Sujata Temple – Here, Sujata, The Maiden offered Milk-Rice to Lord Buddha

Sujata Temple – Here, Sujata, The Maiden offered Milk-Rice to Lord Buddha

We booked an entire auto near Mahabodhi temple to reach Sujata Temple as well as Sujata Garh – both near each other and across the river Niranjana known as Falgu in Gaya. The auto charged us Rs. 200 – to and fro journey. We started our journey at 8:25 am and reached Sujata temple at 8:40 am. 5-6 km is the distance from Mahabodhi temple. Road condition – Ok.

Upendra Pathak (0-99730 11760) is a temple caretaker and runs a school in the village. Upon the visit, he narrated The History of the Sujata temple as follows:

This is a banyan tree. For ages, nearby villagers have had faith in and worship this tree, especially during Vat Savitri day or marriage function. Sujata was the daughter of the village head. She also prays at this banyan tree in those days and had the wish to have a child. If fulfilled she will offer milk rice to the banyan tree. During that time Gautam Siddhartha in search of knowledge visited this very place and started meditation under this tree.

Soon Sujata’s wish was fulfilled and she becomes a mother. One day she sent one of her maids – Panna to sweep the area around the banyan tree as she has to visit to offer milk rice. When Panna visited, she saw a young man with a weak body meditating under the banyan tree. She went back and narrated this to Sujata. Sujata immediately prepared milk rice and visited the banyan tree while having a thought the man must be the God of the banyan tree. She offered milk rice to Gautam Siddhartha by saying – Banyan God please accept milk rice as an offering. Gautam Siddhartha opened his eyes and was surprised. He said: I am not a banyan God. I am a simple human being in search of knowledge wandering here and there. Sujata said: Your body is so weak you should accept milk-rice as an offering. Again Gautam Siddhartha without accepting milk rice went into meditation. At this time Sujata along with her friends sang a song:

hey veena ke vadak, veena ke taar ko itna mat kaso ki taar toot jaye

aur itna bhi dheela na karo ki usse aawaz hi na nikle

That means one should not give too much pain to himself or enjoy too much relaxation. One should always follow the middle path.

This song was understood by Gautam Siddhartha. He accepted a short break in meditation that was making his body weak and accepted milk rice. Gautam Siddhartha’s five followers who were with him from Rajgrih (also known as Rajgir) were watching this. They immediately left Gautam Siddhartha while thinking of him as a hypocrite. Gautam Siddhartha tried to stop them but they were adamant to leave. This made Gautam Siddhartha say: Will alone continue the journey in search of knowledge and will follow the middle path. To test whether his search will end with positive results or not he throws the utensil given by Savitri into the Niranjana river to watch whether it flows opposite direction of the river flow or not. And it did. That means the search will end with positive results, and he continues his journey till he was enlightened under the Peepul tree at Bodhgaya.

Thank you very much, Upendra, for narrating history. Upon the query why two names of the village?

Upendra said: Earlier this village was known as Senani but now it is known as Bakraur Village. Nowadays devotees from all over the world visit this banyan tree to offer prayer and flag. The flag is known as panchsheel. During the fourth week of meditation five colors emanated from the body of Lord Buddha and the flag represents those five colors.

Very informative. Thanks again. And we started our journey towards Sujata Garh which is nearby. Thanks again, Upendra.