What Is The Bodhi Tree?
The Bodhi tree, or wisdom tree as it is commonly referred to, is an important symbol in the Buddhist faith and community for a number of reasons. Ultimately, it symbolizes the sacred place where the Buddha was enlightened, thus making it a crucial geographical setting. It is mysterious and ancient, which causes it to be sacred from a temporal perspective. The tree is also blessed in a developmental sense, as it signifies growth and deliverance. Lastly, the bodhi tree was rumored to have rained blossoms down on the Earth, making it aesthetically pleasing and gracefully connected to nature.
In Buddhism, the word “bodhi” refers to the very unique and highly regarded consciousness of a fully liberated human being. Gautama Buddha and his followers attained this degree of awakening, which is how the reference began. The Bodhi tree symbolic meanings also describe the achievement of a complete mental state dominated by perfect sanity. To attain this state, one must develop a true awareness of the universe.
Bodhi Tree Symbolic Meaning
More commonly, the word “bodhi” is translatable into the English word, “enlightenment” – the ultimate goal of Buddhism and life. Thus, the tree is a symbol of the infinite potential that lies within each and all of us. In India, the bodhi tree is revered with the utmost respect, as they believe that the descendant of the original bodhi tree continues to grow in the spot where the Buddha experienced his true spiritual awakening and enlightenment. It also happens to be a major source of nutrition and sustenance for the cherished elephant.
However, the Bodhi tree symbol had a plethora of spiritual value before Prince Siddartha crafted its association with enlightenment in 528 B.C.. Before the Buddhist faith sparked, the tree had been connected with the quintessential Hindu god, Vishnu. He was the ultimate sustainer of the universe and one of the most archetypal of all of the Hindu gods.
Vishnu was and continues to be viewed with a nearly unmatched reverence, thus making anything linked with him holy by association. In ancient Hindu art, Vishnu is often depicted as being nestled amongst the leaves of the bodhi; he gazes out through the spaces between the leaves, seemingly examining the universe with his infinite and almighty spiritual vision.
Bodhi Tree & Spirituality
While “awakeness” and awareness for the purpose of attaining clearer vision are certainly key themes regarding the bodhi tree’s symbolism. The tree can be associated with a larger variety of characteristics that non-denominational folks and people who are interested in spiritual symbols can relate to on a daily basis.
The bodhi tree symbol always emits waves of positivity and encouragement – you need only accept, embrace, and cultivate it. Just by looking at the massive arbor, one can see that it exudes a fiery, bright, and playful energy, equating itself with a dancer whenever the wind blows. As the leaves of the bodhi tree sway gently in the wind, we can find ourselves being filled with feelings of joy, hope, calmness, and patience. In order to be well-balanced and happy individuals, it is crucial that we make time for play and laughter.
We must appreciate the brilliance that shines in the world all around us and endure the hardships that seem to threaten to smother that light. By being soft and caring individuals, we exude a sense of tranquility that is infectious to others. As caretakers of mother Earth, we must also exercise control and sustainability for the preservation of and appreciation for our planet.
When we take the time to call upon this tree, whether in physical form, using an image, or in meditation, we give ourselves access to all of these important areas in life and in our minds. Visit the roots of the bodhi tree to set yourself free: free on a journey toward the righteous path that will allow to lead a life filled with pure joy.