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Planting Bodhi trees

Update: 03/02/2017
People who research Buddhism are familiar with the phrase “Planting Bodhi trees”.

Planting Bodhi trees


The appearance of the phrase is associated with an important event of Buddha Shakyamuni attained enlightenment. Realizing the unlimited sorrow of life consisting of birth, old age, sickness and death, Shakyamuni Buddha decided to leave home to seek for the truth. After 6 years of austere cultivation without success, he decided to chose the middle way of cultivation (less ambition, enough achievement). He peacefully and mindfully sat under the Bodhi tree. Because the Buddha gained the enlightenment under this tree, it is called the Bodhi tree. His mercifulness has spread out to all living beings, trees, land, mountains and seas etc.

The Bodhi tree has become sacred and implied people who have good mind, orientation and improvement from the Buddha’s example in doing good things for other people. It is called initiating Bodhicitta or planting Bodhi tree.

As usual, planting means growing a tree and waiting for it’s flowers and fruits for money to support the family. If we know Buddhism, we will know how to share our experience to people (such as offerings, alms givings, charity etc.). It is said that planting a Bodhi tree and we may have fully happiness of life.We must remember that we have to know ourselves clearly. The coldest place is not the Arctic, but it is a place without human’s love .

To Buddhism, Bodhi trees are the steps of the ladder which lead to the peaceful world and enlightenment overcomes the suffering sea of life and death circles. Bodhi trees are planted symbolized an enlightened person like a fountain of water with an endless stream or its seed is quietly sowed with just a light Dhama enjoyment wind. People who do not know how to plant a Bodhi tree are called ignorant ones.

The pagodas are everywhere and the Buddhists are all kinds of aspects. To help people accomplish the Buddha’s teachings, to water and to take care Bodhi trees in freshness, the Venerables and the monks have to sacrifice and try a lot and give continuous efforts with the brave steps in oder to succeed because it is a very tough way full of obstacles and challenges. Maybe it is tired but we can not flinch the steps:

On the way of salvage

The bright dawn occured where I came.

All my life has been proclaimed with Buddha’s merit

Gold lotuses are blooming on my way.

(Thich Chan Tinh)

Despite traveling or being a wanderer, we may be tired someday and have to stop to think about life and then look for a master to practice Buddhism.

Planting a Bodhi tree is to store the merits and blessing for this life and afterlives . We are not afraid of the excess of merits but the lack of merits. Cultivators must themselves doing good things others. We need to reflect our inner mind to eliminate the ego in order to release the suffering. At the moment, the Bodhi tree gives flowers and fruits as the old proverbs:’We are not able to choose where to be born but we are able to choose how to live’and the story about the Buddha’s threading is the vivid lesson for cultivators both lay people and monks/nuns. Buddha said,’It’s Buddha also needs merits’. That means all needs merits.

A Buddhist said that he wanted to go to pagoda in Tet holidays to find peace and to ease his mind through the Dharmas, Buddha’s sutras and the speech of the Abbot of Hoang Phap pagoda after a long tired and noisy time in working in order to balance his motion and to restore his power for the next movement. Understanding and praticing Buddha’s Dharma in a right way; that is planting a Bodhi tree; that is saving merits for ourselves; just like an American proverb, ‘Beauty is flower and the morality is fruit of life.’

Buddha Shakyamuni with unlimited wisdom and endless merciful heart gave us a valuable cultural heritage. His Dharmas were popularized positively by the Masters and the monks in order to bring benefits to all living things. As a disciple of Buddha, everyone has to be responsible for their activities. They all want to be in the Pure Land to be happy forever. There is no other way but planting a Bodhi tree, cultivating, reciting Buddha and counting each bead of a string with a hope of connecting the spirit world and the Buddhas of ten directions in oder to ease minds and not to be afraid of sorrow, floating and violent storms in the Saha world.

Nguyễn Thanh Thảo

Translated into English by Nguyen Khanh Hoa

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