Śrī Maha Bodhi

The Sacred Jaya Siri Maha Bodhi in Anuradhapura

Jaya Siri Maha Bodhi

"In Sri Lanka, there grows to this day, a tree, the oldest historical tree in the world which we know certainly to have been planted as a cutting from the Bodhi tree in the year 245 B.C."
- H.G. Wells

The Sacred Jaya Siri Maha Bodhi in Anuradhapura is reckoned as the oldest surviving historical tree in the world. It was brought to Sri Lanka by the Theri Sangamitta, daughter of Emperor Asoka and was planted in the Mahameghavana Park in Anuradhapura in 249 BC by King Devanampiyatissa. It is said to be the southern branch of the Jaya Siri Maha Bodhi at Buddha Gaya in India under which Lord Buddha attained Enlightenment.

The Mahavamsa or the Great Chronicle of the Sinhalese provides an elaborate account of the establishment of the Jaya Siri Maha Bodhi in the island. Bodhi means wisdom that understands the four Noble Truths. Thus the tree which assisted Lord Buddha to achieve wisdom or enlightenment is called Bodhi.

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