Tuesday, August 13, 2013

The Bodhi Tree

My Beloved Frater mentioned a Bodhi tree in a comment about Harmonia Mundi, by Robert Fludd , which I didn't know was also a Banyan tree. He brought up a very significant memory, one that I haven't thought about for literally decades and that holds key information about the basis and beginnings of my spirituality. I have always wondered why I feel so strongly about my beliefs and where they come from.

My dad was a wise taurean man of very few words so I have kept most of his lessons close in my mind and my heart, except his stories of the Banyan tree...until now I have forgotten.

He used to tell me stories when I was a very small child of the great Banyan tree, where waters would flow through and along very lovingly. The intertwined boughs and branches would hold steadfast, like soldiers, with their roots firmly planted into the ground, despite the flowing waters. He used to tell me how he used to take a small boat to the Banyan tree and speak to the Spiritos Sanctos, the fairies and the little people that dwelled within the tree and pay offering to them with food or flowers. The tree was honored, respected and revered and sometimes, even feared. Dad told me of a demon, which would inhabit the tree and scare away children or travelers who were foolish enough to mock or disrespect the Holy Tree. 

My daddy used to tell me not to fear the Banyan but to pay respect to its holiness when I first meet with it, introduce myself respectfully and say prayers. He used to tell me that the tree was a magical being of great wisdom and only a wise (wo)man could make a chair of its wood.

(From Utriusque Cosmi; Robert Fludd, 1621. Vol. II)

I realize now, that the 'chair of wood', is not one made from destruction of the tree but a seat amongst the roots and the foot of the tree.

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