Bodhagaya – The Sacred Land of Buddha’s Enlightenment

Desire and ambition are the root causes of suffering and frustration. But, it is normal and natural to have aspirations and ambitions. Despite all out efforts, results do not come up to their expectation, leading to frustration and suffering. Therefore, a line has to be drawn to craving for more.

For restraining the desires, one has to be mindful about things ‘as they are’ and not ‘as they should be’. This mindfulness and deliberate efforts to know the inner self brings ‘enlightenment’ for distinguishing between ‘should be’ and ‘as are’. Prince Siddhartha, abandoned his kingdom in search of real peace and happiness. It is here at Bodhagaya that he got ‘enlightenment’ to become Buddha and showed to the world, the 8-paths of righteousness for leading a happy and contended life. Bodhgaya is a village in the state of Bihar, considered the most sacred Buddhist site.

Buddha got enlightenment under the Bodhi tree. A descendent of this holy tree is the cynosure of visitors’ attention, located in the premises of the famous Mahabodhi Temple and Stupa. The Meditation Garden or the Lotus Pond inside the temple complex has an environment of absolute peace, tranquility and serenity. Originated from India, Buddhism has strong acceptance in countries like China, Japan, Bhutan, Thailand, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Tibet. This could be realized by visiting temples and monasteries in Bodhagaya, constructed in the structures, designs and names of these nations.

That Buddha was great, could be realized at the sight of the gigantic eighty feet high Buddha Satute.The foreign-named Buddhist monuments at Bodhagaya include the Royal Bhutanese Monastery, the Japanese Temple, Terger Monastery or Yongey Mingvur Rinpoche, Gendhen Phelgveling Monastery,Karma Dhargye Chokhorling Monastery and the Taiwanese Temple.

The Bodhgzya Multimedia Museum is located near the Mahabodhi Temple. Those desirous of finding the real peace through the philosophy laid down by Buddha must visit the museum for watching historical and geographical context of the life of Buddha, through a set of multimedia films and 3-D animation movie.

A visit to the Archaeological Museum adds to the already acquired awareness on ‘inner2 search’ by watching the multimedia movie.

Buddha Jayanti or Buddha’s birthday is celebrated during May. Despite scorching sun, tourists pay visits to Bodhgaya. However, the best period to visit is November to February. It is advisable to avoid visiting during monsoon season. Other festivals include a three day Buddha Mahotsava, the Kagvu Monlam Chenmo and Nvingma Monlam Chemo prayer festivals held during January-February every year.

Meditation is the best way of looking into the inner self and getting peace and tranquility of mind. Introductory and intermediate meditation and philosophy courses are offered by the Root Institute for Wisdom Culture. This course is imparted in the Tibetan Mahayana tradition, from October to March. For a shorter course one can Dhamma Bodhi Vipasana Centre for 10 days residential course that commences on the 1st and 16th of every month.

Buddha says that one who is wise and virtuous, indolent, poised in adversities, unselfish, generous, impartial and liberal is honored as the true human being.