Trees 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.
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.
Images from Google, Public Domain.
Namaste. . . . This Is the World of Trees