Monks from the Thervanda Order have left offerings at this shrine, dedicated to Ficus Religiosa. Incorporated into the fabric of Buddhist practice, the ‘Bo’ tree represents an integral part of Buddhist tradition. Buddha chose to sit beneath a Bodhi tree while searching for shade to stop and meditate. It is therefore intrinsically linked with his moment of enlightenment, as he resolved not to rise until he had attained the ‘ultimate knowledge’.
Touching the earth, thereby calling it to witness the countless lifetimes of virtue that had led him to this place of enlightenment, he entered into a state of deep meditation. Three days and nights passed until his intention was realized. Henceforward, for Buddhists, the Bodhi tree became a venerated object. Some became pilgrimage sites, as this one in my little village. Ironically this powerful and vast specimen now finds its modern self standing in the middle of a busy woodsaw mill.