The Bodhisatta receives sheaves of grass from the Brahmin Sotthiya
By the time he had floated the golden tray it was getting later in the morning and the sun was getting hot. The Great Being moved from the bank of the Neranjara River into the shade of a sal tree not far from the river. There he stayed for the whole of the day until the late afternoon, when he went to the Great Bodhi tree.
The Great Bodhi tree was a bodhi tree just like the bodhi trees seen in Thailand. They can be found in forests but most are in monasteries. Before the Buddha's enlightenment no one referred to the tree as the Great Bodhi tree. Instead it was referred to in the local dialect by two names: one was the name used by the villagers-"pipal tree," and the other was a more formal name, "assattha" tree.
After the Buddha's enlightenment it was referred to as a bodhi tree, meaning the tree under which the Buddha was enlightened. It was later given the name "great" (maha) and sometimes holy (sri). It was also one of the sahajata of the Buddha, being "born" on the same day as Prince Siddhattha.
While he was walking to the Great Bodhi tree, the Great Being passed by a man of the brahmin caste by name of Sotthiya. Sotthiya was holding in his hands eight handfuls of kusa grass, which he offered to the Great Being. The Great Being received the grass and placed it on the ground, forming a "sitting cushion" under the bodhi tree.
There the Great Being sat, in meditation posture: his right foot over his let and his right hand over his left, facing the east with his back to the trunk of the Great Bodhi tree. He made a firm vow to himself:
"Until I have attained Perfect Self Enlightenment, I will not rise from this seat, even if my flesh and blood should dry up and only skin, sinews and bones remain."
Copyright © 2002 Mahidol
University All rights reserved.