About the Karma & Rebirth category


This category is for the course on Karma & Rebirth in Early Buddhism, run by Bhante Sujato and Ajahn Brahmali at the BSWA and the Buddhist Library in 2015. All course participants, whether attending in person or online, are encouraged to join in the discussion.

Here we will post our course materials, readings and the like.

In addition, you can raise any questions you may have about the course, the readings, or other issues that come up. Posting here is good karma.


Dear Bhante. I have a question related to my recent pilgrimage to India. At Savati, a sign said Anathapindika planted a Bodhi tree (Ajahn Brahmali said it’s known as Ananda’s Bodhi Tree). Anathapindika planted it so people would have something to worship when the Buddha was not in residence at Savati. Ven. Ananda went to the Buddha to ask him what he thought about this. The Buddha replied that he thought it was ok for people to “venerate” 3 things:

  1. his relics after his parinibbhana
  2. an object used by the Buddha such as his alms-bowl
  3. a visible symbol such as a Dhammacakka wheel. The Buddha said the Bodhi tree came under this category.

Is this a storey from the suttas? What word did the Buddha use? It doesn’t seem consistent with his teachings that he would use a word like venerate. I could imagine him suggesting that these objects could be used to remind of of his awakening and thus inspire us in our own efforts. What is the historical evidence for what the Buddha actually said? Or is this just a legend? Metta, Mary from Canada


It is in Maha Parinibbana Sutta.

Also according to K.Sri. Dhammananda Thero.

Bhante may also give good answer for you…
With Metta.