Bodh means enlightenment and Gaya is a place in Bihar where Lord Vishnu trampled and killed a demon or asura named Gaya. Therefore the place is still called Gaya.
It was in Gaya under a ficus tree that Lord Buddha had enlightenment and hence the word Bodh Gaya.
At the entrance gate
A view of the canopy of the main temple from outside.
Maha Bodhi Temple
The entrance of the temple in which there is a huge idol of Lord Buddha. Just behind it is the Peepal Tree or Vata Vriksha under which he had Enlightenment.
I have a Peepal leaf in my hand which had fallen down from the Bodhi Tree with the breeze. People from all over the world, mainly South East Asian countries and Sri Lanka come here and Sarnath to make a holy pilgrimage.
People love to get a fallen leaf which is so holy and venerated. They take the leaves home and preserve them. We did the same.
This is the Bodhi Tree which is very, very healthy till this day and widely spread. It is under this Tree that Lord Buddha gained severe spiritual illumination. We spent a lot of time here and did not feel like leaving this serene place. Many people gather here under this tree, say prayers in groups and also do chanting in batches in a group or singly. Most of the people come here to do meditation and sit calmly as much as they can.
It is a very energized place and I felt that if I had more time, I would have come here early in the morning to meditate with minimum people.
The MahaBodhi temple with Buddha’s idol is in our view, we are at the back of it.
Devotee from Philipines on my right and the monks were from Burma. A true moment of universal love and brotherhood, felt one with them. They were very, very happy to come to India, holy India they said. Wanted to remember such lovely moments and hence took this picture to remember and recall that in Spirit we are always One.
Dhamekh Stupa, Sarnath, one of the few pre-Ashokan period Stupa.
Sarnath, the place of first sermon. This is the place where Lord Buddha taught the Four Noble Truths for the first time to his five disciples. It is also known as Mrigadeva or Deer Park
The Four Noble Truths are-
- The Truth Of Suffering
- The Truth Of Cause of Suffering
- The Truth Of Cessation or End of Suffering and
- The Truth Of the Path leading to the End of the Suffering.
The Three Gems or Jewels are-The Threefold Refuge or Tisarna
Buddham Sharanam Gachchami
Dharmam Sharanam Gachchami
Sangham Sharnam Gachchami…..
Peace, peace and more peace on this Earth and to all living and non living creatures!!
With this photo gallery, we come to an end to viewing all the three places that I visited last month in March-Varanasi, Sarnath and Bodh Gaya. They will always be remembered, recalled and cherished. Bodh Gaya was exceptionally peaceful. Such divine and serene air and atmosphere, hardly seen before in a public place. If God wills, would love to go back at least once to meditate in quietude in the wee hours.