The Mahabodhi Mahavihara which stands majestically identifying the spot of the Buddha's Enlightenment is not only an artistic edifice but is also a place of worship where people and practitioners have immense faith and belief and is also a cultural landmark that identifies itself with the message of the master with that of love and compassion, equanimity and sacrifice, unity and brotherhood.
People, believers, practitioners and adherers all come at Bodh Gaya to offer their venerations not only to the sacred Bodhi Tree or the Vajrasana or the Temple itself but come here for meditation and seeking that elusive peace and tranquillity as the Buddha Himself advised His faithful that at least once in their lifetime one should go on a pilgrimage to the four holy places connected with the life of the Buddha which is Lumbini-where Prince Siddhartha Gautama was born, Bodh Gaya-where Siddhartha Gautama attained enlightenment to become the Buddha, Sarnath-where the Buddha for the first time preached the Dhammacakkapavattana Sutra or Turning of the Wheel of Dhamma and Kusinagar-where the Buddha entered into maha-parinibbana.
Prof. Rev. Ryojun Sato has done a commendable job by writing on this topic. This book will prove useful to the readers as well as the researchers and scholars to know more about the Mahabodhi Mahavihara and Bodh Gaya as a whole.
The present Mahabodhi Temple was built in the 2nd century AD and built over the original stupa constructed by King Asoka. It was during the Gupta reign that the magnificent Temple was completed around the 7th century AD. The awe generating gilded statue that we see inside the shrine room was made sometime in the year 380 AD. It is made of black stone and painted in gold which is of recent practice. Such was the awe generated from the sublimity of the Buddha statue that when the Noble Laureate Rabindranath Tagore visited the Mahabodhi Temple it was the first time in his life that he felt like bowing his head in front of a statue.
This book will prove useful to the readers as well as the researchers and scholars to know more about the Mahabodhi Mahavihara and Bodh Gaya as a whole. - BHIKKU BODHIPALA in his Foreword