Tree Art – A tribute

The banyan trees, a view from the side.

When I choose art for my home, I like to go for things that either inspire me, make me laugh, or evoke a memory. There were these two gorgeous banyan trees that I took a photograph of while on vacation in Florida. I thought it would be great for a wall art project- I was going to take several shots of the trees, all with my son in the picture, but not noticeably so. Then I would frame the pictures with different sizes of matting to create a collage for the hallway in my home.

But then I learned that a friend passed away suddenly over the weekend. Someone who had once inspired me and guided me in my career, but that I had lost touch with. Then the Banyan tree picture took on a different meaning for me.

In Hinduism the Banyan tree has a very interesting story that accompanies it. According to wikipedia, in the Bhagavat Gita Krishna said “There is a banyan tree which has its roots upward and its branches down, and the Vedic hymns are its leaves. One who knows this tree is the knower of the Vedas.” (Bg 15.1) Here the material world is described as a tree whose roots are upwards and branches are below. We have experience of a tree whose roots are upward: if one stands on the bank of a river or any reservoir of water, he can see that the trees reflected in the water are upside down. The branches go downward and the roots upward. Similarly, this material world is a reflection of the spiritual world. The material world is but a shadow of reality. In the shadow there is no reality or substantiality, but from the shadow we can understand that there is substance and reality.

To my friend Patrick, may you rest in peace, in substance and reality.

-Z

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