chapter
10 Pages

Introduction The multiple lives of Bodh Gaya: defining views and changing perspectives

ByDAVID GEARY, MATTHEW R. SAYERS, AND ABHISHEK SINGH AMAR

Bodh Gaya, in the north Indian state of Bihar, has long been recognized as the place where the Buddha achieved enlightenment, though, as this quote shows, it has not always been known by that name. For many, Bodh Gaya represents the most sacred place in the Buddhist imagination, and as such it is surprising that such little scholarship exists that addresses the complex and varied history of this most sacred site. This volume seeks to rectify this to a certain extent; it brings together the works of twelve scholars at various stages in their careers from a variety of disciplines-anthropology, art history, history, and religion, to name a few-to highlight their various findings and perspectives on different facets of Bodh Gaya’s past and present.1