Trees that the past seven Buddha's awakened under

Dear all,

I’m interested in identifying the botanical names of the trees that the seven Buddha’s got awakened under and that are mentioned in the Mahapadana sutta of the Digha Nikaya.

I feel that meditating under big trees is a somewhat neglected aspect of serious meditation practice and would like to perform meditative experiments in this area. It is mentioned in the suttas that there are devas living in these trees (as well as in medicinal plants and herbs), and I feel that these pure beings can be helpful in our practice. Please, I don’t want to make this post into a debate if devas exist or not, for the purposes of this discussion let’s take it as a given. Another way of looking at it is in terms of the meditator connecting with the living energy of a very calm and still being which doesn’t think, here talking about the tree itself, as well as the tree being a type of energy transformer between the energies of the earth and the sky.

So, I have compiled a list from Maurice Walshe’s DN 14 translation and would appreciate any help in identifying the correct botanical names of these trees, as well as corrections in case he has made a mistake? I feel that maybe in Rhys Davids’ translation he might have provided the names in footnotes but don’t have the book to hand, is it available somewhere for download?

Anyway, here is my list:

From Digha Nikaya, 14. Mahapadana Sutta, the great discourse of the lineage

Buddha Vipassi, trumpet flower tree, pali (citrapātali, cittapātali), (Bignonsis suaveolens)

Buddha Sikkhi, pundarika, white mango tree according to Walshe but white lotus according to pali dictionary

Buddha Vessabhū, sāl tree, (Shorea Robusta)

Buddha Kakusandha, acacia tree, acacia sirissa? Isn’t there many types of acacia? Which exactly?

Buddha Konāgamana, fig tree, glomerous fig tree, (Ficus glomerata)

Buddha Kassapa, Banyan tree (Ficus indica)

Buddha Gotama, assatha tree, Bodhi tree (Ficus religiosa)


Could this be the sirisa tree you are looking for:

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Have you seen this page?


Pardon my ignorance, but weren’t the past Buddhas born in the extreme past? As such the current species of trees would not have existed. ?


This might be of interest


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Please keep us up to date on anything interesting you discover.

Personally I’m a little paranoid about sitting under a big tree. When (not so) small branches die and fall, if it hits you you can die. Branches look small when you’re standing looking up at branches really far a way too, don’t forget.

oh boy. Tempted to explain a few other hazards, especially in cities… but reluctant to encourage fears.

Cuz fears are really distracting. And they consume energy, attention, and enthusiasm best spent otherwise imo.

Falling branches are nothing compared to the real threat: ants!

In the tropics every single tree has an anthill at its foot. This is something that always puzzled me when it comes to the EBT model of foot of a tree as the standard place for stillness and immersion.

Whenever I tried a similar thing in Thailand I had to leave in less than 5 minutes. To ants any living thing idle for too long looks like food, and they bite hard once they assume you’re dinner served!

Maybe the early Buddhists made use of natural repellents?


Excellent, I asked for the identity of seven trees and got twenty-one from the dhamma-wiki link. Many thanks. Also, from ven. Dhammika’s article it’s worth considering the rose apple tree (Eugenia jambolana) where the Buddha Gotama attained the first jhana as a youth.

There’s a stroy in Ajahn Lee’s biography where he comes out of meditation (probably samadhi) while he’s meditating under a tree and he’s surrounded by masses of ants but they are not biting him. So probably samadhi already previously developed in a secure place like a meditation hall is useful for this tree practice and also parittas such as the Khandha-paritta. Also, remember that even a tough, well advanced monk like Ajahn Chah used a glot and these days getting a popup meditation tent is trivial.

Regarding the fact that eons ago these trees with exact botanical descriptions and qualities would not have existed, it’s true, since how can such information such as exact DNA survive the destruction of the universe, and multiple times too. A speculative theory of mine, and please excuse my wild idea, it’s more like a brainstorming, is that the Earth as it is has a rare potential for generating pacceka and samma-sambuddhas, and so it’s recreated every time the universe expands again by ariya-brahmas who survive such destruction. Regardless of the objective truth of the matter, I’m interested in trying this out and just see what happens.


Kusha grass, also called darbha (Skt. kuśa; Poa cynosuroides or Desmostachya bipinnata; Tib. ཀུ་ཤ་, Wyl. ku sha) — a variety of grass considered sacred in India. The Buddha used this grass to make the meditation seat on which he attained enlightenment under the bodhi tree. For this reason it has a particular symbolic significance in Buddhist practice and is used in various rituals.

It is also sacred for Hindus. The plant is mentioned in the Rig Veda for use in sacred ceremonies and also as a seat for priests and gods. - Rigpa Wiki

Kusha grass can repel some insects.

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Very good point. Do we have any hint of how was Kusha grass exactly used?
Nowadays it is weaved once dry into a flat mat, as it is sold in eBay, with variations in terms of rusticity:

I am not sure that the grass once dry and weaved would preserve its repellent characteristics.

"The yogi should sit on a firm seat
That is neither too high nor too low,
Covered with sacred Kusha grass,
A deerskin, and a cloth,
One over the other, in a clean spot.

Sitting and concentrating the mind
On a single object,
Controlling the thoughts
And the activities of the senses,
Let the yogi practice meditation for self-purification." - Krishna