This sacred Bodhi tree is found in the sacred city of Anuradhapura. It is one of the holiest treasures in the world. 250 BC. The mission led by Mahinda Thera, the son of Emperor Dharmasoka of India, who sent to Sri Lanka to propagate Buddhism. Upon their arrival, King Devanampiyatissa received them with reverence and accepted Dhamma alms (Buddhism) and many became Buddhists. King Dharmasoka must have been very happy to hear that news.

At the time of King Dharmasoka’s enlightenment, he sent Buddhism to Sri Lanka through his daughter Sangamitta. It is a living symbol of the great Bodhi tree that gave shade to the Buddha at the time of his enlightenment and worship. Chronicles state that in 249 BC, she and some of her companions took the Bodhi sapling and ascended from the Tamra Lipi to Jabukola in Sri Lanka. King Devanampiyatissa was receive with due respect and brought to Anuradhapura in a procession. Under the patronage of Ven Mahinda. This is the only tree with a written history. This tree has no upper root, as obtained from a branch of the original tree.

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  • Sacred bodhi tree anuradhapura
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Kings contribution to Bodhi Tree

Many ancient kings contribute in some way. The most important thing was that King Devanampiyatissa plant the Sri Maha Bodhi and selected the most suitable place and settled the people belonging to the 18 castes who came here for the protection of the Bo tree. A systematic method. From 249 BC. Officers of the Board of Governors of Sri Maha Bodhi, which has been officially inherit from generation to generation.

In the midst of many difficulties, they take care of the Bo tree as their own life for the benefit of future generations and for the betterment of Buddhism. The leaders of the 18 castes who take care of the Bodhi tree are called the Bodhi Haraka caste. They belong to the Asoka dynasty. Therefore in ancient times they had the right of heir to the throne.

Festivals and Blessings

Many ancient rituals associated with the sacred Bo tree are still performed today. There are four major festivals that are held annually, namely the New Rice Festival. Old Year Festival and Karthi Festival. The New Rice Festival is celebrated with the participation of many farmers after the harvest. Almost all the devout Buddhists in the country take an oath before the Sri Maha Bodhi to ensure that pregnant mothers give birth to their children safely and that they face the hardships of education in order to succeed in their endeavors. As soon as they are successful, they do their duty as promised.

The black deity Bandara is considered to be the occupying deity of the sacred tree. A religious festival called ‘Dara Miti Perahera’ was held in association with the Sri Maha Bodhi on the occasion of the Nikini Full Moon Poya. Due to the severe drought in Nikini or August, wild elephants could roam the area in search of water and it was the custom of the surrounding villagers to prevent it. Wild elephants are set on fire around the tree to scare them away. It was customary for devotees to bring carts loaded with firewood in a procession.