Hey fellow art enthusiasts! As promised, here I am with the outcome of the little snippet I shared in last week’s post!! So, are you all ready for the big reveal? Here it is!
This watercolor artwork is called Bo Tree – The Emblem of Enlightenment. It is a representation of the Bodhi Tree (Ficus religiosa), under which Siddharth Gautam, who later became known as the Buddha, is said to have attained enlightenment or Buddhahood.
The Bodhi Tree is a principal religious symbol in Buddhism due to its prominence in the Buddha’s discovery of enlightenment, or total peace and happiness in the form of Nirvana, or the greater reality. “Bodhi” means awareness and Bodhi tree means the tree under which Buddha becomes fully aware of the noble truth of the universe.
Essentially the ‘tree of awakening,’ also known as the Bo Tree, in Pali it is known as the “bodhirukkha,” in Sanskrit the “bodhivṛkṣa” and to botanists as Ficus religiosa. Given its close association with the attainment of Buddhahood, the tree has great symbolic significance.
This tree as depicted in the artwork represents the supreme knowledge acquired by the Buddha during his tireless meditation. It conveys the teachings and sermons he preached and passed on to his disciples and followers. These teachings are illustrated in the artwork in the Pali script and represented as scribbles in the canopy of the tree. The tree reflects the capacity of every human being to follow in the footsteps of the Buddha in achieving the ultimate spiritual goal by letting go of the finite self through meditation and self-discipline. The heart-shaped leaves of the Bodhi tree symbolize peace and happiness developing in one’s heart during the journey towards Nirvana.
The Bodhi tree is the DNA of Buddha’s teachings, an emblem of peace and a reminder of the eventual prospect of enlightenment that lies within us all.