Tree of Life

June 9, 2013 Comments Off on Tree of Life

Tree of Life

Krishna’s trees

The Bhagavata Purana narrates how one day, Krishna, addressing his young cowherd friends in the Vrinda forest on the banks of river Yamuna, said: “Look at these bountiful trees. They live for the benefit of others. There is not a single part of the tree which is not useful. With their beautiful foliage, fragrant flowers, cool shade, roots, bark, wood, sprouts, fruits they serve”. Nobody returns without benefiting, who approaches the tree. Krishna implored his fellow cowherds to follow the example of the tree in life. The tree has a special significance in the life and teachings of Krishna. During his early days he virtually lived in the forest surrounded by trees. Poet Jayadeva described him as one living in the forest full of trees swayed by the gentle fragrant breeze cooled by the Yamuna waters. Krishna looked bewitching with a colourful garland of fragrant flowers.

Krishna compares human life with a tree. In the Bhagavad Gita, echoing the concept of Katho-panishads, he says human life is like the eternal Ashvattha tree having roots growing above and branches beneath. Puranas say that during the great deluge, pralaya, when everything drowned in turbulent waters, Krishna, assuming the form of a divine

child, sleeps on the leaf of the Ashvattha tree, the tree of life.

Krishna is identified with his flute, simplest of musical instruments made of bamboo, enchanting the entire world. On a full moon night, enchanted by the dense Vrinda forest on the banks of the river, Krishna played his flute. The gopis rushed to dance with him on the white sands,

Krishna compares human life with a tree. In the Bhagavad Gita, echoing the concept of Katho-panishads, he says human life is like the eternal Ashvattha tree having roots growing above and branches beneath. Puranas say that during the great deluge, pralaya, when everything drowned in turbulent waters, Krishna, assuming the form of a divine

child, sleeps on the leaf of the Ashvattha tree, the tree of life.

2078207818_7806dae7e31

Krishna is identified with his flute, simplest of musical instruments made of bamboo, enchanting the entire world. On a full moon night, enchanted by the dense Vrinda forest on the banks of the river, Krishna played his flute. The gopis rushed to dance with him on the white sands, intoxicated with divine music.

When Krishna came to know that the poisonous vapours emitted by Kalia, the cobra, were destroying trees, foliage, and grass on the banks of the river Yamuna, he was worried. In order to save the environment, Krishna fought the destructive demon, and overcame him by dancing on the snake’s hood, holding Kalia’s tail in his hand. Krishna overpowered Kalia who then had to leave.

 

In this context the tree of Kadamba is mentioned. Kadamba trees are still found in large numbers in the Braj region. Groves of Kadamba trees, known as Kasaba Khandi, existed till recently in the region. This tree was the favourite of Krishna and a number of lilas are associated with Kadamba trees. To drive away Kalia he jumped into the Yamuna river after climbing on to a Kadamba tree. Mischievous Krishna stole the clothes of young gopis bathing in the river Yamuna and hid in the Kadamba tree.

 

While planning the city of Dwarka Krishna earmarked extensive spaces for growing trees and plants of different varieties. He had a fascination for rare plants. Puranas say that Krishna fought a pitched battle with Indra, the king of gods, to bring the sapling of the Parijata tree which grew only in heaven, particularly Nandanvana, to plant it on earth.

 

Krishna’s fondness for trees, plants, bowers with thick foliage was translated into the concept of Nikunja Lila by Premopasaka Sampradayas of Braj. According to it, the devotees should meditate upon the divine couple, Radha and Krishna’s Nikunja Lila and attain spiritual bliss

Source:M L Varadpande

 

Tree-of-life

Islam

It is said that just before Mohammed’s birth his father, Abdula, dreamt of his unborn son. He saw growing from his child’s back

a tree, which climbed upward, and reaching its full height emitted a

light that spread around the world.

 

Most Muslims interpret the dream and its imagery symbolically. The tree would of course represent

the religion of Islam, supported by Mohammed. The light is the wisdom

of his teachings that have truly been globally disseminated.

 

However we also know that the tree in Mohammed’s back could be the ‘tree of

life’ and is a common symbol in Middle Eastern and Islamic culture.

Carl Jung, after years of studying the language of the unconscious,

interpreted the tree of life as one of the universal unconscious’s

synonyms for the Kundalini.

Source: Meraj Of Prophet Muhammad

The Osiris Legend (the Axis Munde)

 

The earliest reference to the concept of the Tree of Life is to be found in the philosophy of the Ancient Egyptians. In the Osiris Legend, Osiris was induced by his wicked brother Set to lie down in a
magnificent coffer under the pretext of a game at a banquet. Set and
his seventy-two conspirators immediately closed the lid and threw the coffer into the Nile.

Osiris’ wife Isis, who was also his sister, searched for and found the chest
which had been borne down the Nile and across the sea to what was later
identified as the Phoenician coast, where it was deposited at the foot
of a tamarisk tree. As the tree grew it enclosed Osiris and the chest within its trunk … which was later cut down by the king of Byblos and used as a pillar in his palace. The
fragrance of the pillar became renowned far and wide, and when Isis
heard about it she immediately understood its significance. Isis
returned the pillar, and the body it contained, to Egypt.

http://ancientegypt.hypermart.net/treeoflife/

 

Yggdrasil – Norse legend

Somewhere, in a space beyond space and a time beyond time grows a magnificent,

huge tree, who’s branches embrace and uphold the heavens, and who’s roots

reach deep into the Underworld – it is known as the World-Tree Yggdrasil.

 

Yggdrasil bridges the three great realms of existence: In its midst lies Asgard,

the mountainous domain of the Gods, pierced by the stem of the sacred tree.

Yggdrasil has three gigantic roots that stretch to all the realms of existence.

One reaches into Asa, the second into the realm of the frost giants and the

third into Niflheim, the underworld realm of the dead.

 

Three sacred springs gush forth from beneath the three great roots: From the

first flows the spring of wisdom and knowledge, jealously guarded by the hermit

Mimir. From the second, springs the well of destiny, guarded by the three

Norns, the sisters of fate: Uror (fate), Veroandi (being) and Sculd (necessity)

who govern the destinies of human beings. They take care of the tree, water

its roots every day, purifying and keeping it alive with the holy waters and

the white clay of the sacred spring. The well of destiny is also where the

Gods meet for their daily assembly, to settle their differences and decide

on their actions. From beneath the third root flows the river of life.

 

Its waters carry the souls of the dead back to be reborn into their next incarnations. But this microcosm what not be complete without the serpent and the eagle, signifying the polarised opposites between the creative and the destructive forces of the Universe. At the very base of the tree lurked the serpent Niddhogg who constantly gnawed away at its roots. Its destructive powers were only kept at bay by an eagle, symbol of the sun, who lived in the upper branches of the tree from where he continuously warded off the serpent’s assaults. Thus, the forces of life and death are kept in equilibrium and the essential life-force of the tree is never damaged.

 

The image of  the World-Tree illustrates the interconnectedness between nature, humans and  Gods and forms the basis of an integrated cosmology in which the Gods manifest  in nature and humans communicate directly with them through their outer forms.  It represents the ‘axis-mundi’, the immovable central pole of the universe  around which all life revolves. In this cosmology, humans and Gods essentially  share the same dimension, though on somewhat different levels.

According to the ancient hermetic doctrine ‘As Above – So Below’, the microcosmic

world of human affairs is but a reflection of the macrocosmic world of the

Gods. To our ancestors the inherent fertility of nature represented an awesome

mystery.

 

The recurrent cycle of the seasons – of blossoming, fruiting, decay

– and miraculous rebirth, as seemingly dead branches burst back to life each

spring, was seen as a reflection of the regenerative powers of the cosmos

itself. Elaborate rituals and ceremonies were held not only to ensure the

continued fertility of the land but also to partake spiritually in the cosmic

process of regeneration. Trees, with their extremely long lifespan and apparently

inexhaustible vigour became the central symbol of such nature based mystery

religions. Many fragments of this archaic symbolism have miraculously survived

all attempts of eradication and they can still be found in modern religions,

customs and folklore, although their original meanings have become much distorted.

 

Source: Sacred Earth

 

Advertisements

Comments are closed.

What’s this?

You are currently reading Tree of Life at Parables Myths Legends.

meta

%d bloggers like this: