Mahabodhi Temple, Gauthama enlightenment place:
Mahabodhi Temple in Bodh Gaya is a very famous temple not only for Buddhists but also for Hindus. At that place, only Gautama Buddha got enlightenment and remained one of the four holy places to the Buddhists. It is located in Gaya District, which is about 96 Km away from the state capital Patna, in Bihar, India. This holy place is most sacred to Buddhists. The western side of the complex housing the holy Maha Bodhi tree, which is also very blessed to Buddhists. Gautama Buddha meditated by sitting under the same tree. This is 50 meters high, and its branches are spread throughout the temple complex. The temple’s holiness and dense history made UNESCO declare on 27 June 2002, the place one of the World Heritage Sites.
Siddhartha’s quest for enlightenment:
According to the Buddhist scriptures, during 530 BCE, 29 years young prince struggled a lot by looking at the sufferings in the world. He wants to search for a way to free humans from the cycle of nightmares. So one night Siddartha Gautama left his palace, leaving everyone in the court, even his wife and newborn son Rahula.
Since then, prince Siddhartha met several teachers to know the causes of the suffering and the end of the cycle of birth and death. But there was no answer which satisfied him. He roamed everywhere, went to dense forests and dark caves, met many teachers, listened to their preachings, practised their suggestions, analysed their doctrines and followed the discipline. But there was no use; he did like this for six long years without taking proper food, so he became a mere skeleton. Finally, at the age of 35, one day, he reached the bank of the Falgu River near Gaya. The area was spread with the forest. He seems calm; his desire for Salvation made him meditate under the Peepul(fig) tree. After three days, he got enlightenment and became a knowing Buddha. So the sacred tree was named the Bodhi tree. From there, Buddha started teachings and practised Dharma pada.
Ashoka built Mahabodhi Temple:
The great Maurya Emperor Ashoka was following the Buddha teachings of Dhamma Pada. He deeply became a religious person. Around 260 BCE, Emperor Ashoka built the Mahabodhi temple to honour Gautama Buddha in the sacred place where he attained enlightenment. In later years, emperor Ashoka constructed Vajrasana or the Diamond throne, made of polished sandstone, representing the seat of culture. He also built a stupa in reverence of Gauthama Buddha. The entire structure of the temple was completed in the seventh century AD. Later the Pala Kings of Bengal made a black stone statue of Buddha painted with gold colour. Here Lord Buddha seated in earth witness posture, touching the earth with the tip of His right hand, is the central attraction of the complex.
This is a famous and attractive place; one can come here to enjoy the temple, feel happy by knowing the site’s history and be sure we can get peace of mind by worshipping God.