In the Temple complex, one can also visit the other seven places where the Buddha spent in meditation after the attainment of Enlightenment. All these places are situated inside the Temple complex.
The sacred Bodhi Tree -
The sacred Bodhi tree - the shades under which the Siddhartha Gautama meditated and attained Enlightenment on the full Moon day of Vaisakh Purnima (May month). This peepal tree’s botanical name is Ficus Religiosa. It was under this tree that the Buddha spent the first week in meditation after attaining Enlightenment.
The present tree is probably the fifth succession of the original tree which was earlier destroyed several times by man-made misery and natural calamities.
Vajrasana or the Diamond Throne is the seat of the Buddha’s Enlightenment. Built in the 3rd century B.C. by Emperor Asoka, it is made of red sand stone. Venerable Ashwaghosa in his Buddhacarita reveals that this is the Navel of the Earth. Fa-Hien mentions that all the past Buddhas attained Enlightenment here and the future Buddhas too will attain the enlightenment on this spot.
Animesha Lochana Chaitya
Situated on the north east of the Mahabodhi Temple, this is the place where the Buddha spent the second week in meditation in standing posture gazing at the Bodhi Tree with motionless eyes for one whole week.
This is the place where the Buddha spent the third week in meditation practicing the walking meditation, otherwise, called the Cankamana or the cloister walk. The raised platform with lotus flowers mark the spot where the Buddha kept his feet while walking.
The Ratanaghara or the Jewel House is the place where the Buddha spent the fourth week in meditation. Situated in the north-west of the Temple, the Buddha meditated here reflecting on the Patthana or the Law of Dependent Origination. A ray of six colours was said to have emanated from his body during that period and the Buddhists have designed their flag based on these colours.
Ajapala Nigrodha Tree
The pillar marks the spot where the tree once stood marking the place where the Buddha spent the fifth week in meditation after his attainment of Enlightenment and delivered a discourse on the equality of mankind.
The place where the Buddha spent the sixth week in meditation after his Enlightenment. While the Buddha was in meditation, a severe thunder storm broke out and seeing the Buddha getting drenched, the snake king of the Lake called Muchalinda came out of his abode and protected the Buddha with his hood from the violent wind and rains.
Situated in the south of the Temple, this is the tree under which the Buddha spent a week in meditation. It is said that two merchants from Burma (presently Myanmar) named Tapassu and Bhallika while passing this way offered rice cake and honey to the Buddha and took refuge in the Buddha and His teachings ‘Buddham Saranam Gachami, Dhammam Saranam Gachami’ but they could not take refuge in the Sangham because the Sangha was not constituted then, thus they became the first lay devotees in the Buddhist world.
The park situated at the south-east of the temple is newly developed as a Meditation park. It has facilities for meditation huts, congregation and discussion courts and two huge prayer bells and two water fountains besides a lotus pond.
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