Happy Summer Solstice!!
Today I would like to share a little bit about a tree....It is called the Banyan Tree...She is quite unusual looking and beautiful...When I first came to Hawaii I saw this fascinating tree and felt an instant connection to her and just had to find out more about her...from her name and origin to her history.
I was absolutely stunned by my findings and it gave such spiritual clarity as to why I felt such a keen connection to this wondrous creation of Mother Nature...Come to find out the Banyan Tree is the national tree of India!! As silly as that may be for some to understand, I was jumping up and down with excitement when I discovered this...
Here are a few pictures of my dear husband Chad and my daughter Bekah standing at the base of the tree...this was a rather large one. I have since seen much smaller ones and much larger as well!
The Banyan Tree obviously finds its origins in India or there abouts... Here is the Wikipedia's description:
A banyan (also banian) is a fig that starts its life as an epiphyte when its seeds germinate in the cracks and crevices on a host tree (or on structures like buildings and bridges). "Banyan" often refers specifically to the Indian Banyan or Ficus benghalensis, the National tree of India, though the term has been generalized to include all figs that share a unique life cycle, and systematically to refer to the subgenus Urostigma. The seeds of banyans are dispersed by fruit-eating birds. The seeds germinate and send down roots towards the ground, and may envelop part of the host tree or building structure with their roots, giving them the casual name of "strangler fig." The "strangling" growth habit is found in a number of tropical forest species, particularly of the genus Ficus, that compete for light. Any Ficus species showing this habit may be termed a strangler fig.
The leaves of Banyan tree are large, leathery, glossy green and elliptical in shape. Like most of the fig-trees, leaf bud is covered by two large scales. As the leaf develops the scales fall. Young leaves have an attractive reddish tinge.
Older banyan trees are characterized by their Aerial prop roots that grow into thick woody trunks which, with age, can become indistinguishable from the main trunk. Old trees can spread out laterally using these prop roots to cover a wide area. Like other Fig species (which includes the common edible fig Ficus carica), banyans have unique fruit structures and are dependent on fig wasps for reproduction.
In Hinduism, the Banyan Tree is considered very sacred. It is referred as 'Vat Vriksha'...In Hindu culture it is also called kalpavriksha, meaning 'wish fulfilling divine tree'. The leaf of the Banyan is considered to be the resting place for the Lord Krishna. The Banyan Tree is mentioned in many places in the Bhagavad Gita...
It is truly a magnificent sight to behold! I was so surprised and overjoyed to find out that a smaller Banyan Tree was in the yard of our new house here in Hawaii...I have named the tree Lakshmi after my beautiful patron Hindu Goddess. I have developed a profound reverence for this awe-inspiring species of tree. She has a spirit that touches me deeply and makes me feel a deeper connection to Nature...I am so blessed to be able to glance out of my window and see her each day. She reminds me each day how important strong roots are...in all that I do to have a sure foundation of Godly love and strength and gratitude in this beautiful life!