pippala tree ［畢鉢羅樹］ (; hippara-ju): A bodhi tree. The pippala tree came to be called the bodhi tree because it was under one such tree that Shakyamuni attained enlightenment (bodhi in Sanskrit). It is said that pippala was originally the name of the fruit of the ashvattha tree, but that it later came to refer to the tree itself. In India, even before the rise of Buddhism, both the ashvattha tree and its close relative, the banyan, had been considered sacred. Today the bodhi tree is also known as the pipal tree or the peepul tree, names that derive from pippala. See also bodhi tree.