Today I saw a two-thousand-year-old tree. It was one of the most beautiful sights and stood like a Guardian, gentle and protective of all who came to admire and respect it. It was in Mexico, in the town of El Tule. This tree is called El Arbor del Tule. It is considered the fattest tree in the world; its trunk is fourteen meters in diameter. It is a Montezuma Cypress and has the world’s widest trunk. People come and pay homage to it. Its threat is local urban growth and excessive irrigation.
I remember when I was a child and going to school, I would be waiting for the bus and I would sit under a huge Tamarind tree. When it would be hot, the tree gave us shade. Even today in India, one will see many people asleep under a shade giving tree, on the hottest day.
Trees are our protectors. They are always there for us. They reduce the Green House effect by removing carbon dioxide from the air and releasing oxygen. Each year a mature tree produces enough oxygen for ten people. Trees are also an effective sound barrier and can limit noise pollution. Trees slow the rate of global warming. Recent research also shows that trees help remove the stress of modern life.
The Bodhi tree
Trees are mentioned in a number of religious and spiritual practices. In some mythologies they say there is a cosmic tree. The roots, trunk and branches of the tree represent the underworld, earth and heavens respectively. In the Biblical scriptures trees are mentioned as the tree of life, the tree of knowledge and of good and evil. Trees are mentioned in Buddhism. The Bodhi tree is where Buddha was known to have reached enlightenment. Druids were known to have practiced worship among sacred groves of trees. The Kabbalist recognize the fifteenth of the month of Aquarius, the day known as Tu B Shevat, as the birthday of the trees. It is the twenty-four-hour window in time in which the trees receive their energy for the entire year—whether they will grow, fruit or flower.
What about us? Trees have high energy and we can enjoy it by sitting under it. The tree offers us so much. Children climb them, swing on the branches, and jump from them. When we close our eyes and hear the rustling of the breeze through the leaves, it is like a murmur. When we open our eyes and look at the green leaves, the flowers, their fragrance or the fruits. The tree is complete in it gifts to us.
The sacred trees in Hinduism
In Hinduism, the many trees are considered sacred. The peepal tree is also known as the Bodhi tree, which is worshipped by the Buddhists. The peepal tree represents the three Gods, Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. The roots represent Brahma. The trunk represents Vishnu and the leaves of the tree represent Shiva. After the peepal comes the Banyan tree which is said to be the home of Krishna. Bael tree is sacred to Shiva. Ashoka tree is associated with the God of love, Kamadev. The mango tree is considered as an emblem of purity, love and fertility. The neem tree is associated with Durga and keeps evil spirits away. The banana tree is considered auspicious as it is used in religious ceremonies. It is loved by Ganesha and Vishnu. The coconut tree is used in pujas. Sandalwood is used for its fragrance as offering to the Gods. Last but not least we worship the Tulsi plant and wear its beads to purify us. And if we plant a Tulsi plant in our home, our husband will never leave us.
“Trees are poems that the earth writes upon the sky”. – Khalil Gibran
“Love is like a tree, it grows of its own accord, it puts down deep roots into our whole being. “ – Victor Hugo.
Plant a tree in your heart today and replenish mother earth with hope and love.
Aim Hrim Klim