In the 6th century B.C, a Sakya prince from Kapilavastu renounced all worldly attachments and dedicated his entire life to search for an answer to the grotesque questions of pain and sorrow that had assailed his mind and heart. Walking through dense jungles and barren stretches of land, he practised austerities to cleanse his soul and thereby attain the answer he sought. Finally, on the banks of the Phalgu near Gaya in what is now the state of Bihar, the prince sat down in meditation with a strict resolve never to stop before attaining perfect insight. Beneath a pippala tree there, this prince received enlightenment, and thereafter he gave to the world a new way of life—his Dhamma. Legend has it that to all his questions about human suffering, the Prince received the perfect answers, the Sammabodhi, beneath this pippala tree, “…and [it’s] because of this Sammabodhi that the tree came to be called the Bodhi tree” (Ambedkar, 83). The scientific name of this Tree is Ficus Religiosa, and it is called Bo in Sinhalese.
Bihar winters are really chilly; the water flowing down the station washroom tap makes you twitch. A sharp pulse of pain travels right through your skin, up to the bones. My train reached Gaya station at four in the morning. Men, with mufflers wrapped over their heads, crowded the stalls and sipped tea. Some of them were coolies, dressed in red. With them, auto-wallahs, truck drivers, and a few policemen were also seated on the shaky wooden benches. The air was misty and the sky faintly lit. Traces of blue peeped through cleavages in the grey clouds overhead. Noisy crows had begun their search for food. I rode in a reserved auto up to Bodh Gaya through narrow and mostly unlit lanes. Few random street lights painted the streets, congested with rows of houses and shops, with an over-saturated yellow. The roads were water-logged—probably it had rained or some drain must have overflowed.
This is something distinctly Indian, I must say. You walk through the overcrowded narrow lanes of old Delhi, and suddenly, the grand dome of Jama Masjid will pop up right in front of your eyes. Out of nowhere, the neglected summer house of Jim Corbett appeared amidst a cluster of old English bungalows once while I was trekking in Nainital. Hidden in the dense jungles of the East Khasi Hills in interior Meghalaya, I once stumbled upon a century old church. But in Langkawi, for example, the wide expressways leading to the sky bridge prepares one for the grandeur that lies ahead. The architectural marvel doesn’t hit you suddenly thus rendering the experience mundane. India, however, tends to surprise you. Travelling for the better part of an hour through the dense streets, you reach that fabled spot where one of the greatest philosophers of all time had attained the ‘Ultimate Knowledge’.
The 55 metres high pyramidal spine of the Maha Bodhi temple catches your eyes from a distance. It is ‘one of the oldest brick structures to have survived in eastern India’. And the Bodhi Tree, located to the west of the main temple, is the ‘most important of the sacred places [inside the complex]’. (“Mahabodhi Temple Complex at Bodh Gaya”)
The Vajrasana or the Diamond Throne, a seat representing the exact spot where Siddhartha Gautama had sat for meditation beneath the Tree, was built in the third century BC by Ashoka. It’s made of red sand stone, and is perpetually adorned by flowers and offerings. Monks and devotees from all over the world visit the temple to perform different religious activities. I saw some monks prostrating and some reading scriptures. Some counted beads and chanted prayers. And then there were some who were meditating in small makeshift tent-cum-mosquito-net with an umbrella perched on top. Nothing could distract them, not even the rains. At a raised stage by the side of the main sanctum, a group of young monks clad in red robes, chanted along with drum beats and conch blows. The Maha Bodhi temple reverberated with the rhapsody of eternal devotion, spirituality and purity.
“The Lord of the World [the Buddha] worshipped you O Maha Bodhi Tree. I too worship you.
All honour to you, O King of Enlightenment!”
— ancient Pali Gatha (Haberman, 101)
At a crucial point in Indian history, the Buddha’s arrived on the scene. Discarding the weaknesses that haunt a common man, he rebelled for greater causes. And in his quest for solving the most complicated puzzles of our lives, the Bodhi Tree played a principal role. Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, the Tibetan Buddhist monk and meditation master, in his book Introduction to Buddhism: An Explanation of the Buddhist Way of Life, says, after renouncing the opulence and trying various means to find solutions to life’s mysteries, “He [Siddhartha Gautama] walked to Bodh Gaya where, on the full moon day of the fourth month of the lunar calendar, he seated himself beneath the Bodhi Tree in the meditation posture and vowed not to rise from meditation until he had attained perfect enlightenment.” (Gyatso, 8)
It’s very interesting to note the way in which this Tree has entered human imagination, in a way that is analogous to the Buddha himself. “There are four reasons why Buddhists have honoured the Bodhi Tree,” explains David L. Haberman in his book People Trees: Worship of Trees in Northern India, first being the fact that the tree ‘nurtures the quest for ultimate knowledge and protects those seekers who take its shelter’. (103) And then, he writes, Buddhists believe the Tree to be some kind of a divine body: “either a tree god (vriksha–devata) or a helpful bodhisattva.” (ibid)
According to Haberman, the third reason is that the Buddha himself worshipped the Tree, while the fourth is that, some Buddhists believe the Tree to be a form of the Buddha himself. In ancient India devotees worshiped the Bodhi Tree with curd, milk and perfumes such sandal wood and camphor, Dharmasvamin, the Tibetan traveller documented. Hsuan Tsang, the Chinese monk who travelled extensively in India, notes that during the Buddha Jayanti (Vesakha) celebrations in Bodh Gaya, thousands of pilgrims from across country flocked at Bodh Gaya to worship the Tree. They bathed the roots of the Tree with scented water and perfumed milk. (Dhamikka, 63)
But, leaving reverence where it is, no such narrative as this one is, concerned with a specific past as it is, can be complete without the interplay of peace and violence, injustice and redemption. Thus, it is not surprising that the story of the Bodhi Tree is also intertwined with incidents of gore. To begin with, an insecure and lovelorn wife had once attempted to kill the tree. Yes, the second wife of the emperor Ashoka, Tisayaraksita, in 3rd century BC. Why? Because she was jealous of the love which her husband showered upon the tree. She had the tree pierced by poisonous thorns called mandu, but the tree, grew again, to a height of 37 metres. Later, to protect the Tree, Ashoka built a three meter high stone wall around it. (“Sights to See, The Bodhi Tree”)
But that was not the end of the troubles of the Tree.
King Sasanka, the staunch Brahmin ruler of Bengal between 590 AD and 625 AD, persecuted Buddhists during his reign. Shravasti Dhammika, the Spiritual Advisor of Buddha Dhamma Mandala Society in Singapore, writes in his book Middle Land, Middle Way: A Pilgrim’s Guide to the Buddha’s India, “History tells us that King Sasanka destroyed the Bodhi Tree during the time he persecuted Buddhists around 600 AD.” (Dhammika, 63)
Hsuan-Tsang, too, documented Sasanka’s atrocities on Buddhists. At the same time he also noted, as historian Sailendra Nath Sen writes in his book Ancient Indian History and Civilization, ‘the flourishing conditions of Buddhism in Sasanka’s kingdom’. Sen says the accounts can’t be reconciled.
Dhammika quotes an account that Sir Alexander Cunningham, the father of the Archaeological Survey of India and someone who is credited with initiating the restoration of Maha Bodhi Temple, wrote about the Tree.
In 1862 I found this tree very much decayed; one large stem to the westward with three branches was still green, but the other branches were barkless and rotten. I next saw the tree in 1871 and again in 1875, when it had become completely decayed, and shortly afterwards in 1876 the only remaining portion of the tree fell over the west wall during a storm, and the old pipal tree was gone. Many seeds, however, had been collected and the young scion of the parent tree was already in existence to take its place. (Dhammika, 63)
Later, in 1880, Dhammika writes, Cunningham dug near the new tree and found two pieces of very old wood. He believed they were remnants of the tree destroyed by Sasanka.
He was standing in a quaint corner of the Temple complex and filling water into 200-odd small plastic glasses arranged in rows. I was inquisitive. I went up to him and enquired about what it was that he was trying to do. “I have to fill this arrangement of glasses for one lakh times,” the bald monk, clad in a yellow robe, smiled and replied in broken Hindi. He then continued in heavily accented English, “Then I will have to prostrate one lakh times, and then walk round the temple for one lakh times.” He was from Tibet and stayed in a monastery in Karnataka. He came to Bodh Gaya at least once a year to perform some rituals that his monastic vows demanded.
I stood back as he filled a couple of more glasses.
“So you are here to take photos? Photos of monks?”
“Yes! And also write.”
“Oh! I don’t write anything, but yes, I read. I have to read many scriptures before I’m eligible to start meditation.”
“What brings you here?” I asked a Nepali monk. He had difficulty understanding both my Hindi and English. I repeated my question again, broken word-by-word and punctuated with facial expressions. He replied “It gives me immense happiness, staying here and doing something to attain the ultimate goal.”
The golden image of Lord Buddha, inside the main sanctum of the temple, and the pin drop silence cushioning it from the chaos outside, makes you pause for a moment and think. Think about your life, your desires and failures, and think about that prince who had left everything behind to serve mankind.
Attack on Ahimsa: Serial blasts at Maha Bodhi temple, sanctorum intact
—The Telegraph, 7th July 2013.
A large group of young monks—shaved head and clad in red robe—sat in rows and chanted. The warm orange Sun pushed aside the greyish dawn and rose. Another day broke at the Maha Bodhi Temple, Bodh Gaya.
But that day was different.
Nine bombs went off in total –four within the temple complex and five outside—injuring two monks but killing none. Shrapnel penetrated the face and arms of Vilas Ga, a monk from Myanmar, while he was meditating under a tree. Tenzing Dorjee, a Tibetan Buddhist, had his left foot pierced by a five-foot long shrapnel. Photographs in leading newspapers, the next day, showed them with plastered limbs in robes soaked in blood, with blood clots all over their faces.
Sometimes, a seemingly innocuous juxtaposition often leads to a shocking image. The second of the four bombs that exploded inside the temple complex destroyed a few wooden racks stacked with Buddhist scriptures, which, in all probability, had messages of peace, ethics and forgiveness written in Pali. The third bomb went off just outside the Butter Lamp House— basically a cluster of 7 houses—where, in reverence to that prince-turned-renouncer and the giant tree under which he attained Enlightenment, believers light lamps and pray for guidance, help, blessings and a good life, and what not. It was built after the authorities realised that lighting thousands of lamp beneath the Bodhi Tree in a haphazard manner was dangerous for the Tree. The Butter Lamp House provided a proper facility to pilgrims to light lamps in an organised manner. Buddhist scholars believe that this practice of lighting lamps symbolizes the rejection of ignorance from our lives. Lama Norlha Rinpoche wrote about this practice of offering butter lamps, “Offering butter lamps is the most powerful offering because their light symbolizes wisdom. Just as a lamp dispels darkness, offering light from a butter lamp represents removing the darkness of ignorance.” (“About The Offering Of Tsok And Butterlamps”)
The fourth bomb exploded near a Buddha image at a small shrine inside the Temple complex. A small golden image of the Buddha in the Dharma Chakra Mudra— interconnected thumb and index finger forming circles—with a bright blue halo behind his head, somehow tamed the brutal force of the explosion and remained unscathed. Three of the five bombs that blasted outside the Maha Bodhi temple damaged a classroom in a monastery where children were given lessons on Buddhism. Luckily, none of the children were killed because it was a holiday that day. Another bomb went off near the 80-foot statue of the Buddha—Bodh Gaya’s most prominent structure after the Maha Bodhi Temple. Fortunately enough, nothing happened to that gigantic statue as well. A photograph of a shrapnel hit monk would have struck us just like Steve McCurry’s photograph of the Afghan girl looking fiercely into the lens or Nick Ut’s photograph of a naked Kim Phuc running down the streets of Trang Bang in South Vietnam during the Vietnam War still does today. But we do not really have any image like that.
“In Sri Lanka, there grows to this day, a tree, the oldest historical tree in the world.” – H.G. Wells
Thousands of women converted to Buddhism in Sri Lanka, when Ashoka’s son Mahendra had gone there to spread the Dhamma. He felt the need of a woman in order to ordain these converted women into the Bhikhunni order (order of female nuns). And, it was then that he asked his sister, Sanghamitra, to join him.
The Sri Lankan Buddhist social reformer and historian Walisinghe Harischandra, in his book TheSacred City of Anuradhapura, writes about how reluctant the emperor was to part with his daughter. But, Sanghamitra insisted, citing her brother’s request and her dedication to the cause of spreading Buddhism. So finally, Sanghamitra, together with a branch of the auspicious Tree at Bodh Gaya, boarded the vessel for Anuradhapura in Sri Lanka.
A question here, then? How did they manage to get that branch?
Ashoka, the ardent follower of Buddhism, couldn’t have hurt the Bodhi tree, leave alone cutting off an entire branch? Could he? The answer to this riddle is simple. It was magic. The branch which was sent with Sanghamitra to Sri Lanka detached itself from the tree and appeared before Ashoka, scriptures tell us. An important Buddhist text called the Mahavamsa narrates the incident as:
“The king thought, ‘The great Bodhi-tree should not be injured with a knife. How would I take a branch?’ …The king went to the great Bodhi-tree which was decked with various ornaments, adorned with different precious stones, garlanded with various flags, strewn with different flowers and resounding with varying music… He had the Bodhi-tree surrounded by the army and enclosed with a curtain… and with his hands clasped in salutation, gazed upon the great Bodhi-tree… Leaving a stem of about four hands in length from the southern branch, other branches vanished.” (“What Buddhists believe about the Bodhi Tree”)
This branch, which was planted at the Royal Gardens at Anuradhapura, survives till today. From it has spurted what is known as the Jaya Shri Maha Bodhi Tree, ‘the oldest historical tree in the world’, as Harischandra says. Certain Buddhist folk accounts also attribute some magical powers to this Tree—like the power to cause rains and to grant infertile women children. Folklore says, it can even predict the future—if there is impending danger, it will show some sign or the other of not being healthy.
Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka,1985
Their amber coloured robes must have been drenched with blood, as the monks fell, one by one, to the unending hail of bullets. Meditation, chants and prayers reflecting on Wheel of Life and Moksha, succumbed to the cacophony of gun shots and screams. It was just like one of those shooting games that children play today, on computers and IPads—they sit and shoot rather mindlessly while munching on pizzas and popcorn. The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elam (LTTE) killed 146 men, women and children—the worst massacre by them ever. (Wikipedia)
LTTE cadres entered in a hijacked bus, and opened fire indiscriminately at the main bus stop. After killing to their heart’s content, they went inside the monastery, the same monastery where Ashoka’s daughter had taken the branch of the Maha Bodhi tree, and shot indiscriminately at the monks, nuns and devotees. (“From Anuradhapura to Anuradhapura” Editorial, “Sri Lanka Tamil Terror: Blood flows at a Buddhist shrine”)
More than two decades ago, visuals of a frenzied communal crowd demolishing a centuries old mosque, left us bewildered. Then 9/11 happened. Our mental frames were put to test yet again.
Arrah (a town in Bihar) born novelist Amitava Kumar reported from Bodh Gaya for the New York Times after the horrendous bomb blasts. In his article, The Buddha Is Smiling in Bodh Gaya Kumar writes that he asked injured Vilas Ga, if he was angry at what had happened. The monk replied, “No”. But Kumar then asked him if he was at peace even after what had happened. He answered in the affirmative. (“The Buddha Is Smiling in Bodh Gaya”)
The Enlightened One himself survived three attempts on his life by his jealous cousin Devadatta. According to legend, Devadatta, whose envy could be traced back to the time when Siddhartha had defeated him and a number of other prospective grooms to win Yashodhara’s hand in marriage, became a follower of the Buddha when he returned to Kapilavastu after attaining Enlightenment. But, Devadatta was jealous of his brother, nonetheless. First, he hired a band of archers to kill the Buddha. Unfortunately for him, the hired killers laid down their arms upon meeting the Buddha, and became his followers. It’s said that in his second attempt to kill his cousin, Devadatta rolled a boulder down a hill aiming it at Buddha. Just grazing the Buddha’s feet, it crashed with another rock and splintered.
Devadatta’s third attempt was quite fool-proof, yet, due to the ‘divine powers’ of the Perfected One, it failed. Devadatta lured mahouts with promises of better food and wages into letting a mad elephant Nalagiri loose in the vicinity of the Buddha. Scriptures tell us that though the mad elephant charged at him, the Buddha fearlessly went ahead. With his gentleness and compassion, the Buddha tamed the elephant which then bowed in front of him, touched the dust at his feet with its trunk and sprinkled it on itself. When his followers had once warned him of a possible attack by Devadatta, the Buddha reportedly said, “It is impossible, monks, it cannot happen, that anyone can take a Prefect One’s life by violence. When Perfect Ones attain final nirvana, it is not through violence on the part of another. Go to your dwellings, monks; Perfect Ones need no protecting.”
I met Niranjan Kumar at the Be Happy Cafe in Bodh Gaya. Kumar and his Canadian wife Christa ran the cafe which specialised in delivering pizzas—freshly bake and deliciously cheap. “I’m from Bodh Gaya itself. I met Christa, couple of years ago, during a Vipassana training course at the Dharma Bodhi School here. She had come from Canada to attend this course,” Kumar said.
The cafe was small and cosy, and had shelves stacked with photo-books on India, travelogues and a few novels. Apart from pizzas, their menu had sandwiches and salads. Foreign tourists and the urbane Indian ones thronged the joint. Niranjan Kumar was managing the restaurant, while his wife prepared the dishes. “We fell in love, got married and settled here. Now both of us together run this small cafe!” he continued with his story.
He told me that during festivities like Buddha Jayanti or Kalachakra ceremony, there is a huge rush of tourists and pilgrims from all over the world. “Even the Dalai Lama comes here during the Kalachakra Puja,” he said emphatically. We had a brief chat about tourism and Bodh Gaya, and how his cafe was gaining popularity because of being listed on Wikitravels. He told me about the other attractions in Bodh Gaya apart from the Temple and the Tree. He said, “Go and see the eighty feet statue of the Buddha. The statue overlooks the entire town.” I wanted to talk to Christa but she was out on some errand. I thanked him for the pizza and left for the 80-feet statue.
Bodh Gaya is a small town and almost all its major tourist attractions lie approximately within a radius of 2 km. The town is littered with Buddhist temples and monasteries of different countries- Thailand, Japan, Bhutan, Malaysia, China and Vietnam. Each one has an architectural pattern unique to their country, a huge image of the Buddha, specially designed walls and gates- often painted with traditional art related to Buddhism from their own respective country, and each one offers a unique experience to learn, and get a taste of the Buddhist impression around the world. Walking across the town, through the temples, I finally reached the 80-ft high grey statue of the Buddha. Dominating the skyline, Buddha sat there in meditation on a lotus flower. I kneeled down on the ground, and focussed my lens on the statue’s head to get a low angle shot—practically, make the tourists present there appear tiny in contrast to the Buddha in the photograph.
Next day, I planned a road trip to Nalanda and Rajgir—the former an ancient centre of learning and the latter, the capital of the ancient state of Magadha. Road trips always have a romantic air about them—travelling in a speeding car through a highway, with gusts of wind rushing through your hair, gives you a sense of breaking free from the monotony of everyday life, from duties and responsibilities. During the journey to Nalanda and Rajgir, all the towns and villages that I passed through, portrayed a very depressing state of affairs—every drain overflowed with dirty black water, roadsides were littered with garbage, polythenes and plastic packets, mal-nourished children in dirty school-uniforms stared at vehicles passing-by with vague and expecting eyes and the sweets in the roadside motels and shops kept in the open were covered by a thick layer of black flies.
Bihar has a great history and heritage attached to it. It is the land of the rise of Buddhism and the seat of the rise and fall of the Mauryans. But today things are different. My driver informed us that the highway stretch between Nalanda and Bodh Gaya, was not quite safe to drive through at night- small time miscreants create hassle for tourists. So, we would have to return early.
“Evil is personified in Mara, the Buddhist Devil, who represents temptation, sin, and death.” (Carus, 83)Like in every other religious narrative of good striving over evil, like the famous forty days in the desert in Christianity, in Buddhism also there is a devil set out to disrupt the innocence of the aspirant – the miscreants mentioned by my driver would be the devil in some narratives. Mara, the Buddhist demon, tried to tempt Siddhartha away from his meditation beneath the Bodhi tree. At first, Mara tried to disturb the monk by spinning a yarn that his jealous cousin Devadatta had revolted and put his father in prison. Siddhartha didn’t even stir. Mara tried again, this time invoking whirlwinds, storms and floods, and earthquake. Nothing shook the monk. When nothing worked in his favour, Mara played the temptress. He called upon his three daughters, Tanh? (Craving), Arati (Boredom), and R?ga(Passion) to seduce Siddhartha while he was meditating.
A Burmese painting that I came across on the internet shows Mara, adorned with jewellery and perched on an elephant with huge tusks, trying to distract Siddhartha, the ascetic in a yellow robe, sitting beneath the Pipal tree. A pale blue snake spits venom at the meditating monk. The entire frame is dotted with orange, yellow and green sperm-like twirls falling from the sky, probably representing the many forces that Mara had called out to.
A.L Basham writes in The Wonder that India Was that Mara’s daughters are Desire, Pleasure andPassion. (Basham, 261) The Samyutta Nikaya, a Buddhist scripture, narrates Mara’s efforts to destroy Siddhartha’s meditation and his reaction to it, as follows:
They had come to him glittering with beauty
Tanh?, Arati, and R?ga —
But the Teacher swept them away right there
As the wind, a fallen cotton tuft (Bodhi, 220)
I was at least a hundred feet higher than the deep ravines below, oscillating and moving ahead in a rickety old chair car. I could see the Stupa blanketed by grey clouds; it would rain. I had been on this chair car system earlier as well with my parents. My sister wasn’t there then. It was a few years before Amartya Sen had won the Nobel Prize and my dad had gifted me The Children’s Buddha Book with an introduction by the professor. I wasn’t on an independent chair then, I was on my dad’s lap. Mom was on the chair behind us. I sat preoccupied with my sandal dangling precariously, almost on the verge of falling off into the dense forest beneath. Now, I was alone, with my camera hanging off my shoulder and a notebook in hand; not afraid of the creaky chair carrying me.
I was in Rajgir, on my way to the Vishwa Shanti Stupa—the tallest peace Pagoda in the world (400 meters). The spotless white marble structure houses four statues of the Buddha at the corners of the Stupa. They depict the phases of his life—birth, enlightenment, teaching and death. A cable car system connects the Stupa hillock with the ground below. On my way back, a panoramic landscape opened out before me through hazy clouds. Not very far, there stood a very old tree, which had probably witnessed it all—our rise and our fall. It has seen it all evolve.
This essay was published in The Four Quarters Magazine, December, 2013, and I would like to thank Arjun Chaudhuri, the editor of TFQM, and my friend Sarah Hafeez, for their insights, which went into writing this article.
Books and Periodicals:
- Ambedkar, Dr. B.R. The Buddha and his Dhamma. New Delhi: Samyak Prakashan. 2010. Print.
- Basham, Arthur Llewellyn. The Wonder that was India. London: Picador. 2004. Print.
- Bodhi, Bhikkhu. The Connected Discourses of the Buddha: A Translation of the Samyutta Nikaya. Boston: Wisdom Publications. 2000. Print.
- Carus, Paul. The History of the Devil and the Idea of Evil from the Earliest Times to the Present Day. Nuvision Publications. 2008. Digital.
- Dhammika, Shravasti. Middle Land, Middle Way: A Pilgrim’s Guide to the Buddha’s India. Kandy, Sri Lanka: Buddhist Publication Society. 1992. Print.
- Disanayaka, Prof. J. B. “What Buddhists believe about the Bodhi Tree”. Soba Environmental Publication Vol. II No. 2. 1990: 20-23. Print
- Gyatso, Geshe Kelsang. Introduction to Buddhism: An Explanation of the Buddhist Way of Life. United Kingdom: Tharpa Publications, Jan 2008. Print.
- Haberman, David. People Trees: Worship of Trees in Northern India. New York: Oxford University Press.2013. Print.
- Harischandra, Walisinghe. The Sacred City of Anuradhapura. Anuradhapura (Sri Lanka): Asian Educational Services. 1985. Print.
- Sen, Sailendra. Ancient Indian History and Civilization. New Delhi: New Age International.1999. Print.
Digital and Newspaper Resources:
- “Mahabodhi Temple Complex at Bodh Gaya”. UNESCO. < http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1056 >
- “Sights to See, The Bodhi Tree”. Incredible India. < http://www.incredibleindia.org/travel/destination/bodhgaya/bodhgaya-things-to-do/bodhgaya-sites-to-see>
- “The Buddha Is Smiling in Bodh Gaya”. New York Times IndiaInk. < http://india.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/07/12/the-buddha-is-smiling-in-bodh-gaya-after-the-recent-bomb-blasts/?_r=0>
- “Bodh Gaya bombings”. Wikipedia < http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bodh_Gaya_bombings>
- “About The Offering Of Tsok And Butterlamps”. Vajrayana. Vajrayana Foundation. <http://www.vajrayana.org/offerings/about-offerings/>
- “From Anuradhapura to Anuradhapura” The Hindu. 17 June 2006: Editorial, Print.
- “Sri Lanka Tamil Terror: Blood flows at a Buddhist shrine” Time Magazine. May 27, 1985. Web.
- “Devadatta, the Buddha’s Enemy”. Life of the Buddha.< http://www.buddhanet.net/e-learning/buddhism/lifebuddha/2_5lbud.htm>
- “The Story of Devadatta”. About. < http://buddhism.about.com/od/The-Disciples/a/The-Story-Of-Devadatta.htm>
- “Devadatta’s Third Attempt to Kill the Buddha”. Fraught with Peril. < http://fraughtwithperil.com/ryuei/2010/06/30/devadatta%E2%80%99s-third-attempt-to-kill-the-buddha/>