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Report on Bodhi tree troubles MTMC

By Abdul Qadir, TNN, Monday, October 29, 2007

GAYA, Bihar (India) The Mahabodhi tree, the symbol of Buddha's enlightenment, is suffering from ailments that need urgent treatment and post-treatment care.

Though reports of the tree's ailment and the incidence of alarming drop of fresh leaves have been filtering out for quite sometime now, the Mahabodhi Temple Management Committee (MTMC) underplayed the ailment.

For years, the Rajendra Agriculture University (RAU) plant scientists silently tried to restore the health of the tree, said to be the sixth generation descendant of the original peepal tree under which Buddha attained enlightenment.

It was at the initiative of the chief minister, Nitish Kumar, who, a few months back, paid a special visit to the shrine to see things for himself, that services of the scientists of the Forest Research Institute, Dehradun, were requisitioned.

The scientists including a plant pathologist examined the tree, collected samples and a few days back, submitted a report to the state government confirming the sacred Mahabodhi tree's ailment and also suggesting the course of treatment.

According to sources, the Forest Research Institute report makes it clear that the upkeep and preservation of the tree, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, leaves much to be desired.

Besides indifference and ignorance on the part of the temple managers, the overzealousness of the devotees, quite a few of them being believers of the faith-healing capacity of the sacred tree, have added to the tree's woes.

The Chief Minister, Nitish Kumar, during his visit also questioned the officials regarding marble insertions around the sacred tree roots, which was bound to block the flow of nutrients and caused temperature rise near the roots of the tree.

Moreover, the high voltage light installations are also causing damage.

After the startling FRI report, it is for the Mahabodhi Temple Management Committee to undertake damage control exercise.

The state government's responsibility does not end with the MOU signed with the FRI for the maintenance and preservation of the tree.

The Forest Research Institute report says the cut marks on the tree branches were not about 25 years old as claimed by the MTMC, but about three years.

source: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Cities/Patna/Report_on_Bodhi_tree_troubles_MTMC/ articleshow/2498176.cms

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Namo Tassa Bhagavato Arahato Sammāsambuddhassa.
Buddha sāsana.m cira.m ti.t.thatu.