Sacred fig

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The Sacred Fig (Ficus religiosa) or Bo-Tree (from the Sinhala bo)Oxford English Dictionary, Oxford University Press, 1971, p.1014 is a species of banyan fig native to India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, southwest China and Indochina. It is a large dry season-deciduous or semi-evergreen tree up to 30 m tall and with a trunk diameter of up to 3 m.The leaves are cordate in shape with a distinctive extended tip; they are 10–17 cm long and 8–12 cm broad, with a 6–10 cm petiole. The fruit is a small fig 1-1.5 cm diameter, green ripening purple.The Bodhi tree and the Sri Maha Bodhi propagated from it are famous specimens of Sacred Fig. The known planting date of the latter, 288 BC, gives it the oldest verified age for any angiosperm plant.This plant is considered sacred by the followers of Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism, and hence the name 'Sacred Fig' was given to it. Siddhartha Gautama is said to have been sitting underneath a Bo-Tree when he was enlightened (Bodhi), or "awakened" (Buddha). Thus, the Bo-Tree is well-known symbol for happiness, prosperity, longevity and good luck. Today in India, Hindu sadhus still meditate below this tree, and in Theravada Buddhist Southeast Asia, the tree's massive trunk is often the site of Buddhist and animist shrines. The Hindus do pradakshina (circumambulation) around the sacred fig tree as a mark of worship. Usually seven pradakshinas are done around the...
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