Trees and the Enlightenment of Gautama Buddha


How did Gautama Buddha reach Enlightenment? What was the obstacles? These are the eternal questions for every person on earth. The story of the Buddha’s enlightenment is fascinating subject for modern research.

Buddha got his enlightenment at Bodh Gaya, located about 115 km south of Patna, in the modern Indian state of Bihar. By finding the path to Enlightenment, Siddhartha was led from the pain of suffering and rebirth towards the path of Enlightenment and became known as the Buddha or ‘awakened one’.

Siddhartha, was his earlier name, which means “the one who brings all good.”

Siddhartha practised meditation but concluded that in themselves, the highest meditative states were not enough. He the life of extreme asceticism for six years, but this did not satisfy him either; he still had not escaped from the world of suffering.

He abandoned the strict lifestyle of self-denial and ascetism, but did not return to the pampered luxury of his early life. Instead, he pursued the Middle Way, which is just what it sounds like; neither luxury nor poverty.

One day,  Siddhartha Gautama sat beneath a sacred fig (Ficus religiosa) and began to meditate. He sat down and vowed, come what may, he would not move until he found an end to sorrow.

Siddhartha became deeply absorbed in meditation, and reflected on his experience of life, determined to penetrate its truth.

When his mind was purified by concentration, he acquired the Three Knowledge. The first knowledge was that of his past lives and the past lives of all beings. The second knowledge was of the laws of karma. The third knowledge was that he was free of all obstacles and released from attachments.

Buddhist legends say that Mara wished to stop Siddhartha’s quest for enlightenment, so he brought his most beautiful daughters to Bodh Gaya to seduce him. But Siddhartha did not move. Then Mara sent armies of demons to attack him. Siddhartha sat still, and untouched.

Then, Mara claimed that the seat of enlightenment rightfully belonged to him and not to a mortal. Mara’s demon soldiers cried out together, “I am his witness!” Mara challenged Siddhartha—These soldiers speak for me. Who will speak for you?

Then Siddhartha reached out his right hand to touch the earth, and the earth itself spoke: “I bear you witness!” Mara disappeared. To this day, the Buddha often is portrayed in this “earth witness” posture, with his left hand, palm upright, in his lap, and his right hand touching the earth.

And as the morning star rose in the sky, Siddhartha Gautama realized enlightenment and became a Buddha.

Source:

Role of Trees in the Path of Enlightenment – A Psychological Review

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