Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi is a sacred fig tree or ficus religion located in the Mahamevana Garden in Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka. It is not only the closest authentic life relationship with Gautama Buddha but also the world’s oldest known human planting tree with known planting date and record history. The Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi is located in the ancient Mahamevana Park and was created by King Muthasiva (367 – 307 BC). Other attractions in the garden include the Buddha’s Samadhi statue and a handful of stupas.
History of Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi
About 2,600 years ago, Gautama Buddha was sitting behind an Esathu tree on the banks of the Neranjana River in Buddhagaya, India. It is said that the Buddha attained enlightenment at this moment when he was sitting in front of the tree. In doing so, the tree was also honored. It became known as the Bodhi Tree and devotees came to see it even during the lifetime of the Buddha.
Later, in 236 BC, Sangamitta Maha There was a Buddhist nun sent to Sri Lanka from India by Emperor Ashoka. With her, she carried a right branch of the original sacred fig. This branch was ritually presented to Devanampiya Tissa, one of the first kings of Sri Lanka to stand out due to the advent of Buddhism. In 288 BC, Tissa planted a branch of the Bodhi tree in his royal garden in Anuradhapura.
From the time Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi became famous, they were cared for by Buddhist monks and dedicated kings. The statue, water canal, gold fences, and walls have been built around the tree for centuries and many vows and offerings have been made by Buddhists at the foot of the sacred fig tree. In some cases, the tree is under serious threat, not just from wild elephants. It broke branches as a result of two storms in 1907 and 1911. In 1929 another branch of a tree was destroyed by a fall. In 1985, Tamil Tiger separatists stormed the site and massacred 146 Sinhala-Buddhists on the terrace.
However, Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi is revered more than ever. As long as it continues to grow, it will remain the oldest cultivated tree in the world with a documented written history. The gardens are open to all ages and nationalities, religious or otherwise.