The spring season is here with a gift for all of us visiting the holy land of Bodhgaya. We can see leaves falling from the Bodhi tree, under which Gautam Buddha attained enlightment. There is a popular culture and demand of these sacred leaves which people consider as token of awakening and enlightment.
They preserve the heart shaped leaf from Bodhgaya for several years, gift it to their special ones or just frame it. It is illegal to cut a leaf from the Bodhi tree and no one can collect a leaf unless it falls naturally. We can see people all around the Bodhitree who are eagerly waiting to collect the golden leaves as soon as it falls.
Marpa Mahamudra, from Barcelona took the holy leaf to discover Buddha’s mind from Bodhgaya twenty five years back. He has still managed to preserve it.
“For me the leaf is a symbol of the practice of dharma that leads to buddhahood. The awakened mind of buddha can always be found under the shadow of the boddhitree i.e practice of Dharma” he says.
Buddha understood the ultimate potential within himself while meditating under the bodhi tree about 2,500 years back and the tradition still continues. People collect back the leaf as love from Buddha.
Afzal Khan, who is a student of films in Delhi recently visited Bodhgaya and collected a leaf from there.
“The Bodhi tree had sent a leaf to me. I must be such a lucky person or such a good person. It reminds me of the ultimate potential hidden inside me”, Afzal.
Everyone has different reasons to take away the Bodhi leaf back home with them but what binds them together is their love for Bodhgaya and Buddha.