Description

The Bodhi Tree is a large sacred fig tree of the species Ficus religiosa that originally stood in Bodh Gaya. It was the tree under which the Buddha, Siddhartha Gautama, is said to have attained enlightenment. It often symbolizes wisdom, compassion, and awareness in the Buddhist faith. 

 

Ficus religiosa leaf

Leaf of the Ficus religiosa. 
From:
Kaiserliche Akademie der Wissenschaften in Wien; 
Denkschriften der Kaiserlichen Akademie der Wissenschaften.
Wien, Aus der Kaiserlich-Königlichen Hof- und Staatsdruckerei, 1858.

 

In decorative arts

The leaves of this tree appear among others in Sinhalese art, where they are called Bō-koḷa literally means "bō-leaf". They often appear in Sinhalese lacquer work at the end of patura, long elongated triangles.1

Bo leaf

Bō-koḷa lacquer work decoration on the shaft of a Sinhalese patisthānaya.
They are the heart-shaped forms on the far right, at the ends of elongated triangles called patura.
Sold by Mandarin Mansion in 2019.

 

Further reading

Article: Sinhalese lacquer work
 

Notes
1. See Ananda K. Coomaraswamy; Medieaval Sinhalese Art, Pantheon Books, New York, Second Edition of the 1908 original, 1956. Page 216-217.

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