1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Bo-Tree

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BO-TREE, or Bodhi-Tree, the name given by the Buddhists of India and Ceylon to the Pipul or sacred wild fig (Ficus religiosa). It is regarded as sacred, and one at least is planted near each temple. These are traditionally supposed to be derived from the original one, the Bodhi-tree of Buddhist annals, beneath which the Buddha is traditionally supposed to have attained perfect knowledge. The Bo-tree at the ruined city of Anuradhapura, 80 m. north of Kandy, grown from a branch of the parent-tree sent to Ceylon from India by King Asoka in the 3rd century B.C., is said to have been planted in 288 B.C., and is to this day worshipped by throngs of pilgrims who come long distances to pray before it. Usually a bo-tree is planted on the graves of the Kandy priests.