Sacred Trees

100_2890Trees are included in religious mythology  either as sacred objects or in the teaching of beliefs from the beginning of faith systems. Primitive worship in  all parts of the world include the importance of trees and rocks. The tree is a powerful symbol of growth, decay and resurrection in its  cycle of life. The Hindu animistic beliefs  are that everything in the universe is sacred and especially things that grow. The picture above of a Banyan Tree near the the step well, Adalaaj Ni Vav. It shows the special roots it grows to support the ever enlarging canopy and can be used as an analogy to demonstrate everlasting life. The Banyan is the National Tree of India.


This is another Indian tree , Pipal or (Ficus Religiosa).  This is a sacred place for Buddhists as it is the tree under which Buddha was meditating when he reached enlightenment. It is referred to as the “wisdom tree,” and  is located at the temple of Bodh Gaya.

Judaism, Christianity and Islam share the story of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. There are two trees. One is the Tree of the Knowlege of Good and Evil of which Adam and Eve are forbidden to eat. When they disobey, they are banned from the Garden and forbidden to eat from the Tree of Life , which  insured  life eternal.


This is a representation of the Tree of Life for Judism.


And this is from Islam.  Both Judaism and Islam forbid the concrete representation of God.  And Islam forbids any representations of people, animals or anything that could be worshiped other than Allah.

In Christianity, too, trees are important in teaching beliefs. I-152-2

This is a Byzantine  picture of Christ and his saints on a tree probably an illustration of “Christ the tree and followers are the branches. ” In Matthew 21, Christ actually curses the fruitless Fig Tree and illustrates the need for faith. Also in the New Testament, the Fruits of the Spirit are outward manifestations of our inner relationship with God. There is often spiritual struggle  or battle between our human evil desire  and the desires of the Fruits of the Holy Spirit. Examples are good verses evil and  our sinful nature verses  holy nature. And of course, Christ gave up his life on a cross (tree) for the forgiveness of the sins of  a fallen world.

Trees have had a large part in the world’s history.  There is a wonderful children’s book called The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein . It clearly shows the many things that trees have done for people.  In fact they give totally and unconditionally. It is a lovely story for children or adults alike. The_Giving_Tree

Images from Google, Public Domain.

Namaste. . . . This Is the World of Trees

About annetbell

I am a retired elementary teacher, well seasoned world traveler,new blogger, grandmother, and a new enthusiastic discoverer of the wonderfully complex country of India. Anne
This entry was posted in India, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to Sacred Trees

  1. in my country trees used to be sacred, spirits live in them, which kept the rainforest safe, but now, less people believe, we have very little virgin rainforest left!


  2. Madhu says:

    Beautiful post Anettbell. the tree of life is a favourite pattern, and I have it around my house in some form or the other 🙂


  3. annetbell says:

    Thank you for the visit and the good wishes!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.