Sapling of sacred Buddhist Bodhi Tree from Sri Lanka planted in Taiwan

Middle East Times, August 22, 2005

TAIPEI, Taiwan --  A sapling from Sri Lanka's Maha Bodhi Tree, which is sacred to Buddhists, was planted in Taiwan on Sunday with the hope of bringing blessings to the island.

"This is a historical moment not only for Ling Jiou Mountain Monastery but for all of Taiwan," Venerable Master Sobhita Thero, also a parliamentarian from Sri Lanka, said at the planting ceremony.

Taiwan's Vice-President Annette Lu and hundreds of monks and other faithful were present at the monastery outside Taipei.

"With the planting of this sacred Bo tree, Buddhism will become firmly rooted in this island, bringing with it its shower of blessings for all its people," Thero said.

The fig tree said to have been planted in 288 BC grows at Anuradhapura in Sri Lanka. Legend has it that it grew from a sapling of the original Bodhi tree under which Lord Buddha attained enlightenment some 2,500 years ago.

Buddhism and Taoism are the dominant faiths in Taiwan, with about one-quarter of the 23 million people describing themselves as Buddhists.