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The Sacred Tree

May 14, 2014


The Tree lived in a corner of the garden,
Roots firm and steady, into the ground,
Trunk solid and upright, into the sky,
Branches fanning out, replete with leaves,
Boughs laden with fruit, heavy and green,

Giving shade to those, who sat beneath and
Offering bramble as fuel, to urchins nearby.
Bulbuls, mynahs, parrots and doves nestled amidst its cosy nooks,
Its leaves, we took as offering, at our Mission prayers,
And bael, its pulpy fruit nurtured friends and family alike.

Then quite suddenly something happened…
Its foliage, lush and green, turned dusty and wilted;
Its bark, strong and sturdy, wrinkled and turned brown;
Its fruit, ripe and sticky, shrivelled and dried;
Its roots, once healthy, turned rotten and mouldy.

Still it stood,
Beautiful and resplendent,
Proffering whatever was left…
Still, the birds sang atop its drooping boughs.

I watched its glory fade, with acceptance,
I watched the tree-men come, with hammer and axe,
I watched its parts, loaded onto a truck,
I watched the empty space it once had filled,
I understood, it was meant to be.
It is called Shiva’s Tree.
From that Shiva, it emerged,
In this world of Shiva, it sustained itself and others too,
And into that Auspiciousness, it again returned.
Beautiful, then, now and forever.

Let me light a lamp
In its honour
And its beauty

There is no difference between the tree and me.
If at all you perceive any, it lies in outer form only.

March 2nd 2009

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