Travel

Bodhgaya and Bodhi tree next point for pilgrimage

Xuanzang’s next point of pilgrimage was Bodhgaya, where he was shocked to find the temple and Bodhi tree all but engulfed by drifting sand dunes.

He comments : Some old people said that when the statues of the Bodhsattva disappear and become invisible, the Buddha – dharma will come to an end, and now the statue at the south corner has already sunk down up to the chest.

He goes on to give details of King Ashoka’s actions not found in the Legend of King Ashoka: When King Wuyou had just ascended the throne, he believed in heretical doctrines and destroyed the sites left by the Buddha. He sent his troops and went in person to cut the tree.

He chopped the roots, stalks, branches, and leaves into small pieces and had them heaped up at a spot a few tens of paces to the west, where fire – worshipping Brahmans were ordered to burn the pile as a sacrifice to their god.

But before the smoke and flames had vanished , two trees grew our of the furious fire and luxurious and verdurous leaves ….

On seeing this miracl On seeing this miracle King Wuyou repents, irrigates the remaining roots with milk and makes offerings to the tree so conscientiously that he forgets to go home. But then his queen sets out to finish what her husband failed to complete:

The queen, being a heretical believer, secretly senta man to fell the tree after nightfall. When King Wuyou went to wor ship the treear dawn, he was very sad to see only the stump of the tree.

He prayed earnestly and irrigated the stump with sweet milk, and in a few days the tree grew up once again.

With deep respect and astonishment, the king builta stone enclosure to the height of more than ten feet around the tree, which is still in existence.
*Source:
Ashoka : Search for india’s lost emperor- Charles allen

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