This stupa near Bodh Gaya commemorates Sujata, the village girl who offered Siddhartha the milk rice that ended his ascetic practices (fasting) which led to his meditation practice and to enlightenment.Born into a royal family in Lumbini (now Nepal), Siddhartha led a sheltered life. At the age of 29, Siddhartha ventured outside the palace complex several times, despite his father's wishes. As a result, he discovered the suffering of his people through encounters with an old man, a diseased man, a decaying corpse, and an ascetic. These are known among Buddhists as "The Four Sights," one of the first contemplations of Siddhartha. The Four Sights eventually prompted Gautama to abandon royal life and take up a spiritual quest to free himself from suffering by living the life of a mendicant ascetic—a respectable spiritual practice at the time.
Ascetics practised many forms of self-denial, including severe undereating. One day, after almost starving to death, Gautama accepted a little milk and rice from a village girl named Sujata. After this experience, he concluded that ascetic practices such as fasting, holding one's breath, and exposure to pain brought little spiritual benefit. He viewed them as counterproductive due to their reliance on self-hatred and mortification. He abandoned asceticism, concentrating instead on anapanasati meditation (awareness of breathing), thereby discovering what Buddhists call the Middle Way, a path of moderation between the extremes of self-indulgence and self-mortification.
The stupa is just across the river from Bodh Gaya, where Siddhartha sat under the Bodhi until he reached enlightenment.