Bodhi Tree.

The area surrounding the sacred tree is adorned with colorful prayer flags, incense, and other offerings. Devotees often circumambulate the tree, gently touching its branches or leaving small tokens as a sign of respect. The Bodhi Tree stands as a living reminder of the incredible spiritual journey undertaken by Siddhartha Gautama and serves as a source of inspiration for Buddhists and non-Buddhists alike.


The Bodhi Tree stands as an ancient witness to the transformative experience of the Buddha’s enlightenment. Through its symbolic importance and rich history, it continues to inspire devotees and seekers of spiritual truth from across the globe. By reflecting on the origins, symbolism, and legends surrounding the Bodhi Tree, we gain a deeper appreciation for its profound significance in Buddhism and its relevance as a universal symbol of awakening and unity.

Whether one visits the Bodhi Tree itself or simply contemplates its mythological and spiritual significance, the tree serves as a powerful reminder that enlightenment and interconnectedness are within reach for all who seek them.

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Which Tree is Known as Bodhi Tree?