In the fifteenth discourse of the Bhagavad Gita, Lord Krishna compares the ultimate source of the visible universe to an inverted tree, with the fruits, leaves and branches coming from the earth. There is so much more that we don’t see. This ‘tree’ is a product of maya- the illusory nature of our world.
When we attach ourselves to the maya, the unreal, we get caught up in it. By practicing dispassion and detachment we are able to transcend this illusion and we know what is real and true.
Lord Krishna goes on to explain how it is that he sustains everything in existence. He says that it is a part of himself that dwells as the soul in each and every one of us; he is the inner witness existing in all beings and also that which nourishes the earth. Because he is beyond perishable matter and even superior to the imperishable soul that is engulfed in maya, he is known to be the supreme spirit.
I’ve always considered this piece of ourselves that is connected to each other and to the universe to be the energy of love. I don’t mean the kind of love we associate with emotions, but the base level energy that doesn’t change with external circumstances. Call it God, Krishna, Brahman – to me it’s all love. As Buddha is credited with saying “My religion is love”.
The tree imagery in this discourse is interesting. For me it could be taken two way: it might imply that the simple being- the human or other being – that we encounter in our day to day lives are so much less that there is beneath the surface. The spirit is the real gem if we get to know it. It’s fuller, deeper, more fruitful if you will.
But to look at this the other way, that the leaves, the fruits etc are the complicated illusion of our world is probably closer to the real truth. We complicate matters so much, we insist on attaching to the world of illusion, the maya, around us when we are really so simple. We are simple souls experiencing being human. We don’t need to get caught up.
Whatever you take from this discourse, hopefully you find it one of connection – connected our souls together in the journey of life.