Buddha's Tree Putting Down Scottish Roots

Daily Mail (London), June 13, 2006 | Go to article overview
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Buddha's Tree Putting Down Scottish Roots


Byline: JIM MCBETH

IT is a mere sapling, a slender and vulnerable plant recovering from a journey that began 2,500 years ago.

Its weakened roots, which date from the time of Buddha, hardly break the soil in which they are growing.

But with ancient prayers and modern botanical care, the most sacred twig in the world is creating its own history in Scotland.

Glasgow has become one of only a handful of places in the world to receive a cutting from the Bodhi - the tree of enlightenment. It was while sitting under the original tree, in Northern India, that Gautama Buddha realised with utter clarity how he might change the world.

Buddha's tree of enlightenment was destroyed, but not before a cutting was taken to create the 'new' Bodhi in Sri Lanka.

The Sri Lankan Bodhi is the oldest documented tree in the world, a sacred relic visited by pilgrims and jealously guarded by Buddhist monks. To be given a shoot from the 100ft-tall Bodhi - Latin name Ficus religioso - is a great honour.

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