Be Like a Tree
By Kapil Kakar
We all desire to evolve and attempt to make our lives better but we often fall short of our desires. In order to evolve, our first step should be to quit desiring. Desire is a manifestation of our craving, which we wish to accomplish some day and it further creates expectations from everyone in and around us including ourselves.
Our reaction to our expectations is usually in the form of anxiety, pain, stress, self-condemnation, accusation etc. But the question is, why does this happen to us? It happens because we are weak and are surrounded by uncertainty. Our actions are small but our expectations are very high. We have got into the habit of reacting about everything irrespective of whether it concerns us or not and if at all it concerns us our reactions are totally self-centered. We have become so obsessed with ourselves that we have created a world of our ideas, thoughts, principles and procedures and anything that falls beyond it is considered to be wrong by us.
It may not seem like the perfect comparison, but when we compare ourselves with a tree, we find that we don’t have to face even one per cent of the difficulties faced by a tree. Still, a tree always seems to be relaxed and calm. It does not oppose anything though it experiences everything. It doesn’t have a home of its own but becomes home for so many living beings.
A tree always seems to be relaxed and calm. It does not oppose anything though it experiences everything.
A tree provides home and shelter for everyone without discriminating between animals and humans or between the stronger and the weaker and is thankful to others for giving it an opportunity to serve them. On the other hand, we humans fight over small pieces of land. And if we provide shelter to anyone we either charge rent or do not hesitate in mentioning the favour that we have bestowed on our fellow human beings.
A tree remains unaffected by strong winds, scorching heat, cold breeze, rain etc as it stands still on its ground firmly facing the different forms and forces of nature with indifference. On the other hand we humans have all the reasons to complain about the heat, cold, changing weather and other inhospitable conditions.
A tree experiences everything blissfully through the passing phases of time as it knows that everything is temporary. But we humans react negatively to changes because we expect everything to be unchanging and permanent. Hence we cry and complain when nothing is working for us because we feel nothing will ever work for us.
A tree experiences everything blissfully through the passing phases of time as it knows that everything is temporary.
A tree remains static, not interested in anything but itself. That does not mean it is selfish, after being static also it is home for the animals etc. It meditates on itself in an attempt to realise its creator. But man does not have time to even think about all this - he is only interested in knowing how he can grow materially and is more interested in knowing what is happening outside his own life, especially in others’ lives.
Instead of learning from trees, man has even exploited trees for his own selfish interests, out of arrogance that no one is better than him, forgetting that the life of a tree is much more useful than that of us humans.
A tree does not react to wrong or right but observes everything as a beautiful experience.
A tree is strong. Nothing disturbs it. It experiences everything without complaining. The wind blows past it, the sun throws scorching heat at it and it is still the same. Then the rain comes and again it remains unaffected. Animals and humans take shelter under it and it is more than happy to give what they want. Birds make their nests in it, animals eat its fruits, but the tree is happy because others are happy. It remains within itself all the time; it does not react to wrong or right but observes everything as a beautiful experience without being judgmental. As stated in Bhagvad Gita,
In the Gita (20-23) Lord Krishna says: “In the stage of perfection called trance or samadhi, one’s mind is completely restrained from mental activities by the practice of yoga. This perfection is characterised by one’s ability to see the self with a pure mind and to relish and rejoice in the self. In that joyous state, one is situated in a boundless transcendental happiness, realised through transcendental senses. Established thus, one never departs from the truth, and upon gaining this, he thinks there is no greater gain. Being situated in such a position, one is never shaken even in the midst of greater difficulty. This indeed is the actual freedom from all miseries arising from material contact.