The Eternal Banyan Tree

Mankind mainly derives the necessary elements for sustenance from nature and forests in particular. It is but no surprise that trees are widely worshiped and many mythological tales revolve around them.

Hindu scriptures say that just like humans and other spiritual beings, trees also have within their kind species that have achieved the highest rank of existence. Two such trees often took mention throughout mythology- Peepal Tree (Pippala Vruksham) and Banyan Tree (Vata Vruksham). 

The Vata-Vriksha or the Banyan tree has for centuries now been regarded as the most eternal form of existence. There is one particular tree called the Akshaya Vata on which many scriptures, tales, and mythologies are based.

It is said that the great sage Markandeya once asked Lord Shiva for an example of eternal existence in answer to which he received a divine vision from Lord Shiva where he saw terrifying destruction of the world marking the end. Floodwaters rose and submerged the entire world in them but one tree- the Akshaya Vata- stood tall and unaffected, after which it received the title of immortality. The sage also saw Lord Krishna cradled on the leaves of this tree as a baby signifying that every older generation (in this case- the world) will be replaced by a new one that follows.

Metaphorically representing this, the roots of a Banyan tree fall out of its branches and reach the ground out of which a new tree takes birth representing the flow from old to new. 

It is under these Banyan trees that great sages and hermits including Lord Shiva and Gautama Buddha are seen performing their penances and preaching.

This Pattachitra painting, meaning a painting done on a dried palm leaf called patta, depicts this eternal banyan tree as the largest of all, portraying its superiority and immortality. Around it, we can find animals, birds and other life forms flourishing in abundance while the waters flow in all their purity.

This handmade artifact, in all its artistic grandeur, reiterates the idea of sustainable development and reminds one as to why we need to protect and preserve our nature.

This beautiful piece of art can be customized to suit your needs and can be a great addition to your collection of paintings. 

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