WHAT IS THE IMPORTANCE OF BODHGAYA TIRTH?
1-When Buddha became enlightened the tree must have deeply absorbed something of Buddha's consciousness. It was an unprecedented and extraordinary event, the experience of enlightenment happening to Buddha. If lightning strikes a tree, the tree will be burned, so it is not difficult to imagine that when the lightning of consciousness struck of Buddha, the tree too became enlightened in some way.
2-Buddha must have given some secret instruction not to allow the tree to die. He said, "Don't worship me - it is enough to worship this tree." That is why for five hundred years after his enlightenment, idols of him were not made. The bodhi tree was the idol and it was worshiped. The pictures of Buddhist temples of those days is only of the Bodhi tree and the circular aura of Buddha in the middle, but no image of Buddha himself. That tree had its own experience of the event of enlightenment and became charged. Those who know use the tree to establish communication with Buddha.
3-So it is not the town of Bodhgaya, but the bodhi tree that is of value. Buddha had walked and lived under that tree for a long time before his enlightenment; his footprints have been preserved under it.When Buddha
became tired in meditation, he would walk by that tree for hours on end. Buddha did not live with anyone as much as he did with that tree. He could not have lived with any human being with as much ease and innocence as he did with that tree. He slept under it, sat under it and walked around it; he must have talked to it. The whole life energy of that tree was filled with, saturated with, and charged by Buddha.
4-Buddhists do not allow the original bodhi tree - the one under which Buddha became enlightened - to die. Now you can understand why. When the original tree was withering, King Ashoka sent one of its branches to Sri Lanka. That branch became a tree and is still there. A branch of it was brought back to India and planted in Bodhgaya. The same tree has been kept in continuity. The Bodhgaya tirtha is valuable because of that tree.
5-When King Ashoka sent his son Mahendra to Sri Lanka, Mahendra asked, "What shall I take with me as a present?" Ashoka replied that they had only one present, and that there could be no better present in this world than that of the bodhi tree, and that he could take a branch of it as a present.
So that branch was taken to Sri Lanka. No other king in this world has ever given a branch of a tree as a present. Can such a thing be a present? But the whole of Sri Lanka was effected with the energy vibrating from the branch of that bodhi tree.
6-People said that Mahendra had made Sri Lanka Buddhist, but they were wrong. The conversion of Sri Lanka happened through the branch of the bodhi tree; that branch turned those people to Buddhism. Buddha had given a secret message that the branch should be sent to Sri Lanka, and that the right time and the right person to carry it should be waited for. When that right person arrived, the branch was sent.
7-Mahendra and Sanghamitra were Buddhist bhikkus and were living during buddha's time. The bodhi tree could not be sent to Sri Lanka through just anyone; only a person who had lived with Buddha, who had known Buddha, and who would not carry the branch simply as a branch of a tree but as a living buddha, could be entrusted with the job. One day, through some other person, it will have to be brought back to India.The history behind this
history is worth remembering. This is the secret history which travels behind the mundane history. The real history is that where the actual roots are; otherwise there is a network of events that happen on the surface.If we
ever become capable of focusing our sight on the real history, we will be able to understand the secrets of all these things.