Bodh Gaya is the most holy place for Buddhists. Situated by the bank of river Neranjana in the Indian state of Bihar, King Ashoka was the first to build a temple here.
The story of Buddha
Buddha was born in 563 BC in what is now Nepal on the following auspicious Baisakhi purnima. As Siddhartha, he renounced his family at the age of 29 in 534 BC and travelled and meditated in search of truth.
After practicing self-mortification for six years at Urubela (Bodh Gaya) in Gaya, he gave up that practice because it did not give him Vimukthi. Then he discovered Noble Eight-fold path without help from anyone and practiced it, then he attained Buddhatva or enlightenment.
Enlightenment is a state of being completely free from lust (raga), hatred (dosa) and delusion (moha).
At this place, the Buddha was abandoned by the five men who had been his companions of earlier austerities. All they saw was an ordinary man; they mocked his well-nourished appearance.
He then told them the path which is neither easy (a rich prince) nor hard (living in austere conditions practicing self-denial). The five ascetics became the Buddha’s first disciples in Deer Park, Sarnath, near Kashi.
Over time, the place became known as Bodh Gaya, the day of enlightenment as Buddha Purnima, and the tree as the Bodhi Tree.
Elysian Studios had chosen Bodh Gaya as their 2nd pilgrimage site to shoot after Rishikesh for their VR series – Mystic Lands, which is one of the 1st VR series created in India.
A pilgrimage is a journey, where a person goes in search of new or expanded meaning about the self, others, nature, or a higher good, through the experience. It can lead to a personal transformation, after which the pilgrim is evolved to a higher state of consciousness.
Pilgrimage is of huge importance in almost every religion. The pilgrimage sites are considered as high energy centres and a human body is energy itself, which gets recharged when it gets in close vicinity of a high energy centre.
Elysian Studios Founder Arvind Ghorwal knew the significance of Bodh Gaya and wanted to make sure that the experience reaches the international audience as Buddhism is followed majorly in Southeast Asia. He took the necessary permissions to shoot at the Mahabodhi temple, which contains a descendant of the Bodhi tree under which Buddha got enlightenment.
When Elysian Studios team was shooting the experience at the Mahabodhi Temple, the temple complex was sounding with a mantra – Buddham Saranam Gacchami. The team decided to keep the mantra as the main theme song for the VR experience.
Elysian Studios wanted to keep the VR experience simple and clean and thus created the experience as if you are visiting Bodh Gaya in reality.
Bodh Gaya – The Land of Buddha’s Enlightenment is a VR experience which takes you to Bodh Gaya. The main temple complex houses the famous Mahabodhi temple and a descendant of the original Bodhi tree under which Gautama Buddha attained Enlightenment.
The VR experience got featured at various VR platforms and received special love from the audiences of a VR platform based out of China.
The VR experience also inspires people to make a pilgrimage to Bodh Gaya. Just like Siddhartha evolved himself to Buddha, would you not like to evolve yourself to the highest possibility?
Let’s experience Bodh Gaya right away!